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Tulips: Lost Forever?

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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Though preservation is our mission, bulbs drop out of our catalog every year.

Sometimes it’s because the harvest was too small. Sometimes it’s because they’re widely available elsewhere and don’t need our help. And sometimes it’s because we’ve lost our only known source due to severe weather (cold, drought, etc.), health problems (a debilitating stroke), or economic woes (small farmers are always at risk).

The good news is that, in time, we’re often able to return these bulbs to our catalog. So here’s a list of many we’ve offered in the past. For an alert the moment they’re available again, subscribe to our free email newsletter. Or to find a similar bulb, try our easy Advanced Bulb Search.


Fall-planted:     Crocus       Daffodils       Hyacinths       Lilies       Peonies       Tulips       Diverse

Spring-planted:     Cannas       Dahlias       Daylilies       Gladiolus       Iris       Diverse


Page 1 of Tulips: Lost?
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BROWN SUGAR SAMPLER

Always rare and alluring, brown tulips were especially prized during the Arts-and-Crafts era of the early 20th century. In this special sampler you’ll get 4 extra-rare beauties in shades of amber, bronze, terra-cotta, cinnamon, and mahogany: 1 ‘James Wild’ (from 1890), 1 ‘Dom Pedro’ (1906), 1 ‘Jules Favres’ (1913), and 1 ‘Old Times’ (1905). Dutch Breeder/Single Late, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. See our other brown tulips. Last offered in 2017. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SPRINGTIME IN CAMELOT

In 1962 when President Kennedy asked Bunny Mellon to transform the moribund Rose Garden outside his Oval Office into a flower-filled ceremonial space, her redesign featured masses of tall, luminous tulips – including the five classic beauties in this sampler. We’ll send you 3 lavender ‘Blue Parrot’, 3 flamingo-pink ‘Fantasy’, 3 maroon ‘Black Parrot’, 3 rose-pink ‘Mariette’, and 3 ‘White Triumphator’. For zones 3a-7b(8bWC). Last offered in 2016. ‘Fantasy’, unfortunately, has gone commercially extinct, but you can order the other four tulips from us to create your own little bit of Camelot.


VICTORIAN BRILLIANCE

Echoing the gingerbread trim and lavish paint schemes of their houses, Victorians decorated their lawns with “carpet beds” of brightly colored flowers. Enjoy a glimpse of those exuberant designs by sampling 5 of the era’s most popular bedding tulips: 1 yellow ‘Chrysolora’ (1875), 1 white ‘Pottebakker White’ (1840), 1 bright rose ‘Proserpine’ (1875), 1 purple ‘Van der Neer’ (1860), and 1 red ‘Vuurvlam’ (1897). For 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.


ADONIS, 1850

Named for the ancient demi-god of manly beauty and spring’s magic rebirth, this true English florists’ tulip is the first Bijbloemen to bloom each spring. With deep purple flames on ivory petals, it’s a thrill you’ll find yourself looking forward to all winter long. 16-18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


ALABASTER, 1942

If you’ve ever lusted after Sissinghurst’s iconic White Garden, here’s a tall, elegant, late-blooming tulip that can bring a touch of that magic place to your own back yard. It’s long lasting in bouquets (combine it with ‘Golden Harvest’ and forget-me-nots for a pastel dream) and it’s fragrant! Darwin/Single Late, 19-21”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2012. ‘Alabaster’ seems to be commercially extinct, but we’ll keep searching for it!


ALBA REGALIS, 1838

Like a bubbling brook or a misty spring morning, ‘Alba Regalis’ is sublimely cool and refreshing. The first reference we can find to it is in the RHS Journal of 1838 where it’s described as having “flowers of good shape, white faintly edged with pale yellow,” and nearly a century later garden writers in the 1920s were still recommending it. Aka ‘Royal White’, Single Early, 12”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC). Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


ALICE KEITH, 1930

With “tones of warm bronzy orange which thrill the admirers of Breeder tulips” (McFarland, 1941), this goblet-shaped beauty was introduced by the legendary Dutch bulb-house of Krelage and Son, founded in 1811. A word to the wise: We have just 25 bulbs available this fall, and they won’t last long. Dutch Breeder/Single Late, 20-22”, zones 4a-7b(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.


