Tulipa stellata Hook.
Bulbs lie a little below the soil, 1.5-4.5 x 1-3.5 cm, ovoid or globose, producing stolons which end in daughter bulbs. Tunics brown, coriaceous, woolly inside at the tip. Stem 7-52 cm long, lower 1/2-1/3 underground, glabrous. Leaves 3-6, alternate, sparse, or crowded, (2)-4-30 x 0.2-1.5 cm, linear, linear-lanceolate, acute-acuminate, margin often wavy. Flowers solitary terminal, variable in colour, flowers white with pink outside or with pink or yellow basal blotch or flowers yellow with violet or red outside or flowers yellow suffused with red. Peduncle 4-30 cm long, glabrous. Tepals 2-6 x 0.5-1.9 cm, elliptic or oblanceolate, outer acute, inner obtuse, glabrous. Stamens less than half the length of tepals, glabrous. Filamets, anthers and pollens purple; anthers longer and shorter than filaments. Pistil as long as stamen, style absent, stigma ± trifid. Capsule 2-3.5 x 1.5-2.5 cm, trilobed, trilocular. Seeds compressed, brown, semicircular, thickened at margins.
Fl.Per.: March-May (July)
Type: The illustration of ‘Tulipa persica praecox’ in Clusius, Curae posteriores p. 9. 1611 (Marais l. c.).
Distribution: Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, India (Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh); naturalised in Southern Europe. 1000-3500 m.
Tulipa clusiana DC. is accepted here in a broader sense as a polymorphic species. S. Dasgupta and Deb (l.c.) hav ing prepared the scatter diagram, using various morphological characters, tried to correlate the variation patterns with the geographical and altitudinal distribution. They came to the conclusion that five different forms may be recognised. According to the cytological information provided by Hall (l.c.) diploids, tetraploids and pentaploids are also involved in this complex, however, as the diploids and tetraploids are morphologically similar, they are classified together.
Local people in Kashmir eat the bulb as vegetable.