Persian Pearls Wildflower Tulips

Whimsical miniature wildflower tulip buds in rocky garden.

In this Native, Wildflower, Botanical and Species Tulips series, rather than lumping them together in one post as done previously, I’m featuring select varieties in individual posts. Given some of the beautiful photos I’ve been able to capture this season (IMHO), I believe they are worthy of each taking the center stage.

This series will include varieties such as Persian Pearls, Lady Janes, Candlesticks, Red Riding Hoods and other species tulip varieties. Some I may not know the name exactly, but I’ve done my best to figure it out.

These posts may be coming a bit closer to summer than early spring when they usually show up. But travels to New Mexico have side-lined my post schedule of late. So now it’s time for some serious catch-up as the summer blooms are close at hand!!

Persian Pearls – Hardy Spring Bloomers

Magenta Persian Pearls miniature tulips
Magenta Persian Pearls tulips in early spring.

Like the hardy spring bloomers that go before them like Dwarf Iris, and Grape Hyacinths that color the Xeriscape gardens, these different varieties of Wildflower Tulips command your attention. They may be miniature in size, but beautifully colorful and whimsical none-the-less.

That being said, I’ll begin this Tulips series with Persian Pearls. These have become a personal favorite of the wildflower, native variety. They also appear to be the first ones to show up in the xeriscape gardens in early spring.

With their magenta, opalescence-like flower petals and bright yellow centers, they sparkle in the morning sun.

Seeing them up close, they are so pretty and like little exotic gems!

Unlike their conventional tulip brethren – which you usually see in perfectly orchestrated rows, Wild, Native and or Botanical species of tulips multiply and or naturalize on their own!! So these easy to grow tulips multiply every year. Given room to roam they do spread! I can attest to the validity of this as I’ve observed this expansion over the last few seasons of photographing these little flower fellas. 

Side by side Persian Pearl magenta and yellow miniature tulips.
Persian Pearls side-by-side with their vibrant magenta flower petals.

As much as I do love all the incredible varieties of commercial and hybridized tulips, I’ve grown more fond of these miniature, native ones. I love the textural contrast of their viibrant colors against the stark, rocky gardens. The opportunities to get up close and personal to photograph them has left its mark – in a good way!

Thriving in Rocky Gardens

Being that they are non-hybridized, they just do their thing. Given the following description, these guys are like the endurance athletes of the tulip world… “While many hybrid tulips lose their vigor and decline over a few years, you can count on species tulips to multiply and form drifts in areas that have good drainage.”

Magenta and yellow Persian Pearl wildflower tulips.
Persian Pearl miniature tulips in rocky garden opening to the warming sun in spring.

“These Mediterranean and Asian natives tend to be petite, sporting flowers that open wide on sunny days and close up at night and on cloudy days. Originating in rocky, mountainous terrain, species tulips are made to deal with droughts and won’t tolerate wet soils.”

Given the nature of the xeriscape gardens where I photograph them you see how this unfolds and why they are perfectly suited for the rocky gardens. 

Miniature tulip buds with snow.
Persian Pearls tulip buds enduring the unpredictable spring elements.

Please DON’T Do This!!

I was particularly excited for a cluster of Persian Pearls I had been observing. There were at least 8-10 buds days away from opening. It was right before Easter and I knew with the right timing I would catch their initial blooming. Knowing how beautiful these little gems are, I was ready to capture some of the first photos of them of the season. Last year did not yield hardly any of them at all so this was a big deal.

Magenta pink Persain Pearl wildflower tulip buds.
Persian Pearls buds about to open.
Tulips that had been initentionaly cut from public gardens.
Tulips cut and stolen from garden!!

Well I was robbed of this highly anticipated moment! Apparently someone felt it necessary to cut off ALL OF THE PERSIAN PEARLS from this cluster! I was devastated! The before and after photos above show what I was looking forward to and then the carnage!

It’s bad enough that now ALL of the White Sands Claret Cup cactus plants have now been stolen from these public gardens, but cutting and stealing the tulips – I was furious!!

Sometimes people really suck!! They NEED to leave Nature alone so all who come to the gardens can enjoy it! Hopefully there will be a bumper crop of Persian Pearls next year. But till then I will have to wait…


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