China Town

'China Town'
Viridiflora Tulip


"I was a court lady!" quoth the dashing Tulip, "& my whole life was but one mocking delusion. I had rank, riches, beauty, & talent. I possessed all that makes the happiness & pride of a husband, the brightness of a cheerful home; but all this was nothing to me. The priceless gifts of heaven were lavished upon an empty-hearted selfish crowd, & the husband I had loved, the sainted home of my children, were sacrificed for the sake of false friends & frivolous pleasures. But when my youth had faded, & with it the power of my worldly reign, I had no home to turn to. The love I once possessed was long forfeited, & I saw nothing around me but the spectres of my misspent life.

-Stephanie Wohl,
Budapest, 1873

   

Viridiflora is not a species designation but indicates hybrid tulips with green flames or streaks. The multiply award-winning 'China Town' does best in full hot sun. In eary April it has lovely fat buds, white with ragged green flames.

Mid-April through May blooms are have white-edges & two shades of pink (pale pink, & paler pink) with large green flames. Their first couple of days in full flower they are very pale, almost white with pink flushes, but they very soon brighten into a rich icy pink. I generally prefer botanical tulips over hybrids, but this hybrid viridiflora is just tremendous.

China TownIt actually shows color even before budding, because at mid-February, when the leaves first poke an inch above the soil, they are as pink as flower-buds, & might be mistaken for such. But a couple days later when more of the leaf is showing, only the very rims of the leaves are bright pink. The pink edging soon fades to creamy white, & the leaves remain variegated even after the blooms are spent.

Although green tulips have been around since the earliest 1700s, they were only modernly given their own division. Modern Viridifloras mutated from Cottage tulips (or Single Late tulips). They are noted for exceptionally long-lasting flowers, for which reason they have risen from the ranks of mere novelties to preferred varieties.

We placed ten 'China Town' bulbs just under the dripline of Rhododendron 'The Honorable Jean Marie de Montague' in an area heavily planted with bulbs, including Honey Garlic (Nectaroscordum x siculum), Cypraen fritillary (Fritillaria acmopetala), Blue Camas (Camassia quamash), 'Lilac Wonder' tulip (T. bakeri ) & several kinds of daffodils including white scented 'Thalia,' fluffy-blossomed 'Rip van Winkle,' double-blooming 'Yellow Cheerfulness,' miniature yellow bicolored 'Tete a Tete,' & others in an extragagant hodgepodge.

   



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