GREUZE, 1891        
You don’t have to be Goth to appreciate ‘Greuze’. Its dusky buds on dark stems open into flowers of deepest purple, and it often follows its first bloom with smaller, slightly later blooms to make a clump that’s informal and charming. Named for an 18th-century French artist, it’s hard to pronounce but “Grooz” is close enough for us. Single Late/Darwin, 23”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2015. Unfortunately we’ve lost our grower and haven’t found another yet who can guaranteee true stock. For an alert the moment we do, subscribe to our email newsletter.
HARLEQUIN, 1912        
This sport (mutation) of the great ‘Murillo’ is even more beautiful than its famous parent. Its ivory petals touched with pale yellow are overlaid with a fine misting of pink that deepens and spreads as the flower matures – so be sure to plant it where you can watch it evolve day by day. It’s named for the iconic clown in multi-colored garb who first appeared in 16th-century Italy’s commedia dell’arte. Double Early, 14-16”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2015. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
INVASION, 1944        
It’s a lot prettier than its name – but in Holland in 1944 “invasion” meant hope and life and everything good. In the garden, its unique coloring sets it apart. Words and photos fail it, but “warm, sandstone red with a gilt edging of cream” is close. Even if it’s “just” red and white, it gave us 31 blooms from seven bulbs its first spring here, and everyone who saw it wanted it. Triumph, 16”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), Holland. Last offered in 2006. We lost our grower and haven’t found another who offers authentic stock.
JOOST VAN DE VONDEL, 1850        
Bold, intense, and impossible to overlook, ‘Joost’ was one of the leading tulips of the Victorian age, and well into the 20th century scores of catalogs were still praising it as “unusually fine” (LaPark, 1922). It’s pronounced “Yohst,” it’s named for the writer they call the Dutch Shakespeare, and it’s sure to cause a hubbub in your garden. Single Early, 10”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2016. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
JULIA FARNESE, 1853        
“Supremely elegant” – that’s how connoisseur Anna Pavord describes this vibrant beauty bred by John Slater, author of the 1860 English Florist’s Guide, whose tulip collection numbered close to 20,000 bulbs. Named for his daughter, it’s an unusual “plated feather,” heavily marked with deep cherry red on white. Last offered in 2006, true English florists’ tulip, 14-16”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2011. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
JULIET, 1845        
An unusually old English florist tulip, ‘Juliet’ is a lovely teacup-shaped flower from North Yorkshire with rosy-red flames on snow-white petals. Though by the Tulip Society’s rigorous show standards its patterning is less than perfect, you’re still going to gasp at its beauty. Late-blooming, 14-16”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2003. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
KROESKOP, 1830        
If you can look at it with Victorian eyes, you’ll love ‘Kroeskop’ for its rich colors, complexity, and profusion. Its abundant petals are irregularly notched and frilled, giving rise to its Dutch name which translates as “frizzy-head.” Since we first saw it blooming in all its crimson, gilt-edged glory at the Hortus Bulborum, we knew we wanted to share it with you. Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC). Last offered in 2011. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
LA HARPE, 1863        
This lovely lavender tulip with its short, old-fashioned cup was once part of the “unrivalled collection” of Vincent van der Vinne which was sold at auction in 1863. La Harpe is French for “the harp,” but it’s also the name of three prominent 18th-century Frenchmen: a general, a playwright, and – our favorite – an early explorer of Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Single Late, 18-22”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2016. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
LA REINE ROSE, 1904        
Antique beyond its years, this quaint little ‘Rose Queen’ looks a lot like the tulips in Besler’s magnificent Hortus Eystettensis of 1613. Its graceful, flame-shaped petals shade from ruby to deep rose to a feathery edging of pink, and it seems to glow with all the energy of spring itself. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2010. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
LA REMARQUABLE, 1879        
Bulb merchants have tried for over a century to capture in words the unusual colors of this elegant old tulip. One called it “deep crimson lake with a wide margin of blush pink,” another “claret purple tipped old rose.” Maybe best of all was Peter Henderson in 1907 who called it “silky plum shading off to silvery pink at the edges.” Its shape is equally distinct, with broad, pointed petals that arch gently outwards. All in all, it really is remarquable. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2012. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
Page 4 of Tulips: Lost?
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