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Tulips: Introduction

Tulips are among the most popular spring flowers of all time, and it's no wonder. They are easy to grow,
they come in an incredible variety of colours, heights, and flower shapes, and some are even fragrant.
There are now over 3,000 different registered varieties of cultivated tulips.

Every year billions of tulips are cultivated. The majority are grown and exported from Holland.
However, millions of tulips are also grown all over the world.

Most tulips are adaptable to many different kinds of climates. The only thing to be careful of is to
plant them in fairly well-drained soil. If not, the bulbs may rot before they have a chance to establish a
root system. Otherwise, just plant and enjoy.

Most tulips bloom well for only one or two years. Therefore, you will probably want to dig up the bulbs
and put in new ones after two years. However, some types of tulips do well for several more years.
These are said to perennialize (or naturalize) well.

There are so many different kinds of tulip that the Royal Horticultural Association of Holland has
grouped them into a number of official divisions. I've used these divisions as a guideline for the
following chart. Click on different parts of the chart to see more details about each category of tulip:

1. Single Early Tulips 2. Double Early Tulips

3. Triumph Tulips 4. Darwin Hybrid Tulips

5. Single Late Tulips 6. Lily-flowered Tulips

7. Fringed Tulips 8. Viridiflora Tulips


9. Rembrandt Tulips 10. Parrot Tulips

11. Double Late Tulips 12. Kaufmanniana Tulips

13. Fosteriana Tulips 14. Griegii Tulips

15. Other Botanical Tulips 16. Multiflowering Tulips

Class 1: Single Early Tulips


As their name suggests, these tulips bloom early in the season. In addition to their early appearance, they
have several other attractive qualities:

Single Early Tulips are known for having very strong stems. This means that they will stand up
extremely well to wind and rain, unlike some other types of tulips (for example, Parrot Tulips).
They are available in many different colours, both jewel tones and pastels.

Some varieties of Single Early Tulips have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an
asterisk (*) after the name of the variety.

early spring
Flowering
time: Single Early Tulips usually flower after the Fosteriana and Kaufmanniana Tulips, but
before the Single Late and most other varieties of Tulip.

Plant height: 8 - 20" (20 - 50 cm); average: 10 - 18" (25 - 46 cm)

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 8
zones:

Colours: white, pink, apricot, yellow, orange, red, purple

Shape/form: cup-shaped, one flower per stem; 6 petals, usually pointed

Alternate
none
names:

good for rock gardens, beds, borders, and for indoor forcing
Notes:
oldest group of tulips in cultivation

Beauty Queen* (apricot), Bellona* (yellow), Bestseller (reddish-orange), Brilliant


Star (red), Christmas Dream (pink), Christmas Marvel* (cherry), Couleur
Example Cardinal* (dark red), Diamond (white and red), Diana* (white), Flair (red with
varieties: yellow edges), General de Wet* (orange), Keizerskroon* (red with yellow edges),
Merry Christmas (red), Purple Prince (purple), Sunray (yellow), Van der Neer
(mauve-purple), White Cascade (white)

Christmas Dream Diana Couleur Cardinal


Beauty Queen Purple Prince General de Wet

Class 2: Double Early Tulips


Double Early Tulips all have more than the normal six petals. Some have so many petals that they
look more like peonies than tulips. They don't come in as wide a selection of colours as some other
types of tulips, but on sunny days, when they are completely open, the blossoms can be as wide as 4"
(10 cm) across!

The stems are fairly short but very strong and sturdy, and the blooms are very long lasting. These are
excellent flowers for containers.
Some varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of
the variety.

Early spring.
Flowering time:
Double Early Tulips flower at about the same time as Single Early Tulips.

Plant height: 8 - 16" (20 - 40 cm); average: 10 - 12" (25 - 30 cm)

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, yellow, orange, red

Shape/form: multipetalled; open fully in sun

Alternate
none
names:

Notes: good for containers, rock gardens, beds, and borders

Abba = Carlton (red), Bonanza (deep orange and yellow), Monte Carlo* (yellow),
Example
Montreux* (peach), Mr. van der Hoef* (yellow), Peach Blossom* (pink), Orange
varieties:
Nassau (reddish orange), Schoonord* (white), Sven Dahlman (cherry pink)

Abba Bonanza Monte Carlo

Peach Blossom Schoonord Montreux


Class 3: Triumph Tulips
These tulips are the result of a cross between the Single Early Tulips and some of the later flowering
varieties. Triumph Tulips are the largest and most important class of tulips.

