Colour variations: Tulips

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Tulips are wonderful subjects for photography. The flower shapes can vary hugely, some being a simple cup-shape but others being very like lilies or peonies. Their colourings and markings are even more varied and give unlimited opportunities for interesting photographs.

I photographed these tulips last year and again this year, and I was surprised to see how different the flowers look in the two sets of photos. They are a viridiflora tulip (my guess is that they are ‘Dolls Minuet’, but I can’t be sure). Viridiflora tulips all have a green feathered marking spreading from the base of the petals.

Last year’s photos (which you can see here) show these tulips as mainly magenta, with just a slight amount of green blush. The top photograph here is more like those from last year, with perhaps a little more green. But the photograph below shows a lot more green than I had expected.

I’ve just been out for a good look at these tulips again, a few days after the photos were taken. Now I can see that the tulip below has, in that short time, lost much of the green colouring. It has become more like the flower in the top photo. So that suggests to me that the flowers are greener when they first open and gradually change to become more pink.

This is something I hadn’t noticed before…or if I had, I’d forgotten. Spring is a very busy time in the garden, so it’s easy to let things pass by unnoticed. Hopefully next year I’ll remember the strong green markings when these tulips first open. Then I should have time to take some studio photographs of them too.

17 thoughts on “Colour variations: Tulips

    1. Ooh, they sound cool for photography! I have the ordinary ‘Spring Green’ for the first time this year but they aren’t quite open yet. (I’m watching the buds in great anticipation!)

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  1. That green and pink combination is lovely. And I do enjoy seeing more broadly opened tulips. They’re more complex than it seems when fields of still-closed flowers are shown.

    The grass pink orchid is another one that seems to change color. Some are truly pink, while others tend toward lavender. Since I see them so rarely, I’ve not pursued the question of whether they might change color with age. That would be a good project for this year.

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    1. Following colour changes in flowers is an interesting project – will look forward to seeing what happens. 🙂 The tulips can be very varied if they have a touch of another colour flamed over the main colour – endless variations!

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    1. I feel the same Steve – the green makes for a very striking flower. However, the green seems to fade and the pink/magenta takes over as the flower matures. That means I have to be quick taking photos of these next year!

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    1. It amazed me too Liz. I went out to look for more of the tulips with lots of green but they had already turned more pink/magenta in just a few days. Next year I’ll be quick off the mark so that I can photograph more at the greener stage.

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