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With bold flames and feathers of cherry-red on white, this striking English florists’ tulip was bred by a Lancashire weaver over 150 years ago. But who was Mabel? Wife? Daughter? Or maybe a favorite barmaid at one of the pubs where the tulip societies held their shows back then? True broken tulip, multiplies well, late blooming, 18”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.
One of the break-out stars from our former Brown Sugar sampler, this “handsome Old Dutch Tulip,” to quote the Barr and Sons catalog of 1931, is “golden-bronze, the outer petals being flushed plum” – and it’s fragrant. Although it was officially introduced in 1913, Wister says it was listed by Krelage as far back as 1870. Dutch Breeder/Single Late, 22-26”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.
The graceful, vase-like shape of lily-flowered tulips like ‘Mariette’ evokes that of the earliest tulips to reach the West from Turkey in the 1500s. This multiple award-winner is a radiant rose-pink, deeper in the center of the petals and shading to silvery pink at the edges. Lily-flowered, late, 20-24”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
This wildflowery gem offers small, vase-shaped blooms of pale lemon to cream blushed with rose on graceful, wiry stems. A “neo-tulip” discovered growing wild in France in 1894, it is now considered most likely to be a much older garden “escape.” Cheap counterfeits are common, so for the real thing, come to us! 14”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
With its classic 1950s name, this classic 1950s tulip is still “unsurpassed even after all these years,” writes Richard Wilford in his 2015 Plant Lover’s Guide to Tulips. An RHS AGM-winner, it’s wonderfully strong-growing and holds its big, luminous flowers on tall sturdy stems. Single Late, 26-28”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
This uniquely colored, brown-inflected tulip has “a real ‘old-timey’ look to its garnet and primrose flowers,” as J. Horace McFarland wrote in 1938. Its shape is wonderfully old-fashioned, too, with lancet-pointed petals that curl back gracefully as they open in the sun. One of the so-called Cottage tulips, it was re-discovered by the Rev. Joseph Jacobs “in an old garden in Hanmer in 1905.” Cottage/Single Late, 18-22”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. See our other brown tulips. Chart and care.
The great Gertrude Jekyll planted this very rare, sunset-colored tulip in her iconic early 20th-century perennial borders. A multiple award-winner, it remained popular well into the 1940s when the de Jager catalog praised it as “a beautiful orange-scarlet tinged old rose, sweet-scented, a grand tulip.” Cottage/Single Late, 18-20”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart and care.
We sell tons of this old tulip every year, even though doubles have been woefully out of fashion for decades now – a testament to its great beauty. It’s a frothy extravaganza of white and pink (not peach), like a lacy, Victorian valentine. If you’ve never grown double tulips, this is the one to start with – and what are you waiting for? Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. See our other unusually fragrant tulips. Chart and care.
“Dark polished mahogany,” is how Peter Henderson described this tall, late tulip in 1929, but it always reminds us of dark sweet cherries. Despite its dramatic looks, ‘Philippe’ had vanished from American gardens until we reintroduced it in 1998. The great ‘Black Parrot’ is its ruffled sport (mutation). Single Late/Darwin, 20-24”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
It’s back! 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 2016, Single Early, 10-12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart.