The first migrants, who reached the shores of North America, could not help noticing tall trees with unusual leaves and flowers, shaped like spring tulips. Not surprisingly, the plant has received the name Tulip Tree or Liriodendron tulipifera.
Today, the lyriodendrons are known not only in their homeland. Tall trees with a lush crown can be found in South American countries, on the shores of Australia, in southern Africa and in Europe. The Europeans managed to tame the heat-loving culture and grow tulip trees even in Norway.
In our country, conditions comfortable for liridendrons have developed in the Black Sea subtropics, where trees adorn the streets and parks of Sochi and the nearby resort towns.
Interest in the plant increases due to the appearance of varieties with variegated and golden foliage.
Description of the Tulip Tree of the Liriodendron
The Liriodendron is a large deciduous tree that, under favorable conditions, can grow to 35–50 meters in height. The plant has a straight powerful trunk covered with light gray-green bark. As they grow older, the bark of trees turns from smooth into relief, covered with cracks dividing the surface into diamond-shaped areas. Brown bark on the branches has a noticeable waxy bloom. The wood of the tulip tree depicted in the photo has a light sweetish aroma.
One of the decorations of the lyriodendron is wide lyre leaves with long petioles. The length of the leaf plate can be up to 15–20 cm. And not only the shape, but also the color of the leaves is quite remarkable. From spring until autumn, they are painted in light green tones, and then in the colors appear first yellow, and later brown shades.
Flowers with a diameter of 6 to 10 cm resemble a tulip; during the dissolution, fresh cucumber aroma is poured around a powerful crown and amaze with the original combination of greenish, yellowish, white and orange colors on the corolla.
At the time of mass flowering, the tulip tree liriodendron, like other plants related to magnolias, attracts many insects that readily collect plant nectar and pollinate its flowers.
In nature, the lyriodendron grows in areas with rich humus, aerated soil, from which the powerful roots of a tree easily receive moisture and nourishment. The abundance of organic matter, regular irrigation and soil looseness are important conditions for the active growth and flowering of the crop. Although seedlings take root on sandstones and clay, without additional care, loosening and adding organic matter one cannot wait for success. In dry months, especially young specimens of tulip trees are in dire need of watering.
Growing a tulip tree
Of course, it is impossible to grow a tulip tree at home. However, strong seedlings from seeds can be obtained only by seedlings.
After pollination, loose cones are formed in place of flowers, which open in late autumn, scattering large seeds. In nature, they, falling to the ground, undergo a natural stratification, and the germination process begins only after a year. Similar conditions for tulip tree seeds are created at home.
Since the out-of-ground liriodendron seeds quickly lose their germination, it is necessary to acquire the most fresh material for sowing.
Sowing is carried out under the winter to a depth of one and a half centimeters. At first, a universal soil mixture based on equal parts will be suitable for growing a tulip tree:
- lowland peat;
- coarse sand;
- garden land.
When the ground is flat and slightly compacted, the crops are watered and mulched. In this form, the container is exposed to cold or put in the refrigerator. In winter, the seed container must be covered with snow; during the thaw and in summer, the soil must be watered so that the earth does not turn out to be completely dry.
Those who wish to grow a tulip tree will have to be patient. Shoots appear only after a year and a half after embedding in the ground. But young shoots are no longer disappointing. They are quickly gaining strength, becoming stronger.
If purchased seeds were used for sowing, seedlings should be hardened before moving to open ground. A month before transplantation, plants gradually begin to accustom themselves to the street, each day increasing the “walk” time.
Fortified plants are transported to open ground where seedlings need simple but regular care, including:
- moderate but frequent watering;
- weeding the wheel circle;
- spring and summer feeding of young saplings;
- mulch the soil to preserve moisture that is vital for the tree.
The flowering of a tulip tree of a liriodendron occurs in May and June. For the first time the plant forms flower buds at the age of 7 - 10 years, and then blooms regularly.
The decorativeness of the tree was appreciated not only by gardeners, but also by bonsai lovers. Miniature compositions based on this type are interesting at any time of the year and, thanks to a not very high growth rate, several years after the start of shaping, they can demonstrate the quality of the wizard’s work.