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Tulips: Lost Forever?

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Page 8 of Tulips: Lost?
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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.


POTTEBAKKER WHITE, 1840

Every Victorian gardener would have recognized the name ‘Pottebakker White’. Although tulips come and go, this “pure white, bold flower” (Rawson catalog, 1889) was the most popular white tulip from the mid-1800s well into the early 1900s. Sturdy and bright in the garden, it was also, according to the 1887 Prairie Farmer, “a great favorite with the cut-flower men.” Last offered in 2004, Single Early, 10-12”, 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.


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.


Page 8 of Tulips: Lost?
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