Wild Tulip. Photo: It Fryske Gea.

Wild Tulip. Photo: It Fryske Gea.

The Wild Tulip is native to Southern Europe, the Balkans, and Asia Minor. It is not a forest plant as  the name suggests it. The plant flourishes in a sunny spot and prefers a somewhat heavier soil. Sylvestris should be interpreted as wild as opposed to cultivated (sativus, literally sown). The Wild Tulip is called in France, ‘Tulipe de vigne’ Vineyard Tulip. In some places in vineyards in Germany, France and Switzerland, the Wild Tulip is still present. The soil between the grape vines on the slopes is cultivated and that is beneficial for the Wild Tulip. This illustrates what has already been mentioned for the Snowdrop namely that many of these bulbous plants spread more easily when they grow on a slope with a loose soil structure. In the sixteenth century, several of the plants that we now identify as Stinzenplants were present at the fringes of arable fields. The fields were in those days not heavily fertilised, but still enriched and on the margins of the cultivated arable fields conditions were favourable for these plants to grow. The Wild Tulip can multiply strongly vegetatively (through the production of young bulbs). This does not mean that the plant also blooms abundantly. In some places you only see the leaf of the tulip, but no flowers. Some disturbance of the soil and sufficient sun can promote flowering.

Along the alley/old entrance driveway of the Dekema State, which is lined with beautiful Lime trees, many Wild Tulips flower, especially on the south side of the driveway, and  are accompanied by Drooping Star-of-Betlehem. This is a beautiful sight.

The Dekema State (alley/old entrance driveway), Jongemastate, Martenastate and the Martenatuin (Franeker) are interesting places to see the Wild Tulip.