There are a few notable differences between hybrid tulips and species tulips in general. Hybrid tulips are usually pretty flashy and some have variegation like the one pictured above. It is 'Happy Days'. The petals are rounded as well.
Whereas species tulips have finer leaves which are quite a bit shorter and narrower. In fact, unless you knew this was where you planted species tulips you would not know this was tulip foliage at all.
Just look at this height of these 'Happy Days' tulips. They are easily 24' tall.
Here the species tulips barely reach 12" tall.
The same deal here with the Linifolia tulips. This is them in 2008.
All have returned this year as well and bloomed beautifully. In fact, I have found seedlings of the Linifolia tulips in gardens where they were never planted. I am thrilled.
Another difference between the 'Pink Impression' tulips and Linifolia tulips are the 'Pink Impression' came and left much earlier than the Linifolia tulips. In fact, the 'Pink Impression' bloomed nicely for about one week. The Linifolia tulips started right about the time the 'Pink Impression' tulips were fading and have outlived the hybrid tulips by at least 10 days so far. They bloom a bit longer, more like two weeks.
Also, due to the smaller diminutive nature of the Linifolia tulips, they tend to fade away rather quickly, unlike the huge foliage of the hybrid tulips. This is a bonus if you overplant and interplant as I do in my garden.
When I saw so many of the hybrid tulips had returned this year in this particular bed I had debated giving it another year before I did this post. But I decided to do this post now and follow up in one year.
But here is the real deal, the fact so many of the 'Pink Impression' tulips returned bodes well for this cultivar. Some of the other cultivars in my garden such as: Apledorn white and red have totally disappeared after only one year of bloom. Generally speaking, I have found the hybrid tulips will fade away after one or two years, disappear for 2-3 years then reappear for one year of bloom, then disappear for good. I am referring to Darwin hybrid tulips since that is all I plant here since they are supposed to be longer lasting than tulips such as the 'Parrot tulips' for example. You see my goal with growing tulips, or any plant for that matter, is to grow ones that will return faithfully and reliably each year. The hybrid tulips have not done this for me in the eight years I have been gardening here so I switched to the species type. I have found through research species tulips have been around for hundreds of years. I liked the Linifolia tulips simply because they are red.
There you have it, some of the differences between hybrid tulips and species tulips. The findings are general and both hybrid and species tulips have their admirable traits. For me though, the final straw is how long will they last in my garden without replanting? I want anything I plant to be here long after I am gone, and I don't think the hybrid tulips will fit the bill in my garden.We shall see what next year brings and I am thinking that should I decide to get more tulips, they will be species types.
in the garden....