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Spring planting season 15 January - 28 February
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Autumn planting season 15 June-31 August

All descriptions from this page are under LXXVI./1999 Hungary’s Law protection, all of the materials may be published, shared and adapted with the author’s permission. For any reuse of the page contents you must mention the source and respect the property rights.

The beauty of bulbous plants, tubers and corms has blinded people even in the mythological past, giving them inspirations for creating art works, like poems, paintings, drawings and ceramics. Empires came and disappeared during the history, but flowers became symbols that remained as cultural and historical memories. Symbols of passion and love. Their world of colour and forms dazzled both monarchs , dinasties and ordinary peoples.

Most of bulbous plants, tubers and corms don’t need the cultivators’ care during their dormancy period, when they move back to the ground. All of the fall species resist to winter climate whilst among the spring species only the lilies and others support our country’s continetal climate. The size and quality of bulbous plants, tubers and corms sold in commerce ca be very different. The cheaper and smaller bulbs develope smaller flowers and poor bloming.

Most species are native in Hungary and their majority are acutely protected. Our common duty is to save their naturat habitat. Bulbs provided by us are species and varieties from proven cultivated substance. We ask everyone , however easy it seems to be, do not pull out the bulbous plants from their natural places. Let us give the opportunity to the next generation of having pleasure in their outdoor blooming.

Native and highly protected species in Hungary:
Allium sphaerocephalon, Muscari botryoides, Crocus tommasinianus, Erythronium dens-canis, Fritillaria meleagris, Leucojum aestivum, Leucojum vernum, Lilium martagon, Bulbocodium vernum, Galanthus nivalis

 »Begonia  »Colchicum  »Iris
 »Dahlia  »Fritillaria  »Crocus
 »Bulbous  »Lily  »Tulip
 »Hyacinthus  »Hippeastrum  »Bulbous of South-Africa
 »Gladiolus  »Daffodils  »Bulbous of North-America

Begonia (Latin:Begonia), family: Begoniaceae  (up)

Named in honor of Michel Begon (1638-1710), a French botanist. There are more than 350 bulbous or hybrid species found in humid tropics and subtropics on the American continent. The exact parentage of hybrids is unknown, but is for sure that the first hybrid appeared in England in 1870s. A British expedition found three new species (Begonia boliviensis, B. earcei , B. veitshii) and sent back for ageing between 1855 and 1868. During a period of 18 years many hybrids were introduced , these established the today’s species genebank. Nowadays there are 17 groups of tuberous begonias, most of them are cultivated in Europe (especially in Belgium), and a smaller proportion in North-America.

They are summer –flowering tuberous perennials. Bushy types which do not prefer the sunny places, rather the semi-shadow or filtered sunlight. They are frost-sensitive, so it is recommended to plant them when the night temperature is over 12-13 C. It is very impotant to plant them with their relief upside down! They bring flowers within 12-15 weeks, this means that begonias planted in March are in blossom in the middle of the summer. We get stronger plants, if we keeep 3-4 strong sprouts and cut the rest. Usually they are weel suited in containers, pots or hanging baskets, but they blooming nice in gardens too. On fall pull out the tubers and keep them in dark, moistured , well-ventilated and cool places until next spring.


Dahlia (Latin: Dahlia), family: Compositae  (up)

There are more than 30 botanical species, which grow in Mexico, Colombia and Central America. Named in honor of Andreas Dahl (1751-1789) a Swedish botanist. The first Dahlia was brought to Spain from its native Mexico in the late 1780s , but also reached Great Britain at the end of the century and France in 1802. Today there are more than 20.000 hybrid cultivars. The Aztec gardeners were already growing dahlias, before the Spanish invaded the Americas. Th flower petals and tubers are comestible, the ancient people use them as garnish salads and boiled food.