They come in every possible shade of colour possible for tulips, including some marvelous pastels.
They are particularly prized for their beautiful, traditional "tulip" flower shape.

They have sturdy stems, which allows them to stand up well to bad weather. They make excellent cut
flowers, as they have a long vase life. Finally, many consider them to be the absolute best type of tulip
for indoor forcing.

A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of
the variety.

Mid-spring.
Flowering
time:
Triumph Tulips bloom about 10 days before Darwin Hybrid Tulips.

Plant height: 8 - 26" (20 - 68 cm); average: 16 - 22" (40 - 56 cm)

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, apricot, yellow, orange, red, purple


Shape/form: one cup-shaped flower on a strong, medium-length stem

Alternate
none
names:

Notes: good for indoor forcing, cut flowers, beds, and borders

Annie Schilder* (deep pink and orange), Apricot Beauty (apricot), Astarte (red
with white edges), Attila (violet purple), Barcelona (fuschia purple), Bastogne*
(blood red), Beauty Queen (apricot), Bellona* (yellow), Bing Crosby (scarlet red),
Calgary (white), Don Quichotte (dark pink), Gavotta (yellow and burgundy),
Example
Helmar (yellow with red streaks), Hibernia (white), Ice Follies (white and red),
varieties:
Jimmy (orange), Makassar (yellow), Meissner Porzellan (white with pink edges),
Negrita (dark purple), Oscar (scarlet red), Page Polka (cream with pink edges),
Peer Gynt (fuschia pink), Purple Star (dark red), Salmon Jewel* (pink and purple),
Shirley (white with purple edges), The Mounties (rasberry), White Dream (white)

Apricot Beauty Page Polka Meissner Porzellan

Atilla Calgary Negritta


Jimmy Oscar Bing Crosby

Class 4: Darwin Hybrid Tulips


The Darwin Hybrid Tulips were created by crossing the Fosteriana Tulips with the old Darwin Tulips
(now part of the Single Late Class). Along with the Single Late Tulips, Darwin Hybrids are the tallest
tulips available.

Darwin Hybrid Tulips are known for the HUGE size of their brilliantly coloured flowers. The blossoms
are an almost perfect pyramid shaped when closed, but they can measure as much as 6" (15 cm) in
diameter when fully opened.
Because of their long stems, lovely pyramid shape, and brilliant colours, Darwin Hybrids are often
considered the very best type of tulip to raise for cut flowers. However, there are definite advantages to
growing them for beds and borders, especially in areas where they can be sheltered from strong winds.

Unlike many types of tulip which only look well for the first couple of years, Darwin Hybrid Tulips will
come back looking great year after year (provided you don't cut the leaves off after blooming). As a
result, you will sometimes hear them called "perennial" tulips.

A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of
the variety.

Flowering
mid to late spring
time:

Plant height: 12 - 34" (30 - 86 cm); average: 18 - 24" (46 - 60 cm)

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, yellow, orange, red, purple, black

one large, pyramid-shaped bloom per stem


Shape/form:
very long, sturdy stem

Alternate
none
names:

outstanding as cut flowers; good for beds, borders, and indoor forcing
Notes:
best kept out of the wind, due to their height

Ad Rem* (red/orange), Apeldoorn (red), Big Chief (raspberry with yellow base),
Burning Heart (cream with red), Cream Jewel (creamy white), Daydream* (yellow
with apricot orange edges), Elizabeth Arden (dark pink), Francoise (white), Golden
Apeldoorn (yellow), Golden Parade (yellow), Holland's Glory* (scarlet), Ivory
Example
Floradale (ivory white, especially tall), Kingsblood (red), Menton (apricot with
varieties:
orange edges), Ollioules (dark pink with light rose edges), Olympic Flame (yellow
with red flames), Orange Bowl (orange and yellow), Oranjezon* (orange), Oxford*
(red), Parade (red), Pink Impression (rosy-pink), President Kennedy (sherbet
orange and red), Queen of the Night (black), Sorbet (white and pink)

