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Tulips: Lost Forever?

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Page 9 of Tulips: Lost?
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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.


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.


Page 9 of Tulips: Lost?
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