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Oratorio' blooms in early spring, producing rose-pink flowers, with black bases, that are flushed with apricot-pink inside. The leaves are attractively marked with dark purple. Recognised as a plant of outstanding excellence by the Royal Horticultural Society, it holds the Award of Garden Merit (AGM). Like other Greigii Group tulips, its relatively short height makes it perfect for growing in the rock garden or in containers. Tulips are best planted in November as this minimises the risk of attack from the fungal disease, tulip fire, which causes the foliage to become distorted and covered with fuzzy, grey fungal growth and the flowers to either fail to open or to be marked with bleached spots. Any bulbs that become infected with this disease are best thrown away and the ground they were planted in should not be used to grow any tulips for several years. Remove the flowers as they fade to prevent plants wasting energy setting seed.
Plant type: Spring-blooming bulb
Flower colour: Rose
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Flowers, Dramatic foliage
Sun exposure: Full sun
Skill level: Beginner
Time to plant: November to November
Flowering period: March to April
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