Big Chief Burning Heart Menton

Big Chief Burning Heart Menton


Olympic Flame Golden Parade President Kennedy

Olioulles Queen of the Night Pink Impression


Sorbet Kingsblood Francoise

Class 5: Single Late Tulips


As the name implies, Single Late Tulips come into bloom after all other varieties of tulip. This class
was created by combining the former classes of Darwin, Cottage, old Breeder, and Scheeper Hybrid
Tulips (since the distinctions had blurred due to hybridization).

The resulting Single Late Tulips are some of the most popular tulips of all time. They come in the
widest range of colours possible for tulips, and they may be the tallest tulips you can get, although the
Darwin Hybrids also vie for that honour.
A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of
the variety.

Flowering
Late spring. Single Late Tulips finish off the Tulip season!
time:

Plant height: 9 - 32" (22 - 80 cm); average: 18 - 30" (46 - 75 cm)

Minimum
6" (15 cm0
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, apricot, yellow, orange, red, purple, and black

Shape/form: a large, oval, almost egg-shaped bloom, on a long, sturdy stem

Alternate
Mayflowering Tulips
names:

Notes: good as cut flowers, for beds, and borders

Avignon (orange-red), Big Smile (yellow), Black Diamond (purple with black
edges), Blushing Beauty (cream and fuschia), Dillenburg* (orange-red),
Example
Dreamland (white and red), Esther (pink with silver edges), Francoise (cream),
varieties:
Greuze (purple), Kingsblood (red), Maureen (white), Mrs. John T. Scheepers
(yellow), Sorbet (white and raspberry), Union Jack (white and red).

Sorbet Avignon Dreamland

Maureen Francoise Mrs. John T. Scheepers


Greuze Esther Black Diamond

Class 6: Lily-flowered Tulips


These tulips have a unique shape: the blossom resembles a lily, or, sometimes, an urn. This effect is
created by long, pointed petals which are reflexed (i.e. they bend back). From above, the open flower
can look like a six-pointed star.

Lily-Flowered Tulips aren't available in dozens of different varieties (unlike the Triumph Tulips or the
Single Late Tulips, for example), but there are compensations — their beautiful shape, for one. As well,
several varieties of Lily-flowered Tulips are noted for petals edged in vibrant, contrasting colours.
A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of
the variety.

Flowering
Late spring. Not usually as late as Single Late Tulips
time:

Plant height: 9 - 32" (23 - 80 cm); average: 14 - 24" (36 - 60 cm)

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, apricot, yellow, orange, red, purple

one six-petalled bloom with long, pointed petals that arch outward, on a long, thin
Shape/form:
stem

Alternate
Lily-flowering Tulips
names:

good for beds, borders, and as cut flowers


Notes:
susceptible to wind damage; plant in sheltered area

Aladdin (red with yellow edges), Ballade (dark pink and white edges), Ballerina*
Example (orange), China Pink (deep pink), Elegant Lady (yellow and pink), Mariette (red),
varieties: Marilyn (white and red), Maytime (violet red with white edges), Mona Lisa (yellow
and red), West Point (yellow), White Triumphator (white)

Marilyn White Triumphator Ballade


Mona Lisa West Point Aladdin

Elegant Lady China Pink Mariette

Class 7: Fringed Tulips


These tulips have petals which are topped with fringes that look like the frayed edge of a piece of
satin fabric. Some garden centres may carry only two or three varieties of Fringed Tulips, but they are
gradually becoming more popular, not only because the flowers look so elegant, but also because the
blooms are quite long-lasting.
variable, although many flower in late spring (i.e. those that are mutants of Single
Flowering time:
Late Tulips)
Plant height: 8 - 30" (20 - 75 cm); depends on which class they mutated from

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, apricot, yellow, orange, red, purple

one cup-shaped bloom with "crystal-shaped" fringes on top of each petal, on a


Shape/form:
medium to long stem

Alternate
Crispa Tulips
names:

