Bright Yellow, Little Candlestick Tulips

Yellow miniature Candlestick tulips in rocky garden.

Continuing on with this Native, Wildflower, Botanical and Species Tulips series, we’ll now look more at these lovely, little Candlestick tulips. They keep good company with the Persian Pearls and the Lady Jane miniature tulips.

Little yellow Candlestick tulip growing adjacent to barrel cactus.
Candlestick tulip next to spiky cactus.

Candlestick, (Tulip.Tubergen’s Gem Tulip) is another hardy little species tulip. This miniature variety is really pretty. With its dark yellow and red blushing petals, it does give the appearance of little candle sticks.

Seeing these bright, little tulips dot the xeriscape gardens in early spring can’t help but make you smile. The yellow is so vibrant against the still somewhat sparse gardens landscape.

They can keep interesting company often popping up right next to spiky cactus plants. To say that they sometimes have prickly neighbors is an understatement!

Whimsical Foliage – Low to Ground Growers

With their long whimsical foliage they appear to undulate out along the rocky gardens much like the tentacles of an octopus. As low to ground growers, they reach out like little limbs.

Growing and spreading naturally, like the Lady Janes and Persian Pearls, these appear to be a bit more prolific. Perhaps the garden conditions are perfect for this variety of native tulips? Over the last few seasons, I’ve noticed how their “drifts” have expanded. You still see the solitary few, but the fact that they multiply naturally is really cool.

In the photos below you can get a sense of their foliage. And I particularly enjoyed capturing the photo. of them with the Grape Hyacinths. The color contrast of yellow Candlesticks with the purples in the background was quite striking.

Little Candlestick tulips with their whimsical, tentacle-like foliage.
Candlestick miniature tulips with their whimsical, tentacle-like foliage.
Yellow petite tulips opening in early spring.

Despite the rocks and mulch, xeriscape gardens in spring are a vibrant ecosystem – even if the flowers are small and low to the ground!

No Stranger to the Unpredictable Spring Elements

Candlestick tulip bud poking through spring snow.
A Candlestick tulip bud pokes through the spring snow.

Like their hardy brethren, Candlestick tulips can also endure the spring elements. Given their origins, they appear to be well suited. Small in size, they still bravely poke through the spring snow in their quest to bloom!

After an April snowstorm the gardens were blanketed with several inches of snow. The warmer temps allow the snow to melt rather quickly – but you can still capture a few unique photos if you get to the gardens earlier enough.

Since these tulips are quite small, you need to take a good look around lest you miss a unique photo op.

You gotta hand it to these hardy little fellas!

Variations in Color…

The bright yellow color appears to be the staple for this variety. However, for the first time I came across a small cluster that stood out from the others. They were more of a blush color as in the photo to the right below. You can see the side by side difference in the color variations. Perhaps next season there will be an expanding drift of these blush-colored tulips?

Bright yellow wildflower tulips in xeriscape garden.
A bright yellow, minature Candlestick tulip above and a blush-colored variety to the right.
Blush colored little Candlestick wildflower tulip in rocky garden.

Bees Gravitate to Candlestick Tulips

Yellow Candlestick tulips with hovering bee.
A honey bee hovering over bright yellow Candlestick tulips in early spring.

With food still in short supply this early in spring, bees gravitate to these bight yellow beauties. Bees don’t appear to be as interested in the Lady Janes and Persian Pearls – but perhaps it’s the bright yellow of the Candlesticks that attracts them? Either way, I love when a bee drops in for a bite and I can capture a photo 🙂

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