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Tulipa Оstrowskiana.

 Searches of tulips in Kazakhstan.

"And scarlet cotton - scattered around - look: tulips dotted the meadow"

Alisher Navoi. "Seven Planets"

Bushwhacking in Tien-Shan mountains.

Historical background of Оstrowskiana  tulip, Ostrovsky Kyzgaldagy. Described in 1884 by E.L. Regel on collections from the vicinity of Verny (now - Almaty). The type is located in St. Petersburg. This species was first collected in 1879 by A.E. Regel and A.M. Fetisov.
The latter was the chief gardener of the city of Pishpek (Bishkek) and was in charge of the "Kazenny" garden in the city of Verny. In 1877 - 1882 he collected an extensive herbarium for the St. Petersburg Botanical Gardens in the vicinity of the cities of Verny and Pishpek.
Botanical description of Оstrowskiana tulip. The bulb is ovoid, up to 2-3 cm in diameter, with black hard-skinned scales. Stem up to 40 cm tall, glabrous, drooping in bud. Leaves (3, sometimes 2), contiguous, gray-gray, lanceolate, wavy along the edge.
The flower of an elegant elongated shape, in bright light, opens in the form of a star-shaped bowl. The typical coloration is light red with a black or yellow bottom. Often there are darker, orange, variegated and even pure yellow flowers. Filaments yellow, blackish, red or burgundy, anthers yellow to black-violet.
The fruit is narrow, up to 3.5 cm long and 1.8 cm wide, the number of normally developed seeds is up to 185. Reproduction is seed, very rarely vegetative.
Phenology of Оstrowskiana tulip. Blossoms from late April to late May, bears fruit in June-July. Ecology of tulip Ostrovsky. It lives mainly on slopes with deep nutrient soil in the lower and middle belts of mountains.
Distribution Ostrowskiana tulip in Kazakhstan. Trans-Ili Alatau and part of the Kyrgyz Range (Almaty, east of the Zhambyl region).
Cultivation of tulip Оstrowskiana. For the first time (until 1883) it was tested in St. Petersburg, since the second half of the XXth century it has been grown in many cities of the CIS. One of the most promising species for Almaty, very responsive to agrotechnical care.
Fruits well, gives self-sowing. In our experiments, seedlings bloom in the 4th year of life.
Practical significance of Оstrowskiana tulip. A highly decorative species, promising for landscaping, very popular in rock gardens and collections in Western Europe, the USA and Canada. There are no data on the use in breeding.
In the experiments of V.M. Kudryavtseva, when crossing it with the White Virgin variety, a negative result was obtained. In nature, spontaneous hybrids with T. kolpakowskiana are not uncommon. Arrays of such hybrid populations are very colorful with their diversity during flowering.
Protection of Оstrowskiana tulip in Kazakhstan. Tulip Ostrovsky is listed in the Red Book. Partially protected on the territory of the Almaty Reserve. Populations of this species in the vicinity of Almaty suffered greatly due to the development of counters and mountain slopes for summer cottage construction.
Several sites should be allocated for the creation of specialized reserves within the Ile-Alatau National Natural Park

“Tulips of Kazakhstan”. Almaty, LTD “Almatykitap baspasy”. 2010, 272 p. Illustrated.

Photos by
Alexander Petrov.