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Tulipa praestans

Tulipa praestans, Photo: Michael Lahanas

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Liliales

Familia: Liliaceae
Subfamilia: Lilioideae
Genus: Tulipa
Subgenus: T. subg. Tulipa
Sectio: Tulipa sect. Eichleres
Series: Tulipa ser. Multiflorae
Species: Tulipa praestans

Tulipa praestans Tubergen ex Mast., 1903.

Masters, M.T. 1903. Gard. Chron. ser. 3, 33(856): 325 (324-325; fig. 126).

Vernacular names
svenska: Anemontulpan

Tulipa praestans is a species of tulip native to the mountains of Tadzhikistan.[2] Many well known cultivars have been formed from the original plant.[4]


It is a low-growing species tulip,[5] and has 25–45 cm (10–18 in) tall stems.[4] It has 3 to 7 grey-green leaves that are downy and fringed with hairs (ciliate).[4][5] It can have one flower (normally in the wild,[4]) or it can produce multiple flowers per bulb,[6] meaning it can have a pair of flowers or up to a maximum of five flowers per bulb.[4] It blooms in April,[5] with cup shaped flowers.[5][6] The flowers are 5–6.5 cm (2–3 in) wide, in orange-red,[4] orange-scarlet,[5] or scarlet.[6] The anthers are yellow or purple.[4]

The specific epithet praestans, refers to the Latin for 'remarkable',[7]' pre - eminent , superior , excellent or distinguished'.[8]

T. praestans was originally described and published by Carl Anton von Meyer in The Gardeners' Chronicle Series 3, Vol.33 on page 239 in 1903.[3][9]
Distribution and habitat

It is native to temperate areas of Central Asia.[9][4][10]

It is found in Tajikistan,[9] in the Pamir-Alay mountain system.[6][4]

It grows on rocky slopes, screes, and in light woodland,[6] at an altitude of 3,000 m (9,800 ft) above sea level.[6][5]
Tulipa praestans 'Fusilier'

The following cultivars represent praestans in cultivation: 'Fuselier' always has

T. praestans Fuselier;[11] grows up to 30cm tall, with grey-green, lance-shaped leaves and stems in mid spring,[12] bearing between three to five,[4] cup shaped, brilliant red,[12] or bright red flowers,[13] that can measure to 12cm across.[12] It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[14] It is valued by gardeners for its low growth height and habit of producing many flowers per bulb. 'Fusilier' even has a sport, 'Unicum'.[15]

T. praestans 'Unicum',[16] with the leaves edged in cream.[15]

T. praestans 'Moondance',[17] - has deep orange flowers which are relatively large and have pointy petals.[10]

T. praestans 'Zwanenburg' - Anna Pavord in her book The Tulip describes ‘Zwanenburg’ as having “.......particularly striking flowers of a rich, clear red, which open more widely than other varieties”. A taller variety at 35cm.[5]

T. praestans 'Shogun' - blooming in mid- to late spring, has single, cup-shaped, yellow-orange flowers, flushed red at the base.[18]

T. praestans 'Tubergen's Variety' - has two to five flowers generally with a basal yellow suffusion and is a good doer, persisting in light soils without annual lifting.[4]


All parts may cause severe discomfort if ingested. Contact may cause a skin reaction.[18]

Gard. Chron., ser. 3, 33: 239 (1903)
"Tulipa praestans H.B.May". Plants of the World Online. Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2020.
"Tulipa praestans H.B.May is an accepted name". (The Plant List). 23 March 2012. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
"Tulipa praestans". Alpine Garden Society. Retrieved 9 April 2021.
"Tulipa praestans 'Zwanenburg'". Retrieved 19 April 2020.
"Tulipa Species Three | Pacific Bulb Society". Retrieved 9 April 2021.
Stephen Henning The Charaxinae Butterflies of Africa (1989), p. 128, at Google Books
Robert Samuel Rudolph The Old English Synonyms for "brave" (1967), p. 17, at Google Books
"Taxon: Tulipa praestans Mast". Retrieved 18 April 2020.
"Moondance Praestans Perennial Tulip 10 Bulbs - Multi Flowering - 10/11 cm Bulbs". Retrieved 18 April 2020.
"Tulipa praestans 'Fusilier' (Botanical Tulip)". Retrieved 18 April 2020.
"Tulips that come back year after year". Retrieved 19 April 2020.
"Tulipa praestans 'Fusilier' - Plant Finder". Retrieved 18 April 2020.
"Tulipa praestans 'Fusilier' (15)". The Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 1 September 2020.
Wilford, Richard (8 April 2015). The Plant Lover's Guide to Tulips. p. 89. ISBN 9781604696899.
"PlantFiles: Species Tulip". Dave's Garden. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
"Tulipa praestans 'Moondance' (15)". Retrieved 18 April 2020.

"Tulipa praestans 'Shogun' (Tulip 'Shogun')". Retrieved 19 April 2020.

Other sources

Christenhusz, M. J. M. et al. 2013. Tiptoe through the tulips – cultural history, molecular phylogenetics and classification of Tulipa (Liliaceae). Bot. * J. Linn. Soc. 172:319. Note: lists as Tulipa praestans H. B. May
Czerepanov, S. K. 1995. Vascular plants of Russia and adjacent states (the former USSR) Cambridge University Press. Note: lists as Tulipa praestans Hoog
Encke, F. et al. 1993. Zander: Handwörterbuch der Pflanzennamen, 14. Auflage Note: lists as Tulipa praestans Hoog
Groth, D. 2005. pers. comm. Note: re. Brazilian common names
Huxley, A., ed. 1992. The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening Note: lists as Tulipa praestans Hoog
Komarov, V. L. et al., eds. 1934-1964. Flora SSSR. Note: lists as Tulipa praestans Hoog
Walters, S. M. et al., eds. 1986-2000. European garden flora. Note: lists as Tulipa praestans Hoog

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