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Motley Tulip, An Endangered Species

In “Pãdurea Mãrgãritarului”, near Târgu Jiu Romania, in May, the miracle of nature lives only seven days or less because  some people  steal  the rare flowers to sell them for a few money. Their name is „Flowers of Chess” or Motley Tulips.

A Miracle Of Seven Days

For its beauty, Motley Tulip is broken abusive in some areas of the country that became extinct, as in “Pãdurea Mãrgãritarului”. Forester must keep away a hundred hectares of forest by traders coming from outside the county to break flowers even if variegated tulips are declared natural monuments. „It is not easy to keep a hundred hectares of forest. I have to keep safe the tulips from the woods. People from  Hunedoara come in the forest and steal flowers, and make them bouquets which are sold only for a few money on the market. This crisis led to steal anything  they can sell now. In May it’s tulip season and they come here to steal. I can only scare them not to go to steal the flowers, „said guard flowers Romică Prodea. Locals from the area are outraged by the gesture of those who come to break the flowers, especially since they are protected by law. „Well if every year they come and steal away the flowers, at some point go away forever. Will remain only one memory, a place without a tulip to delight us with her ​​beauty. They are beautiful, delicate and shame to lose them. It is not right what they do and the worst that do not know they are protected and should not mock them, ” said one of the old man from the area. A local woman is trembling of madness and she is bitter to those who come and break the flowers: „It’s a shame to break. They are fragile and special in their coloring. Should not disappear, but if everything always come to break the flowers will disappear forever. I do not want to disappear because they are beautiful. Something should be done by local authorities to protect them more. They shoul do something to attract tourists to admire on May period. Do not leave it only on the  forester shoulders to keep away thieves every year!”. We couldn’t contact the local authorithies to  hear their opinion about the difficult  situation about tulips. Ioan Cojoc, Secretary of Cetatea village, which belongs to  Orheiu Bistriṭa, told us that that last year,  five hundred of tourists from Transilvania visited the reservation with tulips.

In Forest Camp,the Flower of Chess shines

The Black Hill Reservation for almost 80 hectares is a rare wood with black soil waterlogged by the end of May. Here, Motley Tulip are growing well because the place is in the custody of he Black Hill Forest Owners Association who organise series of actions  for reservation greening and cleaning.The kids from area are mesmerised  because if you open the petals  of tulips and put them side by side resembles a chessboard. In the western part of the forest, storm water drains on slopes slow enough to form swampy areas. Lead to excess moisture in the soil cooler during the spring, is favoring  the plant growth.Colorful tulips can be easily identified at the end of April (last 10 days) and early May (first five days). In the „acts”, the Black Hill is known as the „Glade  of Daffodils from Budacului Valley „, even if here are planted Motley Tulips, famous for its purple color, with white spots. In the area there is no more daffodils, but a kind of inertia, clearing name leads us still think of them.


A Story Of  A Dream Flower

Scientific name of the plant is „Fritillaria meleagris” and  fritillus is a term derived from Latin and it means chessboard. Is an allusion to arranged and reddish brown squares of the tulip. Some locals call this “Bibilica” because it resembles a bird with colorful plumage,  black with white dots. Motley Tulip is one of the rare plant species specific to the Romanian climate. It inhabits in wet  meadows and forests of oaks. The flower is cup shaped, purplish-brown color with white spots and delights  the view. The strain is about 20-30 cm and  the flower is 2 cm. Motley Tulip is a wild plant,  and blooms in some areas withdrawn from Romania: Orheiu Bistriṭei, including oak forests declared natural reservation in   “Pãdurea din Şes” ,”Pãdurea Mãrgãritului” from Dãneşti, Gorj;” Lunca Pogonişului, Timiş. Pogonişului Meadow was declared a protected area by law by the Timiş County Council in 1995. Other areas where are this  naturalmonuments  are the natural reservation „Meadow with Motley Tulips” Valley Sãlaj, Cheile Turzii. Motley Tulip is protected by law since 1980. The Motley Tulip is in the Red Book.

In the past, the tulip name was the “Chess Flower”. The flower was named like this  by Daria, the treasurer’s niece from the court of Shah of Persia. Legend says that Daria took care of the palace garden where there were the finest varieties of tulips. One night she had a dream with a fairy wearing a a lilac and white dress  who came to Daria  and asked her  to give her some flowers for her sick mother. Daria gave to the fairy a bouquet of flowers, but instead asked her  to bring a  rare Motley Tulip. After a while, in the palace  garden  appeared  a  Motley Tulip. The flower  was neat and given  to some neighboring dignitaries. Meanwhile, Daria’s uncle, who was a keen mathematician invented chess to ward off  the boredom of the Persian Shah . When Daria’s uncle was featured  the chess game, Daria brought the tulip called the Flower of  Chess.  Another story says that the tulips became spotted because of the bitter tears from the people from Frãtãuṭii Noi.They were sad because they weren’t totally  united with their mother country. They sought solace in whispering woods, nature paths, in places where  grew these colorful tulips.

So, we have to protect the Motley Tulips because they are so rare and beautiful, also protected by law and we need to put in our souls the nature miracle.

 By: Adelina Bãsescu,Cosmin-Ionuṭ Ciobanu ( 11 years old, fifth grade)

“Vasile Alecsandri” High School, Sãbãoani

Professor coordinator:Barbu OanaImagine

Motley Tulip (source: http://www.arpmv5.ro/pages/imagini_din_ariile_protejate_de_pe_teritoriul_jud._Hunedoara/laleaua_pestrita_lunca_poganisului_jud_timis.jpg )


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