Based on their flower, dahlias can be classified in 10 groups: single-flowered, anemone-flowered, collarette, waterlily,decorative, ball, pompom, cactus-flowered, semi-cactus-flowered and miscallenious dahlias. They exist in almost every colors, but the real blue dahlia was not introduced yet. They are bushy shaped tuberous perennials, which prefer the suny side and good water management. They must be planted after the end of frost nights periods. They are in blossom on late summer and early fall time, and produce abundant blooming (one stem can have 90-100 flowers), most of them are carried on long stalks, so they need support. There are some pigmy types with a height of 50 cm, these are more suitable for pots/containers. We can adjust their stronger shape by cutting the lateral sprouts. The tubers must be pulled out on late autumn and keep in cool and dry places during their winter dormancy. The regular planting apart gives the benefit of vigorous individuals. On the spring time separate the tight and overcrowded tubers and deep in water for a few hours before planting.


Allium (Latin: Allium), family: Liliaceae  (up)

This genus received its name by the Classical Latin name for garlic : Allium. More than 700 species are cultivated on the Northern Hemisphere, so they have an important role for catering nowadays too. Their crushed leaves have onion frangrance. In Hungary’s ranges the most common species are Allium flavum and Allium ursinum. The bulbs vary in size: species begin from 10-20 cm ( Allium moschatum) to the gigantic Allium giganteum, whith ball shaped flowers and 2 metres high stalks. All of them are cold-hardy. They prefer the open and sunny places, but don’t plant them too deep. We can have the most beautiful plants if let them on the same place for years.


Hyacinthus (Latin hyacinth), family: Liliaceae  (up)

Name derived from the classical Greek name for its disperse area , according to the legend which said that flowers have sprung from the blood of the dead king of Sparta, Hyakinthos, accidentally slain by Apollo. The genus consists of three species: Hyacinthus orientalis, Hyacinthus litwinovii és a Hycinthus transcaspicus – the garden forebear is Hyacinthus orientalis. Close species are: Bellevalia, Hyacinthella and Brimurea. Due to the easyness of propagation it is suitable to plant them either in pots or outdoors. It is recommended to plant outdoor in fall and extremely fragrant, dense flowers will appear in the mid spring. In order to sustain a continuous year-long blooming, the bulbs must pull out after plants are withered and store them in cool places before replanting. Since 1970s the pre-cooling process influence the bulbs’ biological equilibrium thus the plants can be forced to flowering on winter time too. The capable bulbs for this process are the prepared or pre-cooled ones. The prepared bulbs planted in September and after 10-12 weeks they start rooting and at Christmas time blooming. Keep the pots in cool (around 10 C) and dark places until the shoot apices appear¸ then progressively grow the temperature and the light , so the flowers can be put in rooms or winter house. After blooming plant the bulbs outdoor as soon as the weather permits, so they can strenghten and bring flowers in 1 or 2 years. Don’t try to force again a winter flowering. The bulbs produce only a few offsets, so propagation can be done by cutting and scooping.


Corn flag (Latin gladiolus), family: Iridaceae  (up)

Most species of this genus grow in tropical Africa, but they can be found in Eurasi and Southern Europe too.There are as many as 250 species and thousands of hybrids, which derives from 7 African botanical species: Gladiolus cardinals, G. carneus, G. cruentus, G. dalenii, G. opposittiflorus, G. papilio and G. tristis. About 10 species are found in Eurasia, like sword lilies living in fens (Gladiolus imbricatus) and paludal sword lilies (Gladiolus palustris), which live in Hungary too and are strictly protected. The history of gladiolus started in 1823, when James Colville, a British botanist created the first hybrid by crossing. The African species and the hybrids are not perennials corms (most of these are offered in commerce) but the Eurasian species are partly perennial corms. Every species bring sword-shaped leaves and string-like flowers. They need sunny places and sandy soils, full with nutrients and good water management. In summer time they must be watered and the long stems need shoring. Hybrid gladiolus brings flowers easily and are suitable cutflowers, but botanical species are interesting mostly for collectors. Planting period begins on the end of March, first days of April and the blooming period will start after 80-90 days.   They are easy to raise from seed or cormels produced around the large corms and there are chances for blooming within two or three years. Sow seed in April beginning when the night temperature are up to 10 C in a sandy soil mix and give free air circulation. Keep moist, reducing water in late summer. After blooming harvest the small corms , dry and treat them with fungicide and store them over the winter in weel-ventillated, cool and dry places.


