Spring Flowering Bulbs: The Wonderful Wildflower Tulips

by David Salman

Tulipa 'Little Beauty'Tulipa 'Little Beauty'

The fall-planted, spring-blooming flower bulb planting season is just around the corner. I always order my bulbs in August or September, and wait to plant until the first couple of frosts in the fall. In USDA Zone 6 Santa Fe, this usually in late October. I always remind folks that when you see the bulbs blooming in spring, it’s too late to get them planted. You have to plant in the fall to get color in the spring.

What I like best about bulbs is the ease of their care. Few other groups of plants provide so much with so little effort. I always say I’m planting myself a “spring surprise.” Invariably, you forget what and where you planted your bulbs, so all through the spring, it‘s a continuous source of pleasure and delight to see all the bright colors and cheery combinations you’ve created.

Spring flowering bulbs are outstanding companion plants to mix into your perennial flower beds. The bulbs provide the early season color, as well as nectar for pollinators, and go dormant as the perennials are growing upwards and coming into bloom.

Tulipa bakeri 'Lilac Wonder'
'Lilac Wonder' Wildflower Tulip (Tulipa bakeri)

High Country Gardens specializes in perennial Fall-Planted, Spring-Blooming Flower Bulbs. It seems we all are more time constrained than ever, so it makes sense to plant bulbs that come back year after year, more numerous and beautiful.

For this reason, one of my favorite spring bulb groups would be the Wildflower Tulips. These smaller growers will amaze you with their huge flowers in many extravagant colors. They are strong naturalizers (meaning they increase in numbers during each growing season by propagating more bulbs) and are an essential source of early season nectar and pollen for hungry honey and native bees.

My favorite Wildflower Tulip varieties that we currently offer include ‘Lilac Wonder’‘Little Princess’ and ‘Little Beauty’.

Plant wildflower tulips into blue blooming groundcovers like Veronica liwanensis (Turkish Speedwell) and Veronica pectinata (Wooly Speedwell) to create a blooming carpet decorated with the tulips that push up through them in spring. Easy and colorful!

Shop Tulip Bulbs

  1. Pink and Blue Tulip Bulbs, Tulipa, Wildflower Tulip Bulbs Little Beauty

    Tulipa humilis Little Beauty has rich, reddish-pink petals and a bright blue-eyed center. A wonderful hybrid companion to 'Little Princess', this vigorous variety is a delight in the...

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    Little Beauty Wildflower Tulip Little Beauty Wildflower Tulip Tulipa humilis Little Beauty
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $9.99 Sale $8.99
    Per Bag of 15

    Tulipa humilis Little Beauty has rich, reddish-pink petals and a bright blue-eyed center. A wonderful hybrid companion to 'Little Princess', this vigorous variety is a delight in the garden. Fragrant. Looks wonderful planted in large groups.

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  2. Wild Tulip Bronze Charm, Tulipa Bronze Charm

    Wildflower Tulip Bronze Charm (Tulipa batalinii Bronze Charm) is a wildflower type tulip in delicate shades of peachy-apricot that lighten to a bronzy yellow as the flower opens. We ...

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    Bronze Charm Wildflower Tulip Bronze Charm Wildflower Tulip Tulipa batalinii Bronze Charm
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $8.99 Sale $8.09
    Per Bag of 9

    Wildflower Tulip Bronze Charm (Tulipa batalinii Bronze Charm) is a wildflower type tulip in delicate shades of peachy-apricot that lighten to a bronzy yellow as the flower opens. We love the wildflower tulips for their beautiful colors and vigorous naturalizing habit. They can be mixed with other flowers, but we find them most expressive when planted where they can colonize an area.

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  3. Pink and Yellow Tulip bakeri Bulbs Lilac Wonder, Tulipa bakeri, Wildflower Tulip Bulbs Lilac Wonder

    Lilac Wonder Tulip is an unusual and distinctive wildflower tulip with gorgeous mauve-pink petals surrounding a soft yellow center. A long lived, vigorous grower....

