Campus in Bloom
More than 65,000 tulips help infuse color to Texas Tech every spring.
Written by Lacey Nobles
Persian tradition states one gives a red tulip to declare their love, because the red tulip’s black center symbolizes the lover’s heart burned by love’s passion.
So it is only fitting that this very popular flower became another beloved red and black tradition on the Texas Tech University campus.
Though many can remember springs past with the pretty blankets of tulip blooms, Mike Quartaro, director of grounds maintenance, says these flowers have not always been a part of Texas Tech’s landscape.
“We started planting the tulips around 1975,” Quartaro said. “The reason we planted them is because, at this time of year, everything is still brown and yellow. This was a way to give the campus some color.”
It isn’t just ‘some’ color. Quartaro says every November the ground crews plant between 65,000 and 70,000 tulip bulbs in flowerbeds across campus.
He says they plant about two-thirds red tulips, and one-third yellow.
“I know where every yellow tulip will be, because yellow is actually my favorite,” Quartaro said, laughing.
He says when the tulips are blooming it’s one of the most popular times at Texas Tech.
“We get a lot of calls throughout the year, people asking when the tulips will be blooming so they can take wedding or engagement pictures,” Quartaro said.
These simple flowers are just another way to declare Red Raider passion with scarlet and black.
Texas Tech's 90th Anniversary
Texas Tech University was founded in 1923, and its impact on the nation and world has been nonstop ever since.
The campus has grown, but a tradition of big thoughts, hard work and honor, evermore, still reside in every fiber of this institution. Upon its founding, Texas Tech University’s purpose was to bring the highest quality teaching to the horizons of West Texas.
Now as the state’s next premier research institution, we are shaping the world.
Join us as we celebrate 90 years of Texas Tech by experiencing our history through photos and videos.