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Tulipa patens.

Tulips of Central Asia.

"On the green carpets of Khorasan fields
Tulips grow from the blood of kings
Violets grow from the ashes of beauties,
From captivating moles between the eyebrows.“

Omar Khayyam Persian poet.

Tulips in Red Book of Kazakhstan.

Historical reference of the drooping tulip (Tulipa patens C.Agardh ex Schult. & Schult.f. (1829), Zhatagan kyzgaldak. A complete scientific description of the species was published in 1829 by I. Schultes, although the priority of the discovery of this plant according to herbarium collections from Altai belongs to the Swedish botanist K.A. Agardu (1785 - 1859).
A year later, K.F. Ledebour described it as T. tricolor (T. tricolor Ledeb.). The oldest herbarium specimens stored at the Institute of Botany (Almaty), collected by G.S. Karelin and I.P. Kirillov on the territory of Kazakhstan in 1840. In subsequent reference books, Tulipa tricolor is classified as synonymous with Tulipa patens.
A brief description of patens tulip. Bulb up to 1.5 cm in diameter, with a thin skin, brown scales, from the inside at the top and base with pubescent adpressed hairs. Stem glabrous, thin, smooth, with 2 - 3 spaced belt-like leaves. Flower solitary, rarely 2-3, drooping in bud.
The tepals are white or pinkish, sometimes bright lilac-pink, always with a yellow spot at the bottom. Filaments yellow, subulate, with a hairy ring at the base, anthers small, 3-4 mm long, half as long as the filaments.
Fruit up to 3.6 cm long and 1.5 cm wide, slightly pointed at the apex. The number of normally developed seeds reaches 198. Reproduction is seed, rarely vegetative.
Phenology of patens tulip. Blossoms from mid-April to the end of the second decade of May, bears fruit in June.
Ecology of patens tulip. Steppe and semi-desert communities on rubbly and clayey slopes, often on salt licks.
Distribution of patens tulip in Kazakhstan. The entire north-eastern part of Kazakhstan (Kostanay, North Kazakhstan, Akmola, Karaganda, Ulytau, Abay and East Kazakhstan regions). The cultivation of the drooping tulip.
Tested in Tashkent, Kyiv, Moscow, St. Petersburg and other Russian cities. In Kazakhstan, it is successfully grown in Leninogorsk, Karaganda and Almaty. Seedlings in our experiment bloomed for the first time at the 7th year of life.
Practical meaning of the patens tulip. A highly decorative species, promising for rock gardens and landscape gardening, especially forms with lilac-pink flowers. There are no data on the use in breeding.
Protection of patens tulip in Kazakhstan. It is included in the Red Book of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Part of the population is protected on the territory of the Naurzum, Kurgaldzhinsky and West Altai reserves.


Photos by
Alexander Petrov.