Autumn Crocus (Latin colchicum), family: Liliaceae  (up)

Plant name derived from Colchis, a locality in Anatolia. According to the legend, princess Medea from Colchis used hag-crocus for her elixirs. About 65 species of genus are spread in EastMediterranean region: from Europe to Iran and Turkestan. There are 23 species in Europe and three in Hungary: the pinkf lowered autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale), her likeness Colchicum arenarium and the early spring-flowering, white Hungarian crocus Colchicum hungaricum, all of them strictly protected. Botanist Viktor Janka found the Hungarian crocus in southern parts of Szársomlyó Mt. in 1867, the species were officially declared under protection in 1944. Most cultivars bring their leaves in spring time and bloom in autumn, giving new colour patches on the nature’s palette. The plant’s corms are cold-hardy, large sized and bring 6-8 flowers. Flowers are coloured pinkish, lavender or white. The yellow crocus (Colchicum luteum) and the striped crocus (Cholchicum kesselringii) bloom in spring and have smaller flowers. The seeds, mature in early summer time are covered with high starch content of bark and represent food suply for ants , that propagate them on large areas. Seldom amateur gardeners confuse Crocus and Colchicum, while in colchicum there are 6 stamens in crocus there are 3. Medicine used the corms and plant parts becuse of the very toxic substance named colchicine, that causes respiratory and cardiac paralisys, but is a succesfull treatment agains stoppage of cancerous cells’ fission. Colchicine is used in horticulture to alter the growth pattern of plants by introducing changes in the chromosome count in reproductive cells and to produce polyploids. They can be well propagated by corms.


Fritillaria , family: Liliaceae  (up)

There are about 100 species recognized to this family. The genus is closely related to Lilium, but Fritillaria flowers have less brilliant colors. They should have more attention because of their pendent bell-shaped flowers, which display a wide range of shapes and rare green or brown colors at some species. Their distribution is mostly on the Nothern Hemisphere: they can be found all around North-America and Asia. Fritillaria homegardening was introduced in the 20th century. Only 5 or 6 species, varieties can be found pre-packed in nursery. The only species found in Hungary is Fritillaria meleagris that live on marshlands and wetlands. Due to the wetlands ever dispersion various denominations for Fritillaria were used by Hungarians fond of flowers. They demand special attention from gardeners because of their particular needs. Their bulbs are fragile and prone to dehydration, that’s why they must be planted immediately after receiving. The reason why Fritillaria meleagris sold in nurseries does not blooming is that species prefer soils full of nutrients, wet ground and surroundings. Because of their small size most of them are suitable in the rock gardens, but a few species as Fritillaria persica and Fritillaria raddeana grow particularly high. Propagation by seed proved to be a very difficult and patience need process, because they flower within 4- years.


Lily (Latin lilium), family: Liliaceae  (up)

