With the faintest breath of pink misted over the outer petals, the Albion Star is a treasure of a tulip. The main petal colour is, in true 'whiter shade of pale' fashion, a slightly off white with a very slightly rosy tinge to it. The flowers are proportionately much larger in comparison to the rest of the plant being up to 12 cm in diameter when open. They emerge from a mildly striated pale grey/green leaf and there are three to four to a stem. The overall effect is of a bridal bouquet in one plant - amazing. The Greigii tulips flower after the Fosteriana or Kaufmanniana tulips Heart's Delight or Johann Strauss, but like them should naturalise and return every year so they are also real value for money. If you want a more flamboyant Greigii rockery tulip, then have a look at Pinocchio. Or just check out our selection of some of the best dutch tulips you can find
These petite and softly coloured tulips need to be cherished in terms of location. They appreciate being in the sun because it is then that they really spread their petals for maximum impact. For those with a rockery, there could be nothing more delightful than a few Albion Stars nestling in its nooks and crannies. For most of us however these tulips will look best in a shallow pot, particularly a tazze pot, either forced inside or outside although they also work well in a gravel garden or at the front of a border where you can see them. Because of their size they lend themselves to window boxes where you can really see their wonderful markings up close. Albion Star would combine particularly well with any of the Daphnes, but especially Daphne retusa with its starry white flowers that will just be going over as these tulips emerge.
Maybe the fact that the Albion Star tends to grow three to four flowers per stem is a reference to Albion, the primeval ancient man/hero of William Blake's mythology whose fall and judgement leave him divided into four representations called Zoas. Or maybe not.