The Sharon tulip is a perennial bulb and member of the Lily family, Liliaceae, that also includes dog’s tooth violet and fritillaria.  It is native to the Middle East where it is found in forests and scrub along the coastal plain from Syria to Israel and in Cyprus. The plant grows 12-18″ tall and has lanceolate leave up to 10″ long. In spring solitary  flowers appear with 3  relatively longer outer tepals  (1.6-3.5″ long) and 3 relatively shorter inner tepals (1-2.8 long).  All of the tepals are  oval, tapered with curled tips, and red with a pointed, yellow-edged, black to dark olive green blotch in the center that covers 1/3-1/2 of the base of the tepal.  Sharon tulip is one of the few tulips that is able to do well in a warm climate without a chill period and makes a lovely addition to a rock garden.  The genus name, Tulipa, is the latinized version of the Turkish word for turban, tulbend, referring to the resemblance of the flower to a turban.  The specific epithet, agenensis, refers to the French town of Agen, where a wild colony of the plant was found.  The specific epithet, sharonensis, refers to the Sharon Plain on the coast of Israel, another place where the plant is found.  Photo Credit Gideon Pisanty Wikamedia Commons

Type: Bulb forming perennial

Bloom: Solitary red flowers with yellow edged dark green to black blotch in the center

Size: 12-18″ H

Light: Full sun

Soil: Sandy, medium moist to dry, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 4-10

Care: Let foliage mature naturally after flowering

Pests and Diseases: Botrytis tulipae, aphids, slugs, caterpillars, mites, slugs

Propagation: Division of offsets

Companion Plants: Perennial candytuft, Salvia, Anemone blanda

Outstanding Selections: None

Photo Credit: Dror Feitelson Wikimedia Commons

By Karen