AMIRAL DE CONSTANTINOPLE, 1665

Only two parrot tulips from the 1600s survive, and you can grow this one! The jagged, billowing petals of this fabulous relic are a deep, fiery red embellished here and there with swirling brushstrokes of gold, green, and maroon. Tiny spurs and horns add to its wild allure. Its name is French (hence no “D” in Amiral), suggesting it got its start in quirky, flower-loving Flanders. (For 18th- and 19th-century parrots, see ‘Cafe Brun’, ‘Markgraaf van Baden’, and ‘Perfecta’.) Zones 4a-7b(8bWC), 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.


ANGELIQUE, 1959

“A boudoir tulip, very frilly and feminine” says Anna Pavord of this sumptuous, award-winning tulip with its “pretty, double flowers of apple-blossom pink” maturing to deeper pink and cream. Although it’s been enormously popular for decades, its acreage in the Netherlands is now shrinking precipitously, so we’ve added it to our ark. Woo-hoo! RHS AGM winner, Double Late, 16-18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2014. Widely available elsewhere.


ARISTOCRAT, 1935

Strong growing and richly colored, this powerful tulip wowed us when it first bloomed here. And when we saw how its flowers lasted and lasted, we liked it even better. Each petal is a blaze of deep rose with lavender undertones shading to soft pink at the edges. The effect is dramatic and full of energy. Darwin/Single Late, 28”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2005. We lost our grower and haven’t found another who offers authentic stock.


BACCHUS BONTLOF, 1890

A piping of butter-cream frosting highlights the wavy leaf-edges of this striking late-Victorian tulip. It may remind you of a miniature hosta – until its brilliant, deep red flowers open. The last time the Hortus offered us any was in 2010, so get it while you can! Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2018. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BEAUTY OF BATH, 1906

“One of the most enchanting of the Cottage tribe,” said the Scheepers catalog in 1929. A true broken tulip, this British beauty opens with “the most lovely flushes and pencilings of pale to deeper yellow and pinkish lavender to rose” and then matures to a lace-like tracery of purple on white. Our friend Betsy Ginsburg was so enchanted she wrote a time-travelling detective story exploring how it got its name. Late, 16-18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BESSIE, 1847

Although unusually old for an English florists’ tulip, ‘Bessie’ can still “break” so beautifully that it wins Premier Flame in shows of the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society. It’s small-flowered, with burgundy flames on white petals that reflex charmingly as they mature. Broken, 16”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BLUE FLAG, 1750

The first time this sumptuous, pearly violet, Double Late tulip bloomed, George Washington was still a teenager. Looking a bit like a lavender peony, it’s been favored by connoisseurs ever since, including Anna Pavord who writes in The Tulip that it “holds the record in my own garden for longevity of bloom, standing in good fettle for nearly a month.” 10-12”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2017. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BLUE PARROT, 1927

A sport of the great ‘Bleu Aimable’, this lavender beauty is a cool, sophisticated parrot, with petals that are gently ruffled rather than jagged and wild. In 1962 when JFK asked the impeccable Bunny Mellon to remake the dreary White House Rose Garden, she included luminous masses of ‘Blue Parrot’. Learn more. Parrot, 20-24”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2018. We lost our grower and haven’t found another who offers authentic stock.


BRILLIANT STAR, 1906

Once known as “the Christmas tulip” because it can be forced into bloom for the winter holidays, this brilliant little tulip blooms unusually early outdoors, too. Its glossy red petals are pointed, giving it a star-like form, and when they open wide in the sun to reveal their bright yellow and black center, the effect is truly “grand, rich, and dazzling” (de Jager catalog, 1949). Single Early, 10-12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2012. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


BRUNHILDE, 1901

Named for the blonde-haired valkyrie who perishes in flames at the end of Wagner’s Gotterdammerung, this striking tulip has snow-white petals marked with a broad blaze of sunny yellow – or is that fiery yellow? It first caught our eye many years ago at the Hortus Bulborum, and ever since then we’ve been waiting to offer it. Single Early, 10-12”, 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.


