If the size of a tulip flower may be compared to the size of an egg, then the size of the flower of the Casa Grande tulip should be similar to a baseball or a pomegranate. No kidding! Usually, I try not to plant fiery colored tulips because our favorite color schemes are in the cooler shades. However, I could not resist the photo of the Casa Grande when I first saw it in last season’s catalogue.
This tulip is definitely over the top, both in color and in size. While the image shows a predominantly scarlet flower, an up close observation of the bulb in bloom will reveal delicate flaming streaks of pale purple hidden inside the flesh of the outer petals. Each plant is a traffic stopping torch.
More importantly, what makes this a valuable addition to any garden is the fact that it is a species tulip, part of the Greigii family. Like most tulips in that category, it will behave like a perennial and re bloom for years to come. With time, it will naturalize in the garden as it slowly multiplies in number.
It may seem odd to some readers that I write about tulips not only after they have finished blooming but also so far in advance of the planting season. The reason for this untimely activity lies in the fact that the bulb catalogues for next falls planting have just been released. Botanus, where I purchased Casa Grande last season, is offering this unusual and electrifying tulip once again. Gardeners who love hot colors and enjoy the dramatic will not be disappointed. Now is a good time to plan the purchases of next season's spring flowering bulbs while the memory of this year's bloomings are still fresh in our minds.