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TULIPA

SYLVESTRIS

L. IN SUFFOLK V.C.25

P. J. O . TRIST

H i n d (1889) gives nine stations for Tulipa sylvestris. Of the B a r t o n Park site, he records 'rarely flowering, though the leaves come up in great plenty'. The plants still survive on this site and there are also sites at Hacheston and Heveningham. T h e bell-shaped perianth is bright yellow with terminal p o i n t e d segments which have a green marking on the outside. Small bulbs are found very crowded in the upper layers of grass roots, whilst larger bulbs can be found at a depth of 15 cm. Close bunches of leaves form large patches as the plants spread by means of freely produced stolons so that the bulbs are linked. Active underground growth can be noted in early November. T h e wild tulip is very shy to flower and the bulbs will persist a n d multiply to grow leaves for many years without flowering. T h e remaining sites in the County are in lawn grass, on banks and tracks. Unfortunately some of these habitats are subjected to the lawn mower. The leaves of this bulb, like others, should be left to die back naturally to allow for storage in the bulb. T h e wild tulip is susceptible to frost and at the Hacheston site in early May of 1975, 1976 and 1977, a heavy frost withered most of the leaves and in 1975 affected the flowers. T h e site at Barton House lies within the grounds of what was at one time Barton Park. Several hundreds of wild tulip leaves were to be seen on the grass verge of the back drive of B a r t o n House and Mrs Audrey Thomas of Flint House, Gt. B a r t o n only recalls flowers at long intervals since about 1925. I first saw the plants on this site in 1971. There were no flowers and I learnt that none had been seen for many years. The grass verge was mown each year before the end of April which probably influenced the flowering. On advice, the leaves in a small a r e a were left to wilt naturally in 1972 and 1973. On April 17th 1974, one flower was seen. In 1976, this back drive was gravelled up to the outer boundary of the verge and became a drive to a new house and by 1978 few leaves were seen on this drive. H o w e v e r , all is not lost, as this drive is adjacent to a n o t h e r private house, still within the old park boundary. Stolons with bulbs have found their way from the drive under a hedge into a garden, to colonize a small patch of grass and a flower bed where 12 flowers were seen in 1978. A n o t h e r 7 Trans. S u f f . Nat. Vol. 18 part 1.


TULIPA SYLVESTRIS L. IN SUFFOLK VC.25

83

flowers were growing from transplanted bulbs in another part of the garden. Tulipa sylvestris No. offlowersrecorded 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978

Barton Park 0 1 1 5 12 + 7

Hacheston 2 2 0 0 1

The above Barton Park site refers to the garden of 'Brambles'. In a farmhouse garden at Heveningham, many wild tulip leaves were on lawns and under trees in 1974 when 6 flowers were recorded. At Hacheston, thefloweringprogress only shows occasional emergence. Here the leaves are seen on a ditch bank in a meadow behind the garden, on hedge banks in the garden and under a tree on the lawn. For many years the flowering has been negative. Advice was given in 1974 to move some bulbs to semi-shaded parts of the garden but as the record shows, the results remain similar. P. J. O. Trist, 28 High Street, Balsham, Cambs.

Trans. Suff. Nat. Vol. 18 part 1.

Tulipa sylvestris L. in Suffolk v.c.25.  
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