CAFE BRUN, 1840

Opening from dragon-mouthed buds that may remind you of the blood-thirsty plant in The Little Shop of Horrors, ‘Cafè Brun’s ruffled, jagged, over-caffeinated flowers are a deep gold intricately patterned with dusky-red. Although its name means “Brown Coffee” — that is, coffee with milk — it’s not really brown, just wild and cool. Be sure to look for its tiny horns and spurs. (For even older parrots, see ‘Amiral’, ‘Markgraaf’, and ‘Perfecta’.) Parrot, 12-14”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CARDINAL RAMPOLLA, 1913

When I first saw ‘Cardinal Rampolla’ at the Hortus Bulborum, I grabbed my camera in excitement thinking “I hope we can offer this someday!” Its broad, spade-shaped petals are a rich, dusky gold brushed with burnt orange and cinnamon. A.k.a. ‘Apricot’ and ‘Safrano’, it’s named for Cardinal Rampolla del Tindaro, who became a cause celebre when his election to Pope was vetoed by the Emperor of Austria. Single Early, 12-14”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CERISE GRIS-DE-LIN, 1860

“Chocolate with fawn edges” – that’s Shirley Hibbard’s evocative 1865 description of this unusually-colored tulip. But Mrs. King’s 1921 description better captures how it looks in our garden: “soft carmine-rose, shaded fawn and margined creamy white.” Either way, it’s cool! For maximum enjoyment of the chocolate and fawn tones which fade as the flower matures, pick one when it first opens and bring it inside to savor. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2019. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


CHRYSOLORA, 1872

The finest yellow tulip of the late Victorian age, ‘Chrysolora’ was offered in virtually every US catalog from Rochester’s Briggs and Bros. of 1872 well into the 1920s. Charles Allen in his 1893 Bulbs and Tuberous-Rooted Plants included it on his short list of a dozen best Single Early tulips (with ‘Couleur Cardinal’, ‘Keizerskroon’, ‘Lac van Rijn’, and ‘Pottebakker White’) and praised it as “one of the earliest, deep yellow, and handsome.” Single Early, 10-12 inches, 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.


COURONNE POURPRE BONTLOF, 1881

Rippling leaves edged with ribbons of gold make a stunning setting for the wine-red blooms of ‘Variegated Purple Crown’. We’ve traced it back as far as Thomas Moore’s 1881 Epitome of Gardening, and in 1889 The Journal of Horticulture called it “quite as handsome as variegated yuccas.” Its French name suggests that it originated in Flanders, a back-country part of the Netherlands famed for its expert gardeners and independent tastes. (Does that sound like you?) Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2011. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


DIANA, 1909

Cool ‘Diana’ (named for the goddess of woodlands, wildlife, and the moon) is an elegant ivory, a favorite color in the stylish new perennial borders of the Arts and Crafts era. In fact, Gertrude Jekyll herself featured drifts of white tulips like ‘Diana’ in many of her dreamy cottage gardens. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2009. ‘Diana’ is now commercially extinct, alas!


DUC DE BERLIN, 1854

This rare ‘Duke’ is “deliciously fragrant” (W.N. Craig, 1905), and its bold color pattern — evoking Renaissance pageantry and the shields of heraldry — is one of the most enduringly popular in all of tulip history. In fact, if we assembled gardeners from, say, 1650, 1750, and 1850 and asked them to choose whichever of our tulips they liked best, we’re sure ‘Duc de Berlin’ would rank in their Top Ten. Single Early, 8-10”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2011. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


DUC D’ORANGE, 1829

Although the International Register dates this colorful relic only to “before 1875,” we’ve found it listed in catalogs from 1869 (Vick), 1846 (Carter), 1830 (Prince), and the Hortus Addlestonensis of 1829. With old-fashioned, pointed petals of gold and orange brush-stroked with red, it’s named for the father of Dutch independence, Willem van Oranje. Very limited supply, Single Early, 10-12", zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2013. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


