The No-Neck Tulip and Other Spring Bulb News

The spring bulbs in our garden are starting to transition from the first to the second act of their annual performance. In my garden, the first act is about just the Snowdrops and Crocuses.

Snowdrops just past their peak.
Snowdrops just past their peak.
You can see some of the flowers here have faded.
You can see some of the flowers here have faded. Notice the foliage of Virginia Bluebells nearby.

The Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis and G. elwesii) are just past their peak.

Crocuses in the sidewalk border.
Crocuses in the sidewalk border.
More Crocus in the sidewalk border.
More Crocus in the sidewalk border.

Some early Crocus (various species) are fading, but are replaced by others: purple, violet, yellow, white. The blooms are remarkably cheerful, but they do not last very long. I never did write down the names of the varieties I planted, darn it.

Narcissus 'Tete a Tete'
Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’
Narcissi in bud.
Narcissi in bud.

Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ is the first to bloom, but other varieties are just in bud and will need another week or two.

'Early Harvest', or as I like to call it, 'No-Neck Tulip'.
‘Early Harvest’, or as I like to call it, ‘No-Neck Tulip’.

Tulipa kaufmanniana ‘Early Harvest’ is also showing just a few of its very first flowers. This is a new variety for me, and first time I have seen a tulip’s tepals fully colored while still cradled in the foliage. Pictures I have seen of ‘Early Harvest’ show short but visible stems. I hope the stems eventually grow on mine, otherwise I will have to call them the No-Neck Tulip. I also have a bunch growing in pots, but they are not yet showing any blooms.

'Early Harvest': can't wait to see them all in bloom.
‘Early Harvest’: can’t wait to see them all in bloom.

Anyhow, I really do like the color of this tulip and it I am eager to see the effect when all are blooming together (I planted 50). ‘Early Harvest’ is a remarkably early tulip and like other varieties of this species has nice mottled foliage.

My container tulips. So exciting! I just wish I had remembered to write down which varieties were planted together in which pots.
My container tulips. So exciting! I just wish I had remembered to write down which varieties were planted together in which pots.

Foliage has emerged and is growing rapidly in all eleven of the tulip pots. A few are still sleeping, but my most recent count showed 86 bulbs up and accounted for. Also, all five of the bulbs in my one Hyacinth (Hyacinthus orientalis) pot have shown themselves.

Squill on the verge of blooming.
Squill on the verge of blooming.

2015-04-03 10.50.46 squill

Squill (Scilla sibirica) is a supporting player in the second act. It is almost ready to declare its presence on stage with dark blue flowers.

How are your spring bulbs performing this year?

47 Comments on “The No-Neck Tulip and Other Spring Bulb News”

  1. Hooray – spring has hit Chicago!!! I suppose I should have thought of putting all those bulbs in pots, back when I bought them. I only got some of them planted, and believe it or not – I just planted some more today. Oh well, either they emerge, or they don’t. There is always next year, right?

  2. All those bulbs make me smile, Jason. The dratted rabbit seems to find all my sprouting bulbs just fine for a spring tonic, so everything is nibbled. I have a young patch of winter aconite and gobs of grape hyacinths ready to pop, in addition to the same things you have. I planted a lot of species tulips last fall. I dont’ remember which ones, which is part of the surprise of spring. And my you have a happy one!

  3. |Well my friend,
    We’ve had some extraordinarily warm weather here in KC with temps 15-20 degrees warmer than usual, so I will have blown through in a week. I’ve enjoyed the weather but frankly disappointed all my team’s hard work gas comes and toned already. But oh, what a display we’ve had with over 800 bulbs yielding over 2,500 plus flowers,

  4. The first time I tried Kaufmanniana tulips I was surprised at how ‘squat’ they were.. even though I had read the catalog description. I think your No-Necks will probably stretch up a bit though. 🙂 I once had T. ochroleuca caerulea (or whatever it calls itself nowadays…the little white starry one with the dark blue center) that took a while to extend the stems.

  5. Nice! Your spring bulbs are looking great.
    I’m not as excited to see the Virginia bluebells already sprouting. My son stepped on something which looked very similar to what you have and snapped it off. I think it’s the one little seedling which I nurtured all summer in a pot and then planted outside in a spot which I thought would be safe. It was supposed to replace the last one which also died under mysterious circumstances. I bet you’re going to comment next on how they’re slightly weedy for you…..

  6. Aah – it’s called Siberian Squill – thanks for this. We have this growing out of the patio wall. It was completely invisible before because it was covered with a thick layer of rampant ivy, which has now totally gone, leaving these Squill to grow and flower. I didn’t know what they were until I read your post here and saw the pictures.

  7. This has been an amazing year for wildflowers and bulbs. Of course my dad will be visiting next week and I am so worried it will peak before he gets here. I really like the colour of your no-neck tulip.

  8. We’re in a similar spot, I guess. (Except that you have a much larger collection of Snowdrops–wow!) I do not have many Tulips because the rabbits have eaten them out of existence over the years. A few remain here and there in prickly spots between thorny shrubs. Spring is happening fast now–yay!

  9. Isn’t that funny, squill always seems to be one of the early bulbs for me, long before the tulips show their faces. although those are some darn funny tulips. I’ve never seen anything like that before. The one looks almost completely open wrapped up in it’s folds of leaves. Pretty colours, hopefully they show their necks as you say so you can get a closer inspection.

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