Lilies are distributed mostly throughout the Nothern Hemisphere, in Asia, Europe and Noth-America. As the first introduced variety we can mention Lilium candidum, the white Lily native in Mediterraneam region and a drawn on the Egyptian Pharaoh’ tombs. The primer cultivar in Europe was the Lily chalcedonicum, the Greek Lilies which become so popular that have been dispersed to New-Zealan, the Earth’ farthest points. After discovering America the species from there were shortly introduced in European gardens, such as Lilium canadense and Lilium superbum. Her popularity is shown by the fact lilies became the heraldic symbol of the house of Bourbon. The most known Asian species were discovered by Britihs and Holland researchers in the XVII-XVIII centuries, so they were first introduced in Europe in the 1850s. The genus consists of more than 90 botanical, hybrid and various species. The flower bulb is cold-hardy. According to their type they can be classified in two groups: concentricity characteristics for European and Asian bulbs, and rhizome typed for North-American plants. According to the flower form we can distinguish three main groups: trumpet-shaped (Lilium longiflorium), the pendent „turk’s caps” ( Lilium martagon) and the vase-shaped ( Lilium auratum). In Hungary, on Transdanubian Hills and forests lives the Lilium martago, also the very rare and beautiful Flame Lily which are compromised species. These bulbous plants represent the garden’s grace by their ever-widening range of colors and frangrance, they are cold-hardy, bloom mainly in summer-time, need a good water draining soil, sunspots or penumbra. Their bulbs are prone to dehydration, that’s why they must be planted immediately after receiving and start watering as they begin to grow. They require nutrients so we must help their grow by adding compost or nourishing solutions. Most of the small sized hybrids do well in containers or pots (3 or 4 bulbs/pot) but in order to maintain their biological balance they need cold, so it is better to plant them outdoor during winter-time. Most species need support during blossom due to their long stem (higher than 1m) and the weight of flower multitude, which bend them over. I experienced the same situation with the Pink Tiger Lily (Lilium tigrinum), its stem bended under the heavy flower bulk. After blossom remove dried flowers, but keep the leaves so the plants can to collect the energy the longer as possible. Propagation can be made by scales , natural production of stem and root bulbs, bulbils in the axils of leaves.


Amaryllis (Latin Hippeastrum), family: Amaryllidaceae  (up)

There are about 80 botanical species, all native in South America. Nurseries have a few species only, like Hippeastrum papilio and Hippeastrum cybister, these bring flowers with astounding color palette after an adecvate care. The exact number of modern hybrids are still unknown. They can be classified into three groups: species with large-flowered singles, species with large- flowered doubles, and miniatures. Thanks to their name they are often confused with the real Amaryllis species, as Amaryllis belladonna, the queen lily. They are very popular plants whith a funnel-shaped flowers, which can bring a colorful life in our rooms during winter time. Both bulbs and flowers are large sized. They are frost sensitive, their required temperature is around 13-15 C and they need sunny, protected places and soil with good drainage. The bulbs should be planted partially sunk in the ground, 1/3 of the bulb should be above. Keep watering until they start to grow, after that should receive less water. Around 55 days begins their blossom, on stem can have 2-6 flower, but most large sized bulb grows another stem after the first blossom. When leaves get yellow stop watering and after withering store the bulbs in dry and cool places. Propagation either by seed or bulblets.


Daffodil (Latin narcissus), family: Amarillidaceae  (up)

Name is the classical Greek name for plants, used by Hippocrates and associated with the young Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection. There are about 50 species native in Europe, North Africa and the Near East. Over centuries they were found within the human habitats so a few speciesfrom France and Italy could not be recognized as a botanical or hybrid. This fact is confirmed also by the prominent beauty of cultural and historical monument, which referring to more than one hundred years of Turkish domination. This is the 13 hectares area full with wild daffodils leaning on a at the South border of Hungary: The Basa –garden from Babócsa. We know only one wild species in our country: Narcissus stellaris, the star daffodil. The genus and its hybrids were classified into 13 groups by the Royal Horticultural Society with the American Daffodil Society. Bulbous plants which give spectacular flower on spring, so they must be planted during autumn. They need sunny or partial shading, soil with a neutral ph ( scale 5,5-7), but generally they are not soil demanding. Some species , as Narcissus bulbocodium, Narcissus cyclamineus, Narcissus pseudonarcissus are perfect for planting landscape gardens. Most species can be propagated by bulblets, these action need at least 4 to 6 years for separating offsets. They don’t like to be bothered more often. Keep the leaves after blooming, so the bulb can collect enough energy for growing. After leaves are withered, they need dry circumstances, so don’t water their ground, because they can be affected by diseases or the bulbs can rot. If we can’t do these it is better to lift the bulbs from the ground and keep them drying on cool and arid places until next plantation time.


