Rocky Tulip

Tulipa saxatilis

The rocky tulip (Tulipa saxatilis) is a rare species of tulip scattered around Crete, Karpathos, Rhodos and southern Turkey. There is also the endemic rocky tulip of Baker (Tulipa saxatilis subsp. bakeri), that was initially separated from the saxatilis species, but in 2009 was reconsidered as a subspecies of saxatilis.

Tulipa saxatilis differs from Tulipa saxatilis subsp. bakeri in the color of the anthers, which are brownish. The only real difference between them is that Baker's tulip grows at higher altitudes (700-2200m), compared to Tulipa saxatilis (0-900m).

The rocky tulips grow on rocky slopes, crevices of calcareous cliffs, cultivated, fallow fields and flat clayey areas. In Crete, the largest colonies can be found in the plateaus of White Mountains and the Dikti Range.

The flowers start appearing from March through to April. They are dark pink and have a beautiful yellow center.

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