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Texas Tulip

Tulipa praecox

Fall 2007. I go on a huge bulb buying craze, buying daffodils and tulips by the dozen. There are many daffodils that do well in Texas but tulips do not fare so well. One, tulips generally need cold to flower, as most of the modern Dutch-grown tulips are made for colder places. So most Texas gardeners go through the ‘buy every year, chill in fridge, plant in December’ method to simulate a winter chill, but treat the tulips as annuals since they won’t come back unless you dig them up and chill them again. But after reading about Tulipa praecox, a rare tall elegant red tulip that actually returns in Texas every year, and then seeing that Southern Bulbs had brought these back into commerce by ‘rescuing’ them from old yards in Texas, I was suckered into buying 4 bulbs at about $7 a bulb. Yes, insane and probably overpriced, but I’m a sucker for rarities. And just maybe it will multiply for me and I can leave my garden some day with a rare and naturalized treasure.