Notes: good for cut flowers, beds, and borders

Aleppo (orange and yellow), Blue Heron (violet and white) Burgundy Lace (red),
Example
Fancy Frills (cream and pink), Fringed Elegance (lemon yellow with bronze base),
varieties:
Hamilton (golden yellow), Red Wing (red, black, yellow), Swan Wings (white)

Aleppo Fringed Elegance Hamilton


Burgundy Lace Fancy Frills Blue Heron

Class 8: Viridiflora Tulips


The term Viridiflora is derived from two Latin words: viridis meaning green and flos meaning flower.
All Viridiflora Tulips have a streak of green somewhere on each petal. This contrasts dramatically with
the basic flower colour (white, pink, gold, etc.).

In addition to this spectacular colour contrast, Viridiflora Tulips are also known for their exceptionally
long flowering capability. This makes them a welcome and worthwhile addition to any garden.

Flowering variable; depends on which class of Tulip they mutated from


time: most are late spring flowering (since many mutated from the Single Late class)

variable; depends on which class of they Tulip mutated from


Plant height:
range in height from 10 to 30" (25 - 75 cm); average: 16 - 24" (40 - 60 cm)

Minimum
planting 6" (15 cm)
depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

base colour: white, pink, yellow, orange, red, mauve


Colours: typically have a green stripe that extends from the base to the terminating point of
each petal

variable; depends on which class of they tulip mutated from


Shape/form:
most have a single cup-shaped bloom on a long, sturdy stem

Alternate Green Tulips


names:

Notes: good for beds, borders, and as cut flowers

Artist (red with green streaks), Greenland/Groenland (rose with green streaks),
Golden Artist (golden yellow with green streaks), Green Wave (purple parrot Tulip
Example
with green streaks), Humminbird (lemon yellow with green streaks), Pimpernel
varieties:
(raspberry with green streaks), Spring Green (creamy white with green streaks),
Violet Bird (mauve with green streaks)

Golden Artist Hummingbird Artist

Green Wave Spring Green Greenland


Class 9: Rembrandt Tulips
These tulips are named for the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt (1606 - 1669), who lived and worked
in Holland at about the same time that tulips first became enormously popular. Actually Rembrandt
himself is not known for painting flowers (!), but many other Dutch Masters of the time did include
tulips in their paintings.

During this time, tulips became all the rage in Holland, particularly the ones with streaks and stripes of
colour. These types of tulips were bought for huge sums during the so-called Tulipmania that occurred
between 1593 and 1637.

We now know that these unusual markings were actually caused by a virus, which eventually caused
damage to the tulip bulbs. Because of this, the original Rembrandt Tulips are no longer sold
commercially. However, there are quite a few modern, virus-free, Rembrandt "look-alike" tulips
available, some of which I list below.

These modern Rembrandts are mutants of existing tulips, which additionally exhibit the stripes or
streaks that are characteristic of Rembrandt Tulips. A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated
which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of the variety.

Flowering time: variable; depends on which tulip they mutated from

Plant height: variable; depends on which tulip they mutated from

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness zones: suitable for zones 3 - 7

stripes or flames of red, yellow, purple, pink, bronze, brown, or black on a white,
Colours:
yellow, orange, or red background

Shape/form: variable; depends on which Tulip they mutated from.

Alternate names: Broken Tulips

Notes: good as cut flowers, and for beds and borders

All of the following varieties have Rembrandt colouring, although (in terms of
size, form, flowering time, etc. ) they also belong to other classes:

1. Single Early: Keizerskroon* (red and yellow), Prince Carnival (yellow with
red flames), Princess Irene* (orange with purple streaks)
Example
3. Triumph Tulips: Ice Follies (white with dark red flames)
varieties:
4. Darwin Hybrids: Burning Heart (white with red flames), Olympic Flame
(yellow with red flames), Orange Bowl (red with yellow flames)
5. Single Late: Cordell Hull (white with red flames), La Courtine (yellow with
red flames), Sorbet (white with raspberry flames), Union Jack (white with cherry
red flames)
6. Lily-flowered: Mona Lisa (yellow with red streaks)

Olympic Flame Orange Bowl Keizerskroon

Union Jack Sorbet Ice Follies


Mona Lisa Princess Irene La Courtine

I did come across one variety which its sellers claimed was an original Rembrandt tulip, complete with
virus. This was the variety "Zommerschoon", sold on the internet by Old House Gardens. Although the
vendors claimed that this was an actual virus-carrying Rembrandt Tulip, I have no way of verifying this.

