Eastern Star Tulip Tulipa humilis 'Eastern Star' (15)
Tulipa humilis 'Eastern Star' is a charming variety of tulip that is highly appreciated for its ornamental appearance. This delightful plant boasts beautifully shaped flowers that exude a delicate charm. The flowers of this cultivar typically showcase a vibrant, rich pink color with a softer pink to nearly white base and striking yellow centers, creating a subtle yet enchanting contrast that is sure to catch the eye. The petals are pointed and may gently curl outward, giving the blooms a star-like shape from which its name is derived. Enveloping the flowers are slender, green leaves that are often characterized by a lance-shaped or linear form. They arise from the base of the plant, providing a lush background that emphasizes the vivid hues of the blooms. As a spring-flowering plant, it is known for adding a burst of color to gardens during a time when other plants are just beginning to emerge from their winter dormancy. The overall aspect of 'Eastern Star' is one of simple elegance and joyful vibrancy, making it a prized selection for those looking to enhance their garden spaces with a touch of natural beauty.
About this plant
Eastern Star Tulip
Tulipa humilis 'Eastern Star'.
Tulips, including the variety 'Eastern Star', contain compounds that can be toxic if ingested. Tulips contain allergenic lactones or similar alkaloids. If any part of the plant is eaten, symptoms of tulip poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and salivation. In more severe cases, ingestion may lead to dizziness, palpitations, or even to difficulty breathing. Handling the plant can sometimes cause skin irritation due to its allergenic properties.
Tulips, including the 'Eastern Star' variety, are toxic to pets if ingested. They contain compounds like tulipalin A and B, which can cause gastrointestinal upset. Symptoms in pets after ingestion can include vomiting, drooling, or diarrhea. With large ingestions, more serious symptoms such as depression of the central nervous system, increased heart rate, difficulty breathing, or even seizures may occur. It is especially important to prevent pets with a tendency to chew on plants from accessing tulips.
Color of leaves
4-6 inches (10-15 cm)
3 inches (7.5 cm)
- General Benefits
- Aesthetic Appeal: Adds vibrant color and aesthetic appeal to gardens with its striking red-purple flowers edged with a golden yellow margin.
- Easy to Grow: It is considered relatively easy to cultivate and maintain, making it suitable for novice gardeners.
- Pollinator Attraction: Attracts beneficial pollinators such as bees and butterflies, which are important for ecosystem health and pollination of other plants.
- Seasonal Interest: Offers early spring blooms, introducing color into gardens after the winter season.
- Compact Size: Its small stature allows it to fit into a variety of garden spaces, including rock gardens and borders.
- Drought Tolerance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of drought, reducing the need for frequent watering.
- Cold Hardy: Being cold hardy, it can survive and bloom in cooler climates where other plants may not thrive.
- Naturalizing: The species has the capacity to naturalize, meaning it can spread and propagate itself over time, creating a fuller garden display.
- Multiplication: Bulbs can be divided and replanted to spread their beauty to other parts of the garden or shared with other gardeners.
- Spring Indicator: Its bloom time can be an indicator of the arrival of spring and warmer weather.
- Medical Properties
This plant is not used for medical purposes.
- Air-purifying Qualities
This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.
- Other Uses
- Tulipa 'Eastern Star' bulbs can be crushed to produce a natural dye for fabrics, offering a range of colors from yellow to green depending on the mordant used.
- The petals of 'Eastern Star' are edible and can be used in salads or as garnishes for a subtle floral flavor and vibrant color accent.
- These tulips can be a source of nectar and pollen for early-season pollinators, as they bloom in early spring when few other flowers are available.
- Pressed 'Eastern Star' flowers may be used in craft projects such as making bookmarks, greeting cards, or in decoupage artwork.
- The stems of 'Eastern Star' can be used as natural supports for other plants in the garden, offering a temporary scaffolding as they wilt and decompose.
- Dried 'Eastern Star' petals can be incorporated into potpourri mixes for a hint of spring fragrance and color in your home decor.
- 'Eastern Star' flowers can be frozen in ice cubes to create visually stunning additions to cold beverages for special occasions.
- The petals of 'Eastern Star' can be used in homemade paper-making processes to create unique textured and colored papers.
- Seed pods from 'Eastern Star' can be dried and used as natural rattles or incorporated into percussion instruments for an earthy sound.
- The tall and slender foliage of 'Eastern Star' may be used as a natural weaving material in basketry or decorative crafts.
- Feng Shui
The tulip is not used in Feng Shui practice.
- Zodiac Sign Compitability
The tulip is not used in astrology practice.