Iris (Latin: iris), family: Iridaceae  (up)

Name received after Iris, the Greek goddess of rainbow, an apt name for a genus in which almost the entire color spectrum can be found. The Hungarian name originates from Diószegi Sámuel. It contains more than 300 species, all native to the Nothern Hemisphere and thousands of cultivars were hybridized. There are 8 species in Hungary such as: Iris pumila, Iris arenaria, Iris aphylla, and all of them are legally protected except the Iris pseudacorus. The first scientific group division was introduced by a Russian botanist, G. I. Rodionenko in 1962, but nowadays there is a totally different grouping formula: rhizome and bulbous perennials. Every flower is 3 – celled: the 3 outer segments called „the falls” and the 3 inner segment called „standards”. Depending on the size and needs we can plant them anywhere: in rock garden, at borders or water sides. They are all cold-hardy except one or two species. Botanical classification: 2 main groups

Botanikailag két nagy csoportba oszthatóak:
Rhizomes( fibrous roots): bearded Irises, Spuria, Evansia and
Bulbs: as Xiphium (Spanish, Dutch, English Irises), Juno and Reticulata

Irises with fibrous roots: generally we can say that they need soil full of nutrients and good drainage, and lots of sunshine. They bloom from early spring to early summer. Species of the Siberian Irises (Iris siberica) and Japanese Irises (Iris ensata) prefer wet conditions, so they feel comfortable nearby garden ponds or under steady moist. Japanese Iris can be grown sunk just a few inches below the water surface. They spread quickly under or above the ground. You can propagate them by dividing rizhomes, splitting to numerous offsets or by seed germinating in autumn.

Irises with bulbs: bulbs are their storage organs, but they can have fleshy roots, too. Iris buharica is an example. The colourful Spanish, English and Dutch Irises are very widespread because they are perfect for cut flowers. Generally, we can say that they need slightly calcareous soil rich in nutrients, good water drainage and plenty of sunshine. Reticulata Irises are small plants, flowering in early spring, thus can be precius colour patches in our awakening gardens.


Crocus (Latin crocus), family: Iridiaceae  (up)

Saffron derives from the Arabic word „za’faran”. They are Mediterranean plants with more than 80 species and most are dispersed in the Middle East and Europe (especially in the Mediterranean basin). They were mentioned in Egyptian Papirus and also in the Bible. The most common species is the saffron (Crocus sativus), which has long been treasured as a spice, but it has an outstanding role in medicine, too. The saffron crocus was cultivated in England in the early 1300s and most of the European demands was satisfied by Essex region’ cultivations. Nowadays the biggest horticulture is in Spain, where this plant was introduced by the Moors in the medieval age. Their corms were eaten either raw or cooked in Turkey. We know 4 protected species here in Hungary: white saffron (Crocus albiflorus), Reticulata (Crocus reticulatus), Carpatian saffron (Crocus heufupianus) and Crocus tommasinianus. The most common garden species stem from the spring saffron (Crocus vernus) and the early flowering species from Crocus chrysanthus. They bloom in early spring, but most of the species are autumn-flowering. They are tolereant of a wide range of soil, they like dry places after flowering, some species bear wet conditions, too. First flowers appear on the plant, then it produces the leaves, which are long, narrow and brindled. Planting them in goups and patches they assure a nice scenery in our gardens. They can be planted under trees and on lawn, because of their early blooming.


Tulip (Latin Tulipa), family: Liliaceae  (up)

Name derives from the Farsi (Persian) word "toliban" for turban, because the shape of the flower in some species looks like the Islamic headgear. This is a genus of 100 botanical species and 5600 cultivars Most of the tulip species are dispersed in Central Asia, but they are native in North-America, Middle-East, Far East and Europe, too.

Curiosities from tulips’ history

The history of tulip –Have you heard that tulips were introduced in Europe by Suleiman II., the conqueror of Hungary at the battle of Mohács?