Zomerschoon
Class 10: Parrot Tulips
Parrot Tulips have petals that are feathered, curled, twisted, or waved. Besides this, the flowers are
very large and brightly coloured. As a result, Parrot Tulips are extremely flamboyant. If you want
dramatic tulips, these are a great choice.

Parrot Tulips were developed from mutations of certain late-flowering tulips, and from tulips in the
Triumph class. As a result, some are late spring flowering, and some are mid-spring flowering. Heights
also vary somewhat.

A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of
the variety.

Flowering
mid spring or late spring
time:

Plant height: 12 - 28" (30 - 70 cm); average: 16" (40 cm)

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 4 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, apricot, yellow, orange, red, purple

one large, cup-shaped flower per stem


bloom has deeply feathered, curled, or twisted petals
Shape/form: as flowers are exposed to sun over time, they open widely so that they almost flatten
out
very sensitive to cold, wet weather and should be planted in a protected spot

Alternate
none
names:

Notes: excellent as cut flowers; good for beds and borders

Apricot Parrot* (bright apricot-colored, pink striped), Black Parrot (purple-black),


Blue Parrot (mauve-blue), Estella Rynveldt (red and creamy white), Fantasy (deep
pink), Flaming Parrot (yellow and red), Orange Favourite* (orange), Rococo* (red
and green), Texas Flame (yellow and red), Texas Gold (bright yellow), White
Parrot (white)
Example
varieties:
Black Parrot Blue Parrot Fantasy

Orange Favourite Texas Gold Rococo

Class 11: Double Late Tulips


The blossoms of Double Late Tulips have so many petals that their other name is Peony Tulips. The
blossoms are extremely large; when fully open they can be as much as 4 inches (10 cm) across.

As well, the flowers bloom late and are very long lasting, so you may have Double Late Tulips in
beautiful condition well into early summer.
There aren't an extremely large number of varieties in this class. However, there still are quite a few
varieties which are both spectacular and easily available. I probably shouldn't prejudice you, but this is
my very favourite class of tulips!

Several varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name
of the variety.

late spring
Flowering
Double Late Tulips typically flower after Double Early Tulips but before Triumph
time:
Tulips, Darwin Hybrids, Parrot Tulips, Lily-flowered Tulips, and Single Late Tulips

Plant height: 12 - 24" (30 - 60 cm); average: 16" (40 cm)

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, apricot, yellow, red, mauve, purple, black

one many-petalled flower per stem


Shape/form: flowers are particularly sensitive to severe rain and wind and should be planted in
protected locations

Alternate
Peony Tulips, Peony Flowered Tulips
names:

Notes: good for rock gardens, beds, borders, and for forcing

Angelique* (pink), Alegretto* (red and yellow), Carnaval de Nice (white and
crimson), Creme Upstar* (yellow and pink), Lilac Perfection (lilac), Maywonder
(magenta pink), Miranda (red), Monsella* (yellow with red flames), Mount
Tacoma (white), Renown Unique (red with white edges), Uncle Tom (dark
maroon), Upstar (white base and dark pink top), Wirosa (red and white), Yellow
Tacoma (yellow)

Example
varieties:
Angelique Mount Tacoma Renown Unique

Lilac Perfection Yellow Tacoma Uncle Tom


Miranda Carnaval de Nice May Wonder

Class 12: Kaufmanniana Tulips


Kaufmanniana Tulips were developed from the Tulipa kaufmanniana species,
which is native to Turkestan. They are some of the earliest tulips to flower.
Kaufmanniana Tulips are generally very low growing (some are only 4 - 5"/10 -
12 cm tall), which makes them ideal for rock gardens and containers. If left
undisturbed, they will normally return year after year and gradually multiply.

