Species tulips are smaller than hybrid tulips, growing just 4-12 inches tall. Multiple slender buds open into bright, long-lasting, starry flowers that can open wide and flat like a water lily. Species tulips have not been subjected to the intense cross-breeding of their larger cousins, and are genetically much closer to their hardy ancestors that still sparkle on the rocky hillsides and mountainous meadows of Mongolia. They are known for their far hardier dispositions, and readily naturalize and come back better and stronger for years to come. Some varieties are well suited to mild and warm winter gardens where they naturalize freely without the winter chill needed for the Dutch tulips.