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© Sjaak de Groot

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15. Tulipa fosteriana

This species, shown here growing at the western end of the Zarafshan Mountains in Uzbekistan at 1,800m/5,900ft, is one of the ancestors of the Darwin hybrid tulips. A selected form of T. fosteriana named Madame Lefeber (Red Emperor) was crossed with Darwin or cottage tulips to create the Darwin hybrids, which have become the most important tulip class for garden and landscape use in the United States.

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