- Plant Symbolism
- Love: The Tulip 'Eastern Star' is often associated with perfect or deep love. Tulips in general symbolize affection and deep love, and the vibrant colors of the 'Eastern Star' variety can signify a person's passionate feelings.
- Rebirth: As tulips are among the first flowers to bloom in the spring, they represent rebirth and new beginnings. The 'Eastern Star' shares this symbolism, making it ideal for occasions celebrating fresh starts, such as the birth of a child or a new venture.
- Charity: In Victorian flower language, tulips symbolized charity. This possibly comes from their bold presence in a garden, as they stand upright and offer their bright colors generously to the viewer.
- Fame and Perfect Lover: Historically, tulips have been symbols of fame and the ideal love. The 'Eastern Star', with its eye-catching appearance, might be used to convey admiration or the greatness of someone's accomplishments or character.
- Eternal Life: In some cultural contexts, tulips represent eternal life, which is a meaning attributed to the flower's perennial nature and its ability to return each year with renewed vitality.
- Forgiveness: A tulip, such as the 'Eastern Star', may be given as a sign of asking for forgiveness or to express regret, as its graceful form suggests a gentle and sincere approach.
The Persian tulip should be watered sparingly, as it prefers well-drained soil and is sensitive to overwatering. During its growth period in the spring, water the plant deeply once a week with about half a gallon of water per plant, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. Reduce watering after the flowers have bloomed and the leaves start to yellow, signaling the plant is entering dormancy. During the dormant period in summer, after the foliage has died back, it is crucial to keep the soil dry to prevent bulb rot.
Persian tulips thrive in full sunlight where they can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Planting them in a south or west-facing garden spot will provide them with the ideal light conditions they need to flourish. Avoid planting in shady areas, as insufficient light can lead to poor bloom development.
Persian tulips can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but they grow best when the daytime temperature is between 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. They can survive winter cold down to about 20 degrees Fahrenheit. In the fall, plant bulbs when the soil temperature has dropped below 60 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure proper root development before the winter.
Persian tulips do not require traditional pruning but deadheading, the removal of spent flowers, is beneficial to prevent seed production, which can exhaust the bulb. Snip off the faded blooms after the petals fall, taking care not to cut the foliage. The leaves should be allowed to die back naturally as they provide energy for the bulb to store for the next season's growth. The best time for deadheading is soon after the flowers are spent, usually in late spring or early summer.
For the Eastern Star tulip, the ideal soil mix should be well-draining with a high proportion of sand or perlite to ensure proper drainage. Incorporating compost or well-rotted organic matter will provide nutrients. The soil pH should be slightly acidic to neutral, ranging between 6.0 and 7.0 for optimal growth.
Eastern Star tulips should be repotted every 3 to 5 years or when they become overcrowded. It’s best to repot them after the foliage has died back and the bulbs are dormant, typically in late summer or early fall before the new growth cycle begins.
- Humidity & Misting
Eastern Star tulips prefer moderate humidity levels but are generally tolerant of the average ambient humidity found outdoors. Indoor growing conditions should mimic this, avoiding overly humid environments that could promote fungal diseases.
- Suitable locations
Place in bright indirect light, cool room temperature.
Plant in well-drained soil, sunny spot, water sparingly.
- Life cycle
Tulipa humilis 'Eastern Star', commonly known as Eastern Star tulip, begins its life cycle as a bulb, which lies dormant underground during the hot summer months. In the fall, the bulb starts to develop root systems to absorb nutrients and moisture from the soil. As the weather cools and winter approaches, the tulip enters a period of cold stratification, which is crucial for the bulb to break dormancy. Come spring, the bulb sprouts and a stem, leaves, and flower bud emerge, with the plant flowering typically from early to mid-spring. After flowering, the plant directs energy back into the bulb as the foliage photosynthesizes; the leaves eventually die back, signaling the end of the growing season. The bulb then enters dormancy once more until the next cycle begins, with the bulb potentially producing daughter bulbs that can grow into new plants.
Tulipa humilis 'Eastern Star', commonly known as the Tulip 'Eastern Star', can best be propagated by dividing and replanting its bulbs. This process is ideally done in the fall, when the plant is dormant. To propagate, carefully dig up the bulbs without damaging them, then gently separate the smaller bulblets from the main bulb. These bulblets are the key to new plants. Upon separating them, replant the bulbs at a depth three times their height, which usually equals about 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 centimeters). Ensure they are planted in well-drained soil with appropriate sunlight to encourage growth for the following spring.