Last fall I wrote about the heirloom tulips I was planting, Tulipa acuminata and Tulipa 'Elegans Rubra'. The latter, of which I got only one pricey bulb, unfortunately did not make it. For whatever reason, the bulb rotted away, even though it was planted in fairly sandy soil in a raised bed. Had it lived, maybe it would have looked somewhat like this Ottoman beauty named 'Hüseynî':
An Ottoman 'Istanbul Tulip' named 'Hüseynî' from the Lale Mecmuası or "Tulip Album" of 1725
Luckily, the five Tulipa acuminata planted right next to 'Elegans Rubra' have come up just fine and are now just beginning to bloom.
A flower of Tulipa acuminata
A view of the whole plant
Tulipa acuminata certainly seems to come closest in flower and leaf shape to the historic "Istanbul Tulips" and its coloring of pale yellow streaked in bright red is reminiscent of that of a number of recorded 18th-century Ottoman varieties.
A variety named 'İbrahim Bey Ali'
The variety 'Ali-Şan', meaning "of great splendor"
'Mir'ât', meaning "mirror"
'Muhayyiru'l-ukûl' or "reviver of minds"
Could Tulipa acuminata be one of these?
Baytop, Turhan. İstanbul lalesi. Ankara: Kültür Bakanlığı, 1992.