His heart was in his garden; but his brain
Wandered at will among the fiery stars.
Bards, heroes, prophets, Homers, Hamilcars,
With many angels stood, his eye to gain;
The devils, too, were his familiars:
And yet the cunning florist held his eyes
Close to the ground, a tulip bulb his prize….
From Tulipa: A Photographer’s Botanical by Christopher Baker:
“Tulipa clusiana: Originally from Kashmir, northern Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, this plant, first described by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle in 1803, is named for the great botanist Carolus Clusius, who in the latter part of the sixteenth century was professor of Botany at Leiden University and one of the first to study bulbs systematically. Nicknamed the ‘Lady Tulip,’ T. clusiana is a slender plant with a small starlike flower with carmine-red blotches on the three outer petals, a violet base, and narrow leaves that are undulating and grayish-green….
“Tulipa clusiana Cynthia: A cultivar of T. clusiana that was registered by C. G. van Tubergen in 1959, the outer petals of ‘Cynthia’ are reddish, edged chartreuse-green, and from a distance the flower appears soft orange. Inside it is feathered red on green and the base is purplish. The bulb is the same size as that of T. clusiana. ‘Cynthia’ grows well and is 25 centimeters in height.…
“Tulipa clusiana var. chrysantha: Described in 1948 by Sir Alfred Daniel Hall but known before then, this tulip was found in the mountains of northern Afghanistan in the same area where T. clusiana was found. It was first known as T. chrysantha and later as a variety of T. clusiana. A slender variety with small leaves and a flower form that is slightly elongated, its crisply pointed petals are deep yellow with a vast red blush on the exterior, visible when the flower is closed.”
On the same stroll through the gardens where I snagged photos of red tulips (see Some Time with Red Tulips (1 of 2) and Some Time with Red Tulips (2 of 2)), I also came across a few nice batches of Tulipa clusiana varieties, all aglow in the morning sunlight. Exactly which variant these flowers belong to escapes me a bit; they’re similar enough that I included mention of two of the varieties above, since they’re probably one of those two. They are all clearly members of the T. clusiana family, however; and they’re all commonly referred to by the name “Lady Tulip” — blooming in white, yellow, orange-yellow, and pale-yellow colors, and typically featuring shades of red on the outer sides of their petals. Personally I’ve never seen white ones — but I’d like to! — as it seems the yellow/orange varieties are more common here in the southeast.
Thanks for taking a look!