Friday, May 09, 2014

Wild Tulips

Here and there in Princeton, you'll find populations of wild tulip. That would be the yellow one on the right in this photo. Though it's called wild, it's not native, and only grows in "wild" areas of people's yards. What it lacks in flamboyance it makes up for with an elegance and grace not always found in the more domesticated forms.

Here's the big show that the more common tulips provide, at a church across from the high school, like a cheering section for the Magnolia grandiflora in the middle. (related post here)

And here's the more casual look of the wild tulip, which unlike other tulips can spread. These were planted along Nassau Street near the intersection with Harrison, and look a lot better than grass this time of year.

The tulips I remember from childhood were like neither the wild tulip nor the large varieties sold today. They grew along the driveway in my parents' garden, came back year after year like old friends, and had a poignancy that may have had to do with their smaller size, tight form and rich, subtle colors. Rather than massed, each tulip was an individualist, unique.

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