What’s in Bloom
Turkestan Tulip (Tulipa turkestanica)
In contrast to the taller and brighter tulips most commonly associated with spring, the Turkestan Tulip is a smaller plant, growing to only 8-10” tall, with white flowers only 2” in diameter when fully open. The Turkestan Tulip is what many refer to as a “species” or “wild” tulip, as it is a form which occurs naturally in nature, as opposed to the more commonly planted tulips which are the result of multiple generations of hybridizing and cross-breeding. Though they are decidedly less impressive, wild tulips are often planted solely for the reason that they have much stronger perennial tendencies than other tulips, usually putting on a strong year of flowering year after year, whereas most common tulip varieties begin to show clear signs of decline following their first year of flowering.
The Turkestan Tulip, naturally occurring in Northwest China and the Turkestan region, can currently be seen flowering in the Urban Arboretum.
Star Magnolia (Magnolia stellata)
Native to Japan, the Star Magnolia is an ornamental, spring blooming tree long cultivated in the United States and elsewhere. The Star Magnolia flowers “precociously”, meaning its white, fragrant flowers actually appear before the tree leafs out. The Greenway’s Star Magnolia is currently flowering in the Urban Arboretum, its white flowers contrast nicely with the dark, evergreen foliage of the Blue Princess Meserve Hollies (Ilex x meserveae ‘Conapry’) planted behind it. Those seeking an impressive display of Star and other spring-blooming magnolias should also be sure to visit Commonwealth Avenue, particularly in the areas where it intersects the Back Bay neighborhood.
Yoshino Cherry (Prunus x yedoensis)
The Yoshino Cherry is a spring-flowering ornamental tree growing at maturity to approximately 20-30’ tall. It is similar in form to the Okame Cherry, however it tends to flower white rather than pink, though pink flowered varieties of Yoshino Cherries are available as well.
Yoshino Cherries can currently be seen flowering in Chinatown Park, and in the Northern Region of the Fort Point Channel Parks as well.