Tulipomania – Can you imagine that in the 1600s a tulip bulb’s price was equivalent with a canal-sided house or 10 tons of cheese prices?

Tulip species – Do you know that there is a Hungarian Tulip (Tulipa hungarica Borbas)?

Tulips in Hungary’s history – Do you know that the Hungarians’ ancient homeland and the tulips’ gene centre are located close to each other ?

Connections between tulips and Hungarians

The flowers are ancient symbols for love and flourishing nature. Tulip is also an ancient Hungarian symbol, which received a mythological meaning far from reality. It is the sign of perfect love in Persia; in French speech it is the sign of love confession, in Central Asia it is the symbol of spring and blooming nature. Yellow tulip means the unrequited love and the black tulip is the symbol of honesty and chastity. Tulip is a peculiar Hungarian pattern in carvin arts, on gate posts, headstones, tile stoves, earthenware jars, embroideries, lovers’ presents. It is seldom represented by hearts that express a loving message.

The wild tulips are native in Central Asia. The primary gene centre or its place of origin is Mt. Tien-San and Mt.Pamír-Alai, where more than 50 species are spread on a 1000-km area. There is a smaller, secondary native place with 30 species is Transcaucasia, Caspian and Caucasus regions and Iran (Azerbaijan). These regions are connected with a trail, which follows the Hungarians first migration line. Thus the ancient homeland for tulips overlaps the Hungarians ancient home and migration line. This flower it is not only native from the same land as Hungarians are, but is part of our language and world view evolution, symbol of our existence. Its motif can be found in artifacts ranging from the Hun, on a former Hungarian conqueror saber and on a coin issued by Kun László IV. Béla II. Andrew. (source: István Kiszely Dr. – History of Hungarians)

The history of tulip in chronological order:

Around 1000 – written materials already mention tulips grown in Turkish gardens

1495-1566 – reings of Suleiman II. : the tulips’ golden age. The symbol of power became a decorative element, and around 1535 appears on the famous Izniki cheramics. Suleiman II. regulated the prices of tulip bulbs and severely punished for breach. The accentuated role of tulips was illustrated by the fact that the Sultan had the main executioner as his gardener.

1559 Busbecq the Austrian ambassador receives tulip bulbs from Suleiman II.

1554-Busbecq paid a visit to the sultan’s court and describes his experiments: ” I saw tulipfileds everywhere. Turks are very proud of their flowers, so it is forbidden to the marching army to cross these fields. Busbecq returned to Vienna in 1559 and took a few irresistible bulb with him. That is the official date for introducing tulip in Europe.

1593 Carolus Clusius was entrusted to plant the first tulib bulbs in the botanical gardenin Leiden. Escluse, Charles de (Clusius) Arras (Febr. 19th, 1526-Leiden - Apr. 4th, 1609) a Flemish physician and botanist introduced the first brochure of Spanish and Hungarian flora. After studying at the Louvain, Marburg and Wittenberg University he worked as a personal secretary for Guillaume Rondelet from 1551, in Montpellier, and as a mentor for the Fugger family, studied the flora of the Iberian Peninsula. From 1587 to 1573, acted as a supervisor of the imperial gardens in Vienna and were acquainted with John Zsámboky, Miklos Istvanffy, and the first patron of Hungarian botany Batthyány Boldizsár who guided him together with Stephen Beythe on his botanical studies. During his researches he travelled in Western Hungary and published his results in 1583 (Rariorum aliquot Stirpium historia, Antverpiae, Christophorus Plantinus). Thanks to his work he methodized the flowering plants found in Hungary and based the system of mycology: in 1601 he published the Fungorum in Pannoniis observatorum Historia brevis, which is a picture-decorated monography of 32 Hungarian mushrooms. He introduced a lot of foreign plants in Europe, such as tulip, lilac and horse-chestnut.

