The Q&A Archives: Please Identify This Plant

Question: I moved to a new house 2 years ago. Last year I found this growing in a row in the back yard and moved it to the front to see what would bloom. All of it died. This year it is back in the place I moved it to, but I still don't know what it is. It did not come back in the back yard. It has shoots(like aloe vera but not thick or gel-like) that are green with dark purple stripes. I live in Southern Indiana. Thanks for your help. Kathy

Answer: Going by your description, it is possible that you have some of the excellent, smaller growing, early flowering tulips that tend to perennialize. (The Greigii group, for instance, has foliage with markings like that.) These would behave as you decribed, dying back in late spring and reappearing a year later. If the original planting had become crowded, or if you moved them prior to bloom time, the bulbs could have been too smallor too shocked to bloom. With a year or two of care, however, you may find that they rebuild their strength and do bloom again.

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