Yesterday’s sunshine took me to Mottisfont House to enjoy some autumn colour in the gardens. The Tulip Trees looked particularly striking. In autumn, the distinctively lobed leaves of Liriodendron tulipifera turn this glorious golden yellow. I painted this specimen of Liriodendron tulipifera in watercolour, with the sun warm on my back and the shadows deep and still.
If you are thinking of growing Liriodendron tulipifera yourself, remember that it is a large and vigorous deciduous tree that needs plenty of space and a pH acid or neutral soil. The tree’s ‘tulip’ flowers are interesting, about 4cm long, tulip-shaped, overall a yellowish-green, with orange marks inside the flower. See the specimen I have painted in watercolour at Mottisfont House, near Romsey, Hampshire, SO51 0PL.
Liriodendron tulipifera is a member of the Magnoliaceae family and originates from Eastern North America. Common names include Tulip Tree, Yellow Poplar and Canary Whitewood. I am fortunate to have an old and magnificent specimen in the garden where I live.