The flowers have pointed petals which open almost completely flat on sunny
days. A fully-opened Kaumanniana Tulip looks more like a water lily than a
tulip. Some varieties have been cultivated to take advantage of this, so that the
inside colour is sometimes dramatically different from the outside.

Not all nurseries offer a wide assortment of Kaufmanniana varieties. If you have trouble finding more
than one or two varieties, you might try an on-line catalog like: Botanus, or the Clare Bulb Company.

early spring
Flowering
Kaufmanniana Tulips typically flower only slightly later than Fosteriana Tulips and
time:
certain Botanical Species of Tulips but before most other types of Tulips

Plant height: 4 - 12" (10 - 30 cm); average: 6" (15 cm)

Minimum
4 - 5" (10 - 12 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 8
zones:
Colours: white, yellow, pink, orange, red, violet

single cup-shaped flower with six, pointed, slightly reflexed petals, on a short stem
Shape/form: flower opens almost completely flat in sun
leaves are most often striped or mottled

Alternate
Water Lily Tulips
names:

ideal for rock gardens and containers; good for borders and beds
Notes:
foliage is wind resistant

Concerto (cream), Fashion (orange-red), Gaiety (rose violet and white), Giuseppe
Verdi (red and creamy yellow), Heart's Delight (red and pink), Johann Strauss (red
Example
and pale yellow), Scarlet Baby (red), Shakespeare (red and orange), Showwinner
varieties:
(red), Stresa (red and yellow), Sweet Lady (cream base and red), Tarafa (red and
white)

Fashion Concerto Shakespeare


Tarafa Sweet Lady Stresa

Class 13: Fosteriana Tulips


Fosteriana Tulips were developed from Tulipa fosteriana, a wild species of tulip found in mountainous
areas of Central Asia. The resulting Fosteriana Tulips differ somewhat in height, but all have a
wonderful flower shape with huge, wide petals in bright colours.

Fosteriana Tulips are more commonly known as Emperor Tulips, and the names of many of the
varieties reflect this ("Red Emperor", "White Emperor", "Pink Emperor", "Orange Emperor", etc.).

Fosteriana Tulips look particularly impressive when planted in large beds ("drifts"), and will come back
year after year. A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*)
after the name of the variety.

Early spring.
Flowering
These are the earliest flowering "mid-height" Tulips. In other words, except for the
time:
short "rock garden" Tulips like the Kaufmannianas and the Botanical Species Tulips,
these will probably be the first Tulips to flower in your garden.

Plant height: 10 - 20" (25 - 50 cm); average: 14" (36 cm)

Minimum
planting 6" (15 cm)
depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 8
zones:
Colours: white, pink, yellow, orange, red

immense petals
Shape/form: one cup-shaped flower on a strong stem
leaves are sometimes striped or mottled

Alternate
Emperor Tulips
names:

good for beds, and as cut flowers


Notes:
perennialize very well (i.e. come back year after year)

Candela (lemon yellow), Concerto (white), Golden Emperor (golden yellow),Juan


(orange with yellow base), Orange Emperor* (orange with yellow base), Pink
Example Emperor/Solva (rose pink), Princeps (red with bronze green base), Red
varieties: Emperor/Madame Lefeber (red), Sweetheart (lemon yellow with white edges),
White Emperor*/Purissima* (white), Yellow Purissima (golden yellow), Zombie
(red and cream)

Juan Golden Emperor Orange Emperor


White Emperor Red Emperor Zombie

Class 14: Griegii Tulips


Greigii Tulips were developed from the Tulipa greigii species, which is native to Turkestan. Greigii
Tulips are fairly short as tulips go, but the blooms are very large in proportion to the plant as a whole.
They come in very bright colours, like red and yellow, and the flowers open wide in full sun, creating
cup-shaped blooms that can be more than 5" (12 cm) in diameter when fully open.

