Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Best in somewhat gritty soils and generally tolerant of poor soils as long as drainage is good. Plant bulbs 5-6” deep in fall. Remove flower stems promptly after bloom to prevent seed formation, but leave foliage in place until it yellows. This species tulip is stoloniferous and will naturalize itself in the garden and perform well over a longer period of years than most of the hybrid tulips sold in commerce today.
Native to rocky fields in Crete, Tulipa saxatilis is a low-growing species tulip (Division 15) that produces mildly fragrant, flattened cup-shaped, pale lilac flowers (1-4 flowers per stem) with yellow inside basal blotches edged with white. Fully open flowers have a star-like appearance. Flowers appear on 8-10" stems in April. Glossy green leaves.
No serious insect or disease problems. Gray mold, stem rot and basal rot are occasional problems.
Rock gardens. Also effective in beds, border fronts or around trees or shrubs. This compact tulip is effective in small groupings of at least 12-15 bulbs or massed into larger drifts. Can be naturalized in cottage gardens or wild gardens.