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City of Albany, New York

Tulips planted here by preschoolers of the Early Learning Center (Fall 2011) just started blooming yesterday, March 25, 2012. The plants look very short and blooms are very close to the leaves. * See note below.

This spring is turning out to have the earliest blooming tulips in Albany that I have witnessed and I have been doing Journey North Tulip Gardens with the City of Albany schools for over 10 years. It is great this project uses all aspects of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) to keep track of Mother Nature. Forget about predicting the outcome of "March Madness" in the NCAA tournament and try your luck at predicting the date of next year's Red Emperor tulip bloom date!

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* Our Tulip Garden expert, Dr. Mary Meyer responds: "Due to the early, and quite warm weather this spring, some Red Emperors are flowering on short stems. Early warm temperatures can cause the flowers to form and open earlier than normal. The mild temperatures hastened flowering, before the stems elongated or lengthened. If we had seen a few weeks of 40-50° daytime temperatures, we would likely have seen taller tulips. However, temperatures in the 70's cause the flowers to form, rather than long stems."

Photo credits: Carol Ann Margolis