DUCHESSE DE PARMA, 1820

This exceptionally rare tulip is “bronze crimson bordered with orange,” according to the 1889 Rawson catalog. But most gardeners over the past 196 years would have seen it as simply red trimmed with yellow – one of the most popular color combinations in tulips since the very first were brought into Western gardens in the 1500s – and, as the 1865 Vick’s catalog described it, “splendid.” Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2018. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


DUC VAN TOL AURORA, 1700

Tiny red flames ornament this winsome little tulip, spreading and intensifying as it matures. If you can bear to, cut a blossom for inside so you can enjoy the evolving pattern — which is different on every one — up close. It’s one of the fabled Duc van Tols, a group of miniature, extra-early tulips that grew in every stylish garden from about 1600 to 1900 — and now have all but disappeared. 5-7 inches tall, zones 4b-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.


DUC VAN TOL SCARLET, 1850

Short, bright, and extra-early, these fairy tulips grew in every stylish garden from about 1600-1900. But when gardeners went crazy for tall, late, pastel tulips, the ‘Ducs’ all but vanished. A perfect little miniature at 5-7 inches tall, ‘Scarlet’ is classic and sublime. Very early, zones 4b-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2010. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


DUC VAN TOL YELLOW, 1830

This bright, sunny little tulip is deep yellow, and to our eye it’s the most elegantly shaped of all the Ducs. Try it combined with deep purple johnny-jump-ups — spring perfection! 5-7”, zones 4b-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.


ELECTRA, 1905

True stock! Neither words nor film can quite capture the color of this heart-pounding double. It’s a rose so deep it’s almost red – but not red – an intense purplish-crimson like . . . homemade raspberry jelly? We quit offering ‘Electra’ a decade ago when Dutch stocks became hopelessly confused with a crayola-red impostor, but these bulbs from the Hortus Bulborum are the real deal, and thrilling. Double Early, 12-14”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


ELIAS MARTIN, 1956

With its ruffled, flame-shaped petals of soft peach, yellow, and rose, this enchanting mid-century double looks almost like a pastel spring campfire. It’s named for an 18th-century Swedish artist famed for his romantic landscape paintings, and I bet he would have liked this painterly and romantic tulip. Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2018. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


ELSIE ELOFF, 1949

This is not your ordinary yellow tulip! Variously described as “primrose-ivory” and “pale butter yellow,” this ethereal flower glows like moonlight in the garden. It combines beautifully with everything from lilacs to ‘Black Parrot’ to the first blooms of iris season, and if you’re like us, once you’ve tried it you’ll never want to garden without it. Single Late, 26-30”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2017. ‘Elsie Eloff’ seems to be commercially extinct, but we’ll keep searching for it! If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


FANTASY, 1910

One of the most popular and important tulips of the 20th century, this pastel beauty brought parrot tulips back into vogue after they’d been scorned for decades as merely oddities. A sport of the great ‘Clara Butt’, it’s a wonderfully ruffled shell-pink with subtle flickerings of spring green and cream. Although it seemed lost in 2012, it’s back and we’re thrilled to share it with you. Parrot, 20-22”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2015. We lost our grower and haven’t found another who offers authentic stock.


FEU ARDENT, 1906

“An old friend, entrancing in its rich brownish scarlet tints,” wrote famed plantsman J. Horace McFarland in 1927 of this once highly fashionable tulip. Although first offered about 1906, it was originally one of 400 “breeder” or self-colored tulips in the fabulous collection of Vincent van der Vinne which was sold at auction in 1863. Dutch Breeder/Single Late, 22-24”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2018. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


GENERAL NEY, 1837

A bit dazed after looking at row after row of antique tulips, I snapped to attention when ‘General Ney’ caught my eye. It’s decidedly different, a rich dark cordovan – or port? mahogany? – that glows with intensity. Its old-fashioned, globular shape sets it apart, too. Exceptionally rare, it’s named for the inspiring leader that Napolean called “the bravest of the brave.” Dutch Breeder/Single Late, 18-20”, 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.