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    Lilac Wonder Wildflower Tulip Lilac Wonder Wildflower Tulip Tulipa bakeri Lilac Wonder
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $10.49 Sale $9.44
    Per Bag of 15
    Lilac Wonder Tulip is an unusual and distinctive wildflower tulip with gorgeous mauve-pink petals surrounding a soft yellow center. A long lived, vigorous grower.
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  4. Magenta  and Yellow pulchella Bulbs Persian Pearl, Tulipa praestans, Tulip pulchella Bulbs Persian Pearl

    Persian Pearl Wildflower Tulip has showy purple-red petals and a bright yellow center. Like most of the wildflower tulips, Tulipa humilis Persian Pearl multiplies itself readily....

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    Persian Pearl Wildflower Tulip Persian Pearl Wildflower Tulip Tulipa humilis Persian Pearl
    Sale Price I Save 10%
    $10.99 Sale $9.89
    Per Bag of 15
    Persian Pearl Wildflower Tulip has showy purple-red petals and a bright yellow center. Like most of the wildflower tulips, Tulipa humilis Persian Pearl multiplies itself readily.
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Shop Groundcovers

  1. Blue Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Ceratostigma plumbaginoides, Hardy Plumbago

    Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is one of the most versatile groundcovers for cold climates growing in both sun and shade and most soil types. Plumbago blooms in late su...

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    Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma) Hardy Plumbago, Leadwort Ceratostigma plumbaginoides
    As low as $8.79 Sale $8.35
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma plumbaginoides) is one of the most versatile groundcovers for cold climates growing in both sun and shade and most soil types. Plumbago blooms in late summer with deep blue flowers followed by the foliage that turns burgundy red in fall.
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  2. Vic Bruno's Albuquerque Thyme Lawn

    1" tall x 18" wide. Pink Chintz Thyme (Thymus Pink Chintz) is a tight, low growing creeping thyme with thick stems of woolly green foliage that blooms in mid-spring with a profusion ...

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    Pink Chintz Creeping Thyme Pink Chintz Creeping Thyme Thymus serpyllum Pink Chintz
    As low as $7.99 Sale $7.59
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    1" tall x 18" wide. Pink Chintz Thyme (Thymus Pink Chintz) is a tight, low growing creeping thyme with thick stems of woolly green foliage that blooms in mid-spring with a profusion of salmon-pink flowers.
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  3. Blue and White Veronica pectinata, Veronica pectinata, Blue Woolly Speedwell

    Veronica pectinata (Woolly Speedwell) is one of our finest groundcovers. Growing with long stems of wooly evergreen foliage, the plants cover themselves with blue blooms, aging to la...

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    Blue Woolly Veronica Blue Woolly Speedwell Veronica pectinata
    As low as $7.99
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Veronica pectinata (Woolly Speedwell) is one of our finest groundcovers. Growing with long stems of wooly evergreen foliage, the plants cover themselves with blue blooms, aging to lavender-blue flowers in early to mid-spring. 2" tall x 18" wide.
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  4. Red and White Callirhoe involucrata, Callirhoe involucrata, Poppy Mallow, Winecups

    Commonly known as Poppy Mallow or Wine Cups, Callirhoe involucrata is a native wildflower that decorates the garden with a summer-long display of bright magenta-pink flowers. A spraw...

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    Purple Poppy Mallow (Callirhoe) Poppy Mallow, Winecups Callirhoe involucrata
    $8.99
    Per Plant - 2.5" Pot
    Commonly known as Poppy Mallow or Wine Cups, Callirhoe involucrata is a native wildflower that decorates the garden with a summer-long display of bright magenta-pink flowers. A sprawling grower, Callirhoe involucrata's long branches spread out across the ground to create a colorful mat of flowers and foliage. Drought resistant perennial plant (xeric).
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