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With an unusually long, slender shape this lovely broken tulip was introduced by the legendary bulb-house of Krelage and Sons. In 1907 the Peter Henderson catalog praised it as “brilliant cherry rose flushed and striped with scarlet, violet, and white, very distinct.” Aka ‘Maid of Holland’, Single Late, 14-18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.
“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. Chart and care.
Once the world’s most popular tulip, gracing hundreds of catalog covers, this willowy, shell-pink beauty was lost to gardeners in 2007 when the last US grower finally gave it up. To save it, we sent 100 bulbs from his last harvest to our friends in Holland, and now there’s enough to share! Though bred from antique Flemish stock, ‘Clara’ was the prototypical 20th-century tulip – not feathered or flamed, not short and bright, but tall, late, pastel, and lovely. Learn more. Darwin/Single Late, 22”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC). Chart and care.
A tulip for Mobile? Yes! And it’s hardy and multiplies in Boston and Denver, too! Although many sources offer this petite, charming wildflower, virtually all deliver cheap impostors such as hybrid ‘Lady Jane’ (oversized, and empty inside) or modern cream-to-yellow forms instead of the ancient rose and WHITE with its heart of deep, ravishing purple. Bill Finch of the Mobile Press-Register writes that in his garden our true clusiana has “come bursting out of the ground, each year better than the last.” It can do the same for you, in zones 6a-8b(10bWC), if you give it well-drained soil that’s relatively dry in summer. 10-14”, from Holland. Chart and care.
Named for Harlequin’s sweetheart, this dreamy Bijbloemen broken tulip has flickering purple flames on petals that, instead of pure white, are blushed with lavender. Although tulip-show judges consider that a flaw, everyone else just seem to say, “It’s beautiful!” 18-20”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.
The best red tulip ever? Could be! It’s definitely the only tulip this old that’s still widely grown today. Generations have prized its rich color – red with a plum blush – and its fine habit – sturdy, weather-proof, and enduring. Isn’t it time you tried it? Triumph, 12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.
How about a tulip that’s immortal? Our customers led us to ‘Demeter’, telling us it returned and bloomed in their gardens for a decade or more. A vibrant, very rosy purple, it’s named for Demeter (say Di-MEET-er), the Greek goddess of agriculture and fertility – another good reason to grow it. Triumph, 24”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
This “coffee-brown, maroon-shaded” gem is “undoubtedly the most attractive of the brown tulips,” said the John Lewis Childs catalog in 1920 when tulips in so-called art shades such as bronze, terra-cotta, and mauve were the height of fashion. It’s certainly one of our favorites! Dutch Breeder/Single Late, 18-22”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. See our other brown tulips. Chart and care.
If we had to choose a dozen landmark varieties to summarize the whole amazing history of tulips, this 400-year-old miniature would be one of them. Just 6 inches tall and extra early blooming, ‘Red and Yellow’ is the grandaddy of the ‘Duc van Tols’, a fabled clan of pixie tulips once grown in every garden and forced in pots for Christmas bloom. In front of purple hyacinths, its tiny flames are stunning. 6”, zones 4b-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.
Here’s a vanilla that’s far from plain – and deliciously fragrant! An ancestor of today’s lily-flowered tulips, it’s a Devon-cream colored, vase-shaped beauty with long slender petals that twist and reflex gently for an almost whirling effect. Aka ‘White Crown’, Cottage/Lily-flowered, 16”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC) from the Hortus Bulborum. See our other unusually fragrant tulips. Chart and care.