GERBRAND KIEFT, 1951

This jewel-toned double is named for one of our kind of guys. The founder of Hybrida, an innovative Dutch bulb-house, Kieft was also a tireless advocate for Double Late tulips, preserving and promoting them long after they’d fallen out of fashion. With its broad cups of wine-red and ivory petals, his namesake tulip is a fitting memorial. Double Late, 12-16”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2013. ‘Gerbrand Kieft’ seems to have gone commercially extinct, but we’ll keep searching for it!


GLORIA NIGRORUM, 1837

With wisps and splashes of dark violet on creamy white, “Black Glory” is one of the very oldest surviving Bijbloemen tulips. Also known as ‘Violet Ponceau’ and ‘La Victorieuse’, it was first offered in 1837 by Voorhelm and Schneevogt, a fabled bulbhouse that had catered to wealthy bulb lovers since the 17th century. 16-18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


GLORIA SOLIS, 1854

A bonfire of “bronze, orange, and crimson” (Vick catalog, 1865), gold-edged ‘Glory of the Sun’ was offered by hundreds of US catalogs from the Linnaean Botanic Garden in 1860 to the mid-1900s. But doubles have fallen so far out of fashion that today they’re the most endangered tulips — a good reason for a big-hearted gardener like you to give one a try? Save the Doubles! 12-14”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2005. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


GOLDEN STANDARD, 1760

For over 250 years, this radiant, pre-Revolutionary broken tulip has been paired with the equally stunning ‘Silver Standard’. Its lemon yellow petals are striped and splashed with red for a look that’s sublimely simple and . . . well, happy. Aka ‘Gouden Standaard’, ‘Royal Standaard’. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), 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.


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.


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 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.


LINCOLNSHIRE, 1942

This jewel-toned beauty is a worthy emblem of its namesake, England’s traditional bulb-growing district. It’s a glorious deep red, late-blooming, tough, and highly endangered — only one farmer in the world still grows it today. If it were “just another red tulip,” would our customers be writing us love letters about it? Cottage/Single Late, 20”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Iowa (yes, Iowa!). Last offered in 2007. We hope to offer it again someday.


LORD STANLEY, 1860

Hockey fans may love this classic Bizarre because of its name (Go Red Wings!), but gardeners love it because it’s so gorgeously flamed with rich mahogany-red on gold. It often wins Premier Flame at shows of the Wakefield and North of England Tulip Society, and we never seem to get enough of it. Broken, late-blooming, 16-20”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), 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.


MARKGRAAF VAN BADEN, 1750

The mad “Count of Baden” is one of the most celebrated tulips in all of history. Wildly ruffled and fringed and spiked with tiny spurs and horns, its swirling petals of gold, red, and green may remind you of molten lava cascading down a tropical mountainside. As always, we have very few bulbs, so don’t delay! (For other exceptionally rare parrots, see ‘Amiral’, ‘Cafe Brun’, and ‘Perfecta’.) Parrot, 16-18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MIRELLA, 1953

Winner of the prestigious RHS Award of Garden Merit, this mid-century classic has “buff rose” petals enlivened by silvery pink petal edges and “a broad flame of raspberry” (Killingback, Tulips). After decades of popularity, it’s getting harder and harder to find – so we’ve added it to our ark. Triumph, 22-24”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2017. ‘Mirella’ seems to be commercially extinct, but we’ll keep searching for it!


MON TRESOR BONTLOF, 1875

Variegated plants are quite the rage today, but here’s one we’re pretty sure none of your neighbors are growing. Bontlof is Dutch for variegated, and the deep green leaves of ‘My Treasure’ are richly bontlof with a ribbon-like edging of yellow that harmonizes exquisitely with its glowing yellow flowers. And it’s fragrant! Who could ask for anything more? Single Early, 10-12”, 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.


MRS. KEIGHTLEY, 1902

This “indispensable” old Irish tulip was lauded for its “exquisite scent, a delicate elusive perfume” by A.D. Hall in his 1928 masterpiece, The Book of the Tulip. One of a fabulous assortment of old, cottage-garden tulips collected by William Baylor Hartland of Cork in the late 1800s, it has also been known as Gesneriana lutea pallida and ‘Bird of Paradise’ — and there is something delightfully bird-like about its graceful shape. Single Late, 18-20”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2004. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MRS. SCHEEPERS, 1930

Majestically tall and elegant, this sturdy, long-lived beauty was first sold in 1931 for $5 a bulb — in Depression dollars! Its extra oomph comes from extra chromosomes; it’s considered the world’s first tetraploid tulip. Deep canary yellow, Single Late/Cottage, 30”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2008. Available elsewhere.


