Tulips and some other plants native to areas with hot, dry summers have made adaptations so they can survive in a difficult climate. Because they must go a long time with no water, some plants rely on underground storage in the plant's bulb. This allows them to stay alive even through a long dormant period. If you cut a tulip bulb in half, you will see a miniature tulip just waiting to grow as soon as conditions are right.
The tunic is the dry, reddish-brown papery covering of the bulb. It protects the bulb from drying out. It allows the flower to stay dormant for months until it is time to grow.
The flower bud is a miniature of the bud that will appear above the earth's surface. At this stage it is very small and tender.
The scales are fleshy modified leaves surrounding the bud. They hold the stored food the bulb will need to grow.
The basal stem is a shortened and compressed plant stem. It connects the flower, scales and roots.
The roots, which take up water and nutrients from the soil, come out of the basal stem.
- Parts of a Tulip
- Botanic Garden Tulips
tulip bulb parts, spring bulbs, parts of a plant
About this Author
Gwen Bruno has been a full-time freelance writer since 2009, with her gardening-related articles appearing on DavesGarden. She is a former teacher and librarian, and she holds a bachelor's degree in education from Augustana College and master's degrees in education and library science from North Park University and the University of Wisconsin.