These are a few red Darwin tulips that have naturalized in my garden and have proven quite resilient. I can’t recall how many years ago I planted them but I am going to say that it has to be at least 20. So they have done quite well.
Since you see them coming up in all that leaf litter (and it is still cool here–cooler than it should be. I am not leaving the leaf litter for insulation purposes but to be sure that any beneficial insects have hatched out), obviously they are not bothered by damp–either the wet leaves or my wet clay soil. I wouldn’t recommend this treatment, but obviously they can endure it.
Here’s the true “surprise ” though, that I reference in my title. You know that I am always raving about the multiple colors found in bulbs. Look inside at this lovely yellow ring around the deep black center. I am sure that coloration is for the pollinators–but it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy it too!
They seem to want more chill than they get here. I had never relied on them naturalizing, but only recently observed a few that have been blooming reliably for a few years, even here!
One of my childhood friends owns a bulb company here in Connecticut. So I asked him what I could do to get tulips to grow in my heavy soil. He wasn’t terribly optimistic but he suggested either the Darwins or the species kinds. I planted both and I have about 8 Darwin left, somehow. The species were much shorter lived.
Usually I just content myself with buying a bunch or two for the house when want to enjoy tulip flowers. And of course you know my obsession with hyacinths.