MR. VAN DER HOEF, 1911

Although double tulips were most popular in Victorian gardens, this later introduction was lauded in catalogs through the 1930s as “extra good,” “one of the finest,” and “exquisite.” Its fragrant, pure yellow, overstuffed flowers light up the garden like big bowls of sunshine. Last offered in 2012, Double Early, 10-12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2017. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


MURILLO, 1860

One of history’s most famous tulips, ‘Murillo’ was wildly popular during Victorian days, and even as late as 1912 The Garden reported that “ladies simply rave over it.” It’s also wildly prolific, having produced over 130 “sports” (mutations) including most of today’s Double Earlies. Think what it might produce for you! Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


ORANGE FAVORITE, 1930

This deliciously fragrant flower is “one of the best of all tulips,” writes Anna Pavord in her monumental Bulb, although it’s “not for the faint-hearted.” (Does that sound like a challenge?) Its buds open into “stupendous,” glossy, ruffled blooms of orange feathered with wisps of rose and green. Although the harvest was so small we didn’t put it in our print catalog this year, here it is! Parrot, 20” , zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. See our other unusually fragrant tulips. Last offered in 2017. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PAEONY GOLD, 1700

An exotic green and gold protea from some trendy SoHo floral designer? No, but that’s what this 300-year-old double tulip looks like when it first starts to open — and no modern tulip looks anything like it! For a close-up view of its weird beauty, simply click on our small photo. Now imagine it in a vase where you can watch it day by day as it slowly matures from a chartreuse symphony into a peony-like blossom of gold brushed with red. Wow! Double Late, 10-12”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2013. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PAPILLON, 1914

A great staff favorite here at Old House Gardens, elegant ‘Papillon’ has unusually dark, garnet-red petals that seem even darker because of their broad, feathery edging of gold (or is that melted butter?). It’s named for the darkly romantic Madame Papillon, an 1860 ballet by Offenbach and Taglioni about a butterfly (papillon is French for butterfly) that perishes in flames. Single Late, 18-20”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PERFECTA, 1750

Like a brilliant flag whipped into a frenzy by raging winds — or the claw of some freakish lobster from the Great Barrier Reef — or a Baroque filigree splashed with paint by the Color Kittens — that’s ‘Perfecta.’ One of Nature’s weirdest and most wonderful jewels, it’s been preserved by gardeners for over 250 years so you can enjoy it today. (For other extra-rare parrots, see ‘Amiral de Constantinople’, ‘Cafe Brun’, and ‘Markgraaf van Baden’.) 18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


POMPADOUR, 1929

Shaded with a mist of tiny pink speckles that get deeper and more numerous every day, this extra-rare double tulip gradually transforms itself from near-white to rosy pink – almost as if it’s blushing in slow motion. A golden glow deep inside adds to its ethereal beauty. Double Early, 10-12”, 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.


PRELUDIUM, 1945

When the last Dutch farmer growing this classic tulip decided to quit it several years ago, we bought his entire stock to save it from oblivion. Now you can help! It’s a deep, radiant rose-pink over a broad base of ivory, and it all but buzzes with energy. Triumph, mid-season, 17-19”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2012. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PRESIDENT HOOVER, 1930

More than red, this “magnificent tulip” (in the words of the Barr and Sons catalog of 1950) is a “unique shade of fiery orange-red” shaded with deep brown undertones of burnt sienna. Its name honors the man revered in Europe for feeding the millions left starving by World War I. Single Late, 24-26”, 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.


