At the end of March, first tulips appear in southern Kazakhstan. The earliest is probably the tulip bifloriformis (Tulipa bifloriformis).
The tulip bifloriformis grows in large numbers in South Kazakhstan, between end of March and April, on the rocky and forested hills of Turkestan, Karatau and western Tien-Shan floristic areas. However, its distribution extends to the Balkhash-Alakul and Chu-Ili floristic areas.
Often considered locally as a snowdrop, this plant is indeed of the family of tulips. The stem growing from a bulb is between 10 and 25 cm high and has 2 to 8 flowers (rarely 1 or more than 8) of medium size (10 to 30 cm). These flowers, white with yellow heart, have an oblong shape with violet hues when they are closed, and the shape of stars while blooming totally.
This tulip is currently not protected by law. However, its localized distribution and short flowering period make it vulnerable, so it’s better not to pick it!
Information source: Tulips of Kazakhstan. – Almaty: LTD « Almatykitap baspasy », 2010, 272 p., illustrated.