Because they are short, Greigii Tulips are ideal for rock gardens and containers. They have an added
attraction in that the leaves are usually patterned with stripes or spots, in purple or brown. Finally, they
naturalize very well (i.e. if you leave them alone, they come back year after year, and even multiply).

early spring
Flowering
time: Greigii Tulips typically flower after Fosteriana Tulips, Kaufmanniana Tulips, and
some of the Botanical Species Tulips, but before all other types of Tulips

Plant height: 6 - 16" (15 - 40 cm); average: 10" (25 cm0

Minimum
6" (15 cm)
planting depth:

Hardiness
suitable for zones 3 - 7
zones:

Colours: white, pink, peach, yellow, red; blooms are often two-toned or streaked

Shape/form: one six-petalled flower on a short, rigid stem; petals are usually pointed
Alternate
none
names:

Notes: good for rock gardens, containers, indoor forcing, and for the fronts of borders

Cape Cod (yellow and red), Chopin (cream and crimson), Dreamboat (pink and
yellow), Für Elise (cream), Oratorio (magenta pink), Pinocchio (red and white),
Example
Red Riding Hood (red with a black base), Sweet Lady (peach with bronze green
varieties:
base), Tsar Peter/Czar Peter (red and white), Turkish Delight (ivory and dark red-
brown)

Turkish Delight Cape Cod

Chopin Dreamboat Für Elise


Tsar Peter Red Riding Hood Pinocchio

Class 15: Other Botanical Tulips


This is a "catch-all" class for just about every other type of tulip. In particular, it includes wild tulips.
Altogether there are about 150 different species of wild tulip, which grow in an area that runs roughly
from Portugal to Central Asia. However, most of these are not cultivated for gardens.

This class includes species, variants, and hybrids derived from these wild tulips which are cultivated and
sold commercially. To illustrate: a wild species of tulip might be called something like Tulipa batalini
or Tulipa humilis. If someone has developed a cultivated variant, it might be named, for example,
Tulipa batalinii Bright Gem or Tulipa humilis Persian Pearl.

Since the tulips in this class are wild, or close to wild, they typically naturalize extremely well (i.e.
come back year after year and gradually multiply). As most tulips in this class are fairly short, they are
absolutely ideal for rock gardens and containers. They also look wonderful when planted in large,
one-colour flower beds ("drifts").

The following chart shows 10 of the several dozen wild species which are commercially available.
Unless otherwise noted, all of the following species are hardy in zones 3 - 8, and should be planted at a
depth of approximately 4 - 5" (10 - 12 cm) . A few species have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones
by putting an asterisk (*) after the name.

Latin Flowering
Height Shape/colour Notes Cultivated varieties
name time
Tulipa 5 - 8" (12 - large blossoms in prefers Lilac Wonder (lilac pink
late spring
bakeri 2 cm) shades of purple zones 5 - 8 with yellow centre)
Tulipa mid to late 2 - 5" (5 - wide pointed petals, none Bright Gem (butter yellow
batalini spring 12 cm) narrow foliage and orange), Red Gem (red)

Tulipa bakeri Lilac Wonder Tulipa batalini Bright Gem Tulipa batalini Bright Gem

Flowering
Latin name Height Shape/colour Notes Cultivated varieties
time
Cynthia (yellow and
prefers zones 6 - 8,
8 - 14" orange), Lady (dark rose
Tulipa flowers in shades does well in dry
mid spring (20 - 36 edged with white),
clusiana of yellow or red soil; native to
cm) Peppermint (red and
Uzbekistan
white)
8 - 14" correct name is
Tulipa when completely Tubergen's Gem (red and
mid spring (20 - 36 Tulipa clusiana var.
chrysantha open forms a star yellow)
cm) chrysantha

Tulipa clusiana Cynthia Tulipa clusiana Peppermint Tulipa chyrsantha


Flowering Cultivated
Latin name Height Shape/colour Notes
time varieties

6 small, star-shaped,
4 - 6" synonyms: Tulipa
Tulipa yellow flowers with
early spring (10 - 15 tarda, Tulipa tarda none
dasystemon white tips clustered
cm) dasystemon
closely together

5 - 8"
Tulipa mid to late Splendens
(12 - 20 3 - 5 flowers on a stem none
hageri spring (coppery red)
cm)