PROFESSOR SCHOTEL, 1870

Sheer elegance and grace, that’s ‘Professor Schotel’. Its distinctively long, rounded petals are poised as gracefully as ballet dancers — or a pair of lips, breathless with anticipation. Its sophisticated, deep violet tones would have been perfect for a Gertrude Jekyll cottage garden. The Zandbergen Brothers catalog of 1930 called the professor “extremely handsome,” and as you can probably tell, we totally agree. Single Late, 20-22”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus. Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


PROSERPINE, 1863

“Rich, silky rose” – with the help of Google Books we found that apt description of ‘Proserpine’ repeated in dozens of publications from 1863 well into the early 1900s, along with this 1864 chromolithograph. Proserpine (proh-SER-pin-ee) was the Roman goddess whose return from the underworld every year ushered in spring. Single Early, 10-14”, 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.


PURPERKROON, 1785

Tulips from the 1700s are exceedingly rare. To last that long, they have to be both wonderful and tough – like ‘Purple Crown’, a raggedy double tulip of dusky, purplish crimson that’s also called ‘The Moor’. We like to imagine a crystal vase of it sitting by Beethoven as he wrote one of his dark, somber movements. It was grown way back then, so it really could have happened! Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4b-7a(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.


QUEEN OF NIGHT, 1944

Love for our deep dark ‘Greuze’ and ‘Philippe de Comines’ made us spurn ‘Queen of Night’ for years. But we couldn’t resist her beauty forever, and now we grow all three — to universal raves. Darkest of all, she’s maroon black and oh-so sophisticated. 24 inches. Pictured with ‘Philippe de Comines’, top, and ‘Greuze’, middle. Darwin/Single Late, zones 3a-7b(8bWC). Last offered in 2002. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


T. viridiflora RED HUE, 1700?

We’re always on the lookout for something different, so when we saw this quirky old tulip in a March 2008 Garden Design article about the Hortus Bulborum, we immediately called our friends at the Hortus to reserve some. With narrow, twisted petals of red, green, and maroon, it has an asymmetric, modern-art kind of vibe, but the Hortus dates it to 1700 and tulips much like it have intrigued gardeners since the 1600s. 16-18”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC). Last offered in 2008. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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. Last offered in 2015. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email 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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SILVER STANDARD, 1760

A lot has changed since 1760 (heck, the United States wasn’t even the United States back then), but ‘Silver Standard’ is still one of the world’s most exciting flowers. A true broken tulip, it’s a dazzling combination of purest white boldly splashed with red and guaranteed to leave you and your garden visitors standing open-mouthed in awe. Single Early, 12-14”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


THEEROOS, 1890

The fragrance of “TAY-rohs” shouldn’t have surprised us since its Dutch name means “tea rose,” but give it a sniff and we bet you’ll be surprised at how great it smells, too. And it’s a treat for the eyes — opening pale primrose faintly misted with pink, it gets rosier and more richly speckled every day. Double Early, 12”, zones 4b-7a(8aWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2014. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


THOMAS MORUS, 1820

This very rare, sweetly scented tulip is an intriguing, rusty color that catalogs over the years have struggled to describe: “nankeen-orange,” “terra-cotta shaded gold,” “orange shaded with buff,” even “light brown.” It was offered by New York’s Linnaean Botanic Garden nursery in 1830, and nearly a century later it was a “special favorite” of garden diva Louise Beebe Wilder. Its name honors the Renaissance statesman, author of Utopia, and saint beheaded for opposing Henry VIII. Single Early, 12-14”, 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.


TOURNESOL RED AND YELLOW, 1769

This voluptuous, nearly 250-year-old double tulip has billowing red petals edged with a mellow, butterscotch yellow, making it colorful enough for Victorian carpet-bedding yet lovely enough that it was once a leading cut-flower at London’s stylish Covent Garden market. Today it’s exceptionally rare, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer it! Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7a(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.


URSA MINOR, 1929

Named for the “Little Bear” constellation, this bright, early tulip is deep yellow with an impossibly thin, all but invisible outline of red, as if the edges were glowing from inner heat. Tulips are grown on more than 26,000 acres in the Netherlands, but this endangered gem accounts for little more than one thousandth of one percent of the total crop. Single Early, 12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2002. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


VULCAN, 1913

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

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.


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.


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