1623-1637 A Tulipomania – the first speculative broker’s crash.
As a result of the increasing "tabby" varieties in demand prices sharply welled up. For instance: tulips named "Semper Augustus" valued in 1.200 Dutch guilders in 1624, 3.000 Dg. in 1625, 5.000 Dg. in 1633-ban and 10.000 Dutch guilders in 1637. For comparison, a canal-side house in Amsterdam that time cost 10.000 Dutch guilders.

1718 - 1730The emergence of Tulip Era during sultan Ahmed III’s reigning; Mohammed Lalizari, who was fond of tulips bought a few thousands of tulip bulbs fron Netherland.

The first Tulip Festival. In this period it appeared in Europe that the Hyacinth and tulips lost from its popularity. It began the speculative commerce with Hyacinth bulbs, but with minor with the Tulipomania. After the past 400 years’ ongoing wars Turkey lived 12 years of peace, creativity, art and fun during the reign of Sultan Ahmed III. The golden age, when it was not accompanied by the destruction of war, and the enjoyment of life meant major daily activity for everyone. The tulip gardens could be found not only the aristocrats’ gardens, but also in public spaces and in poor people's gardens. Festivals were held in the royal household, which lasted 40 days and nights and 1.500 cook prepared pilaf for 100,000 reveller people. The Turkish tulip breeders in the early 1700s, boast nearly 900 varieties.

1977 the cooling time of tulip bulbs could be managed as a result of timing of flowering tulips. Normally they are available at different times of cutting tulips to flower shops.

Characterization of tulips

It is easy to cultivate them. They prefer sunny places (but also bloom in penumbra), sandy and incompact soil with good drainage, because of their homeland conditions. In nurseries – as in our webshop too – all of the fall species are cold-hardy, so they can be raised everywhere in our zone. A few species from the Middle East and North Africa are not cold-hardy but other botanical species resist to environments with extreme temperature fluctuations. Most blooms with a big and single flower, but a lot of botanical species (Tulipa tarda, Tulipa turkestenica, Tulipa biflora, Tulipa polycroma) and garden types (Georgette, Orange Bouquet, Color Spectacle) give more flowers on a stem. There is no need to lift them, but the parent bulbs develop new bulbs so it is recommended to plant them apart every 3 or 4 years. Propagation can be made by corms or seed germinating, but seedlings may take 6-7 years to flower. „The black tulip” , the grower’s dream exist only in novels. It is impossible to obtain the pure black type according to the recent conditions, but there exist dark lila varieties (Black Hero, Queen Of the Night vagy Black Parrot).

Classification of tulips

Classification according to the flowering time: 3 main groups

  • Early flowering (single early and double early tulips)
  • Middle season flowering (Triump, Darwin hybrid tulips)
  • Late flowering (Sinlge late, Lily-flowered, Fringed, Viridiflora, Rembrandt, Parrot and double late tulips)

Classification according to the species: 3 main groups too
  • Botanical tulips ( Species named with Tulipa Classic Latin)
  • Hybrids cultivars (Kauffmanniana, Fosteriana and Greigii hybrids)
  • Other garden tulips (the 3 groups mention on the first classification)

Wild botanical tulips are also dispersed in Switzerland, France, Crete, Bulgaria, the former members states of Yugoslavia and some areas in Greece. The Hungarian tulip (Tulipa hungarica Borbas) is a stricly protected plant native on Iron Gates Danube (SW Romania and Slovenia border). They are small sized ( height of 5-25 cm) and have star-shaped petals. They are ideal for reating rock-gardens and forest environments. They are early-flowering, often in March. Their bulbs and flowers are small sized, but most of them bring 6 or 8 flowers by stem.

Hybrid cultivars received their name from the original, crossing basis species, such as Tulipa kauffmaniana, Tulipa fosteriana and Tulipa greigii. The first of them was introduced in Netherland on the middle of 1800s by the Central Asian tulip ”hunters”. The hybridization started at the beginning of the 20th century by crossing them with garden and wild tulips. The Kauffmaniana, Fosteriana, Greigii and Darwin hybrids belong to this group.

