VAN DER NEER, 1860        
A long-time customer favorite until it dropped out of mainstream production in 2012, this rosy-purple relic comes to us today from our friends at the Hortus Bulborum, albeit no longer at mainstream prices. It once starred in flamboyant Victorian ribbon beds and carpet-bedding, but it’s just as beautiful in modern mixed borders today. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-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.
VULCAN, 1913        Rarest & Web-Only
Named for the Roman god of fire, volcanoes, and metalworking, this ruddy bronze and copper-colored tulip is one of the last surviving Dutch Breeders, a group of tulips in unusual “art shades” that were the height of fashion during the Arts and Crafts era. In the words of that illustrious half-Vulcan Mr. Spock, may it “live long and prosper!” Dutch Breeder/Single Late, 20-24”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2017. With luck the Hortus will offer us more bulbs this fall. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
VUURVLAM, 1897        
If red tulips bore you, try this radiant beauty from the Hortus. What sets it apart is its antique form. In the morning its pointed, tightly-clasped petals give it a flame-like look (in Dutch its name means “fire-flame”) and then later as the day warms up they curl gracefully open. Although popular in formal Victorian pattern-bedding, to our eye it has the purity and grace of a wildflower. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-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.
WAPEN VAN LEIDEN, 1760        Rarest & Web-Only
Did Benjamin Franklin grow this legendary tulip? He could have! Its lively rose and white petals are illuminated by a broad yellow flare at the base, and its antique shape echoes the pointed-petaled tulips of Elizabethan herbals. Wapen means “coat of arms,’ and it was to Leiden in the late 1500s that Clusius brought the first tulips ever grown in Holland. Single Early, 12-14”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2017. With luck the Hortus will offer us more bulbs this fall. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
WEST POINT, 1943        
Recalling both jesters’ caps and the first Turkish tulips that came to Europe in the 1500s, ‘West Point’ has narrow, pointed petals that curve back gracefully and dramatically. That and its many other good qualities led the RHS in 1995 to honor it with an Award of Garden Merit as a plant that should be in every garden (yes, including yours!). Lily-flowered, 20”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
WHITE HAWK, ALBION, 1880        
In Camelot’s “one brief shining moment,” England was known as Albion, and this luminous white tulip well evokes the magic of the Arthurian legends. From the 1880s until World War II, American catalogs praised its “snow white” petals, “robust habit,” and “great substance.” In the style of much older tulips, its petals are pointed — yes, beak-like — and as they mature they are faintly touched with rose. A.k.a. ‘Witte Valk’, Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
WILDHOF, 1953        
Although we’re still mourning the loss of ‘Alabaster’ and ‘Diana’; (both commercially extinct, though counterfeits are rife), when this sparkling white, mid-season, mid-century RHS Award of Garden Merit winner blooms here, we feel a lot better. Triumph, 18-22”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
YELLOW PRINCE, 1750        
Mozart, William Blake, and Betsy Ross all could have grown this 18th-century treasure, and now you can, too! Its sweet fragrance is just one of its many virtues. As late as the 1920s it was still being forced in “enormous numbers” because “the flower lasts a long time and retains its splendid form and perfect color” (LaPark catalog, 1922). Its cheery yellow is often misted with bronze, “giving it an old-gold effect.” Aka ‘Gele Prins’, Single Early, 9-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2004. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.
Page 9 of Tulips: Lost?
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