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Tulipa

Tulip
Liliaceae
Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

Tulips vary considerably. Some are stately and formal, others dainty and whimsical; a few look decidedly bizarre. Bloom comes at some time from March to May, depending on type.

Use larger tulips in colonies or masses, in company with low, spring-blooming plants. Use smaller, shorter types for close-up viewing—in rock gardens, near paths, in raised beds, in patio insets.

Tulips are superb container plants; unusual kinds such as Rembrandt and Parrot are especially suited to this use.

Nearly all hybrid tulips and most species (wild) tulips need an need six weeks of temperatures below 45° F/7° C to initiate flower formation, and they aren't bothered by summer drought. In mild climates, provide the necessary chill by refrigerating bulbs for 6 weeks (not near ripening fruit) before planting; then treat the plants as annuals.

Tulipa bakeri

Similar to and often listed as T. saxatilis. Lilac to purple flowers with a yellow base open to a wide, flat star; they are borne in clusters of three or four on stems to 1 ft. high.

Tulipa batalinii

This species' soft yellow flowers rise on 6–10-in. stems. Very narrow leaves.

Tulipa clusiana
Tulipa clusiana

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Tulipa clusiana

Slender flowers on 9-in. stems are rosy red outside, white inside. Leaves are also long, thin, and green. Though these are small, and should be massed for any kind of a show, they're lovely and will perennialize in milder zones than most tulips.

Tulipa clusiana chrysantha
Tulipa clusiana chrysantha

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Tulipa clusiana chrysantha

Blossoms of this 6-in.-high plant are star shaped when fully open; they have rose carmine outer segments (shading to buff at base), bright yellow inner segments.

Tulipa fosteriana

Early-blooming T. fosteriana has the largest flowers—4 to 8 in. wide—of any tulip. The huge red blossoms appear atop 8–16-in. stems and open flat, with a yellow line around the black blotch at the base of each petal.

Tulipa greigii

This tulip's 6-in. flowers are borne on 10-in. stems; leaves are heavily spotted and streaked with brown. Hybrids have flowers in white, pink, orange, red; many feature several colors in a single blossom. Midseason.

Tulipa kaufmanniana

Often called waterlily tulip, T. kaufmanniana is a very early bloomer with 3-in., creamy yellow flowers (marked red on petal backs) with dark yellow centers; the flowers open flat in sun. Stems 6–8 in. high. Hybrids come in various colors, usually with flower centers in a contrasting color; many have mottled leaves like Greigii tulips.

Tulipa saxatilis

Fragrant, yellow-based pale lilac flowers open nearly flat; one to three are carried on each 1-ft. stem. Early bloom. Good potential for perrenializing in mild-­winter areas.

Tulipa tarda

Each 3–5-in. stem has three to six upward-facing, starlike flowers with golden centers, white-tipped segments. Early midseason, and among the longest-flowering tulips. Often sold as T. dasystemon, a different species. Greenish-bronze leaves are succulent looking.

'Ballade'

Grows 16 in. tall, with white-edged, goblet shaped magenta flowers and wavy edged leaves. Late midseason.

Beauty of Apeldoorn tulip
Beauty of Apeldoorn tulip

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'Beauty of Apeldoorn'

This tulip variety grows 22 in. tall, produces yellow-orange flowers with red stripes. Because Darwin hybrids are the largest tulips, have long stems, and hold well in the vase, they’re favored for cutting.

Blue Parrot tulip
Blue Parrot tulip

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'Blue Parrot'

Like most parrot tulips, this one's large, mauve-blue, deeply fringed and ruffled flowers are reminiscent of parrot feathers, and sit atop 16–20-in. stems. Other parrot tulips are striped, feathered, and flamed in various colors, including green. They once had weak, floppy stems, but modern types are stouter.

'Don Quichotte'

A good representative of the Triumph tulips, this one grows 20 inches tall, produces clear pink, single flowers. Others come in a wide range of solid colors, including red, white, and yellow, and bicolors. Midseason.

'Spring Green'

Grows 20 in. tall, produces yellow flowers with green-striped reverse (that green is the mark of viridifloras).

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Tulipa kaufmanniana

Often called waterlily tulip, T. kaufmanniana is a very early bloomer with 3-in., creamy yell...

Tulipa clusiana chrysantha

Blossoms of this 6-in.-high plant are star shaped when fully open; they have rose carmine outer segmen...

Tulipa fosteriana

Early-blooming T. fosteriana has the largest flowers—4 to 8 in. wide—of any tulip...

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