REX RUBRORUM BONTLOF, 1830        
Prepare to be flabbergasted! This may well be the most exciting double tulip we’ve ever offered. Not only are its leaves edged with creamy white and bits of pink, but each bud starts as a fat little ball of green and white that sprouts a tuft of red at the top and then gradually opens into a unique peachy-red bloom that’s almost neon in its brilliancy. A variegated sport of the most popular double red tulip of the past 200 years, ‘RRB’ is weird, wonderful, and sure to cause a commotion! Double Early, 14”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2009. We hope to offer it again. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
ROLAND, 1934        
Named for the brave knight-hero of one of the greatest troubadour-songs of the Middle Ages, ‘Roland’ is a majestic, antique-velvety red edged with ivory. What’s more, its extra vigor often gives it a few extra petals, making for single blooms that are exuberantly full — and unique! Triumph, 20”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2003. We lost our grower and haven’t found another who offers authentic stock.
ROSAMUNDE HUYKMAN, 1895        
This ethereal tulip is snowy white delicately blushed with pink and lilac-rose. No two are exactly alike, and the coloring spreads and intensifies as each tulip matures, like a pink and white sunrise, adding to the enchantment. But don’t be fooled by its gossamer looks — only the strong survive for as long as it has. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2012. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
ROSE GRIS-DE-LIN, 1860        
This lovely rose and white tulip became one of Victorian America’s best-loved bulbs, with countless catalogs and books calling it “beautiful,” “delicate,” and “most desirable.” Plant it up front and prepare to be charmed. Single Early, 6-8”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2008. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
ROSE LUISANTE BONTLOF, 1850        
Bontlof means variegated, luisante means bright or glittering, and 1850 was a long time ago — which shows in the graceful, old-fashioned profile of this charming tulip. What you can’t see here, unfortunately — since this is actually a photo of the regular, non-variegated form — is the cream-colored ribbon that outlines each rippling leaf. From the moment its distinctive foliage pushes through the cold, damp soil of early spring, ‘Rose Luisante’ is a pleasure! Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. We’ll offer it again whenever bulbs are available. For an alert subscribe to our email newsletter.
ROYAL SOVEREIGN, 1820        
This extraordinary tulip is considered the oldest surviving English florists’ tulip, having “first bloomed about 1820” according to tulip-breeder John Slater in his 1843 Descriptive Catalogue of Tulips. Richly patterned with mahogany-red on gold, it multiplies slowly and is very rarely offered today, even by us. Aka ‘Charles X’, ‘Defiance’, ‘Duke of Lancaster’, ‘Le Conquerant’, ‘Page’s George IV’, ‘Platoff’, ‘Victory’, and ‘Waterloo’. 16-18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Although we hope to offer this rarity again for fall 2016 delivery, availability can’t be confirmed until June 2016. Please check back or subscribe to our newsletter for an alert.
SAM BARLOW, 1860        
Perhaps the most famous of the English broken tulips, ‘Sam Barlow’ is richly flamed with deep red-brown on yellow. Bred by “railway man and florist, Tom Storer, who grew his tulips along the embankments of Derby’s railways” (Pavord), it’s named for the owner of Victorian England’s greatest tulip collection, a man who once offered to buy all of the bulbs of an especially fine broken tulip for their weight in gold — and ended up paying even more. Late-blooming, 18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. We’ll offer it again whenever bulbs are available. For an alert subscribe to our email newsletter.
SCHRENKII, 1585        
No taller than a crocus and almost as early, this wild tulip is a cheery little flame of spring. When it bloomed in a display of our historic tulips on Park Avenue, it inspired Verlyn Klinkenborg of The New York Times to write a terrific editorial-page column about it. Parent of the whole ‘Duc van Tol’ clan, it’s a good stand-in for colonial ‘Duc van Tol Red and Yellow’ — and wonderful in its own right. 4-6”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2006. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
SPAENDONCK, 1893        
Many spectacular broken tulips bloom in our trial garden, but it seems EVERYONE wants to take ‘Spaendonck’ home with them. With its shapely blooms swirled with crimson, lilac, and rosy-purple on cream, it’s a fitting tribute to Cornelis van Spaendonck (1756-1840), Dutch flower painter and director of the great Sevres porcelain works. Single Early, 12-14”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. We’ll offer it again whenever bulbs are available. For an alert subscribe to our email newsletter.
STRIPED SAIL, 1960        
Although this looks like a very old broken tulip, it’s actually a virus-free, genetically streaked Rembrandt tulip introduced in 1960. And though we usually scorn modern Rembrandt tulips as crude — and we’ve never offered a tulip this young before — when we saw ‘Striped Sail’ in bloom at the Hortus Bulborum, its dramatic beauty won us over. ’Nuff said? Mid-season blooming Triumph, 14”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2008. We could special order it for you.
Page 6 of Tulips: Lost?
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