Tulipa dasystemon Tulipa hageri Splendens

Latin Flowering
Height Shape/colour Notes Cultivated varieties
name time

Eastern Star (rose with


synonym:
yellow centre), Persian
shades of red and Tulipa
Pearl (magenta with
4 - 6" purple; narrow pulchella; one
Tulipa early central gold star), Violacea
(10 - 15 leaves often have red of lowest-
humilis spring (purple mauve with yellow
cm) edges; has several growing tulips,
centre), Violacea Black
cultivated varieties hence name
Base (reddish purple with
"humilis"
black centre)

Tulipa humilis Violacea Black


Tulipa humilis Eastern Star Tulipa humilis Persian Pearl
Base
Flowering Cultivated
Latin name Height Shape/colour Notes
time varieties

4 - 6" low, almost fluorescent Red Gem


Tulipa
late spring (10 - 15 red flower, red-margined none (red), Yellow
linifolia
cm) leaves Jewel (yellow)

synonym: Tulipa
4 - 8"
Tulipa florentine
mid spring (10 - 20 solid yellow flower none
sylvestris* odorata; prefers
cm)
zones 5b - 8a

each stem has 12 creamy


8 - 10"
Tulipa very early white flowers, with with
(20 - 25 none none
turkestanica spring yellow centres, blue-
cm)
grey leaves

Tulipa sylvestris Tulipa linifolia Tulipa turkestanica


Class 16: Multiflowering Tulips
This is not one of the official tulip classifications. However, many gardening catalogs will provide a
section on Multiflowering Tulips, because these tulips are so popular. These are tulips that produce
three to seven blossoms per bulb. The main stem of the plant branches into several smaller secondary
stems, each of which produces a blossom.

Many of the Single Late Tulips have multiflowering varieties, as do the Greigii Tulips, some of the
Triumph Tulips, and some of the Botanical Species Tulips. Multiflowering Tulips have the
characteristics of the class that they derive from. Thus, it should be clear that Multiflowering Tulips will
have a wide variety of characteristics, in terms of flowering time and height.

Because you need so few of them to make a bouquet, these tulips are fantastic cut flowers. They also
look wonderful in flower beds and borders.

Flowering time: variable

Plant height: variable

Minimum planting
6" (15 cm), unless otherwise noted
depth:

Hardiness zones: normally suitable for zones 3 - 8

Colours: variable

3 - 7 blooms per bulb


Shape/form: bloom on primary stem is largest, while those on secondary stems are somewhat
smaller
Alternate names: Bouquet Tulips, Bunch Flowering Tulips

Notes: outstanding as cut flowers; good for beds and borders

Colour Spectacle (yellow flamed with red, 18 - 20" (46-50 cm) tall, late spring
flowering)
Georgette (yellow edged with red, 18" (46 cm) tall, late spring flowering, Single
Late Tulip)
Happy Family (deep rose, 20" (50 cm) tall, mid-spring flowering, Triumph
Tulip)
Modern Style (white with flames & blotches of purple, 20" (50 cm) tall, late
spring flowering)
Orange Bouquet (orange, 18 - 20" (46 - 50 cm) tall, late spring flowering,
Single Late Tulip)
Example varieties:
Praestans Fusilier (vermillion red, 8 - 10" (20 - 25 cm) tall, plant 4" (10 cm)
deep, early spring flowering, Botanical Species Tulip)
Quebec (outside: red and green, inside: light green & red with yellow base;
mottled leaves, 14" (36 cm) tall, mid-spring flowering, Greigii Tulip)
Sylvia Warder (scarlet and creamy yellow, 14" (36 cm) tall, early spring
flowering)
Toronto (red, 10 -12" (25 - 30 cm) tall, mid-spring flowering, Greigii Tulip)
Weisse Berliner (white flamed with pale yellow, 14 - 18" (36 - 46 cm) tall, early
to mid-spring flowering)
White Bouquet (white, otherwise same as Orange Bouquet)

Happy Family White Bouquet Modern Style


Toronto Orange Bouquet Praestans Fusilier

Colour Spectacle Georgette Sylvia Warder