Starting around mid-April and lasting through mid-May, you can see lots of different varieties of tulips on Zoo grounds to commemorate our 100th anniversary. What was once a yearly tradition 20+ years ago while the Men’s Garden Club of Bridgeport was located on grounds has been partially recreated for this year. The flowers will however continue to bloom for years to come. In all six different tulip blends from Colorblends Wholesale Flowerbulbs are scattered throughout the center of the zoo grounds.
Tulips can tell temperature. They open their flowers as temperatures rise and close them when the temperature falls, A closed flower protects the pollen until the warmer weather brings the pollinators buzzing around. This known as thermonasty, a trait they share with Crocus.
Usually when someone thinks of where tulips come from, they think of the Netherlands as the answer which might be true now as a product, but the wild varieties originally were found in Turkey and Central Asia. The bulb of a tulip is purely intended for energy storage so most can be expected to rebloom for a few years after planting if they are cared for properly, the more naturalizing tulips are more closely related to the wild varieties from Turkey.
DESCRIPTION: Tulips are a genus of spring-blooming herbaceous bulbs that can be found blooming almost any color. They are members of the lily family and are divided into 75 different species. They bloom between 4 to 28 inches high. Tulips usually has one single large and symmetric terminal flower but some can have up to four blooms on one stem.
Tulips start waking up just as the crocuses flowers fade and they overlap with most daffodils with the later blooming first.
RANGE: Tulips originate from the country of Turkey but are now most closely associated with the Netherlands and can now be found worldwide.
HABITAT: Tulips are indigenous to mountain ranges with temperate climates. They flourish in climates that have long, cool springs and dry summers. Tulips are most found in meadows, steppes and chaparral, but also introduced in fields, orchards, roadsides and gardens.
FAMILY LIFE: When the soil begins to thaw in March, you can see a healthy green shoot coming out from a tulip bulb. By early or mid April, the tulips would start to bloom. The flowering season of tulips continue till the mid of May. During the flowering season, the leaves of the tulips develop and need to turn brown before cutting them back to increase the chances of a bloom the following year.
Tulips are self-pollinating but can cross-pollinated which would rely on insects, the wind, humans or animals to carry pollen from one tulip bloom to another.
LIFE SPAN: On average a tulip bulb can live anywhere from one to ten years reliably depending on species and variety.
STATUS: Not extinct