The largest group is the garden tulips. These tulips are popular as cut flowers and a large part of this group can be found in a variety of colours in parks and gardens, too. Since their domestication has a 800 years of history, it is impossible to find out the original species of the wild botanical.

Here are a few tulips, which are products of the future cross-breeding techniques. These tulips are far beyond the currently available types of form and colour. Like them or not, You decide!


South Africa – The paradise of bulbous plants!  (up)

South Africa is one of the six outstanding botanical paradises in the world, where we can find more than 9000 plants species on a 650-km wide and 400- km long area. There is no big difference between this area and the well-known rich stands in Costa Rica. The 70% of the plants are endemic (this means they do not live on other areas) and 1183 species from the above mentioned 2000 bulbous plants live in Africa. The early explorers observed the varieties of bulbs in 1600s, but the migration of the botanists and bulb-hunters began after 1652, when Cape Town was established. Dutch planters brought the bulbs to Europe, which astonished the plant admirers by their incredible colours and shapes. The first illustration about a South African (Haemanthus coccineus) bulb appeared in Europe in 1605, but a few years later many of the plant’s charasteristics were presented in a coloured catalogue. Justus Heurnius, a Dutch missionaire first described in official manner the plants, after his African visit in 1624. In the period of enlightenment many plant collector visited this place and discovered new genus. Such special expedition was organized by the castle of Schönbrunn for decorating its gardens in the late 1700s. In the 18th century the „craziness” of South Africa plants reached England, but this time there were cultivated over 500 bulbous plants all over Europe. New species are still discovered today: a book edited about Gladiolus in 1998 remained on shelves only for 6 month, due to the fact that discovering 2 species lost their actuality. The South African bulbs are not sold in nurseries except for the many hybrids and they are not known among the homegardeners. The most common species, sold in nurseries: hybrids of Gladiolus, Fresia and Ixia, than Sparaxis tricolor, Amarillis belladonna, Watsonia meriana, Agapanthus africanus, Cyrtanthus elatus, Eucomis comosa and Haemanthus coccineus. These species are easy to cultivate but most of the tropicals need greenhouses and special carefulness. Due to the fact that they are not cold-dary we must keep them in cool and dry places during the Hungarian winters.


North American bulbous plants  (up)

The variety of North American species can be explained by the climatic difference, so for instance the Fritillaria and Erythronium settled in North, the lover of warmth Hymenocallis and Crinum are dispersed in South. The endemic Ariseema found its place in West and Calochortus in East. The government’ environmental authorities keep evidence about 13 species with among others Fritillaria, Erythronium and Calochortus included. Genus with the biggest number of species are: Allium, Brodiaea, Bloomeria, Dichelostemma és Tritelia and Muilla, Calochortus, Erythronium, Fritillaria, Trillium, Iris and Lily. One of the most varied and colourful genus is the Mormon tulip (Calochortus) which has 71 species and 15 subspecies on the American continent. Her discovery is equal to the age of the continent’s western side. Frederick Prush first described it on base of a plant discovered in Idaho in 1814. The new genus were often classified in the group of the Fritillaria in the wrong way during the first ten years after discovery.

 

Bibliography:

Chirstopher Brickell - Dísznövény Enciklopédia, URBIS Kiadó (2001)
Hanneke Van Dijk- Kerti csodák, hagymás gumós növények, VENTUS LIBRO Kiadó ( 2005)
Kósa-Fráter - Hagymás, gumós virágok képeskönyve, KERTEK 2000 Kiadó (1997)
Hessayon - The bulb expert, Transworld Ltd (1995)
Hagymás és gumós növények, Grafo Kft (1998)
Búvár Zsebkönyvek - Hagymások, gumósok (1984)
Élővilág könyvtár sorozat, Kétszikűek I. és Egyszikűek, Kossuth Kiadó(2003-2004)

Pannon Enciklopédia, Urbis Kiadó (2003)
Csapody István – Védett növényeink, Gondolat (1982)
Anna Pavord – Tulip, Bloomsbury (1999)


 
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