Tulipa saxatilis

Common Name: candia tulip 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Native Range: East Aegean Islands, Crete, Turkey
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Rosy pink to pale lilac
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Good Cut
Tolerate: Black Walnut


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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tulipa saxatilis is native to rocky fields in Crete. It 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.

Genus name comes the Latinized version of the Turkish name tulbend meaning a turban.

Specific epithet means found among rocks.


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.