Top 10 Tulip Varieties for Your Garden


Top 10 Tulip Varieties…

Timeless Favorites for Your Garden

There are thousands of different tulips to choose from, so how do you know which ones will give you the best results?

Though each year brings a flurry of new tulip varieties, new isn’t always better. In fact, some of the world’s best performing and most beautiful tulip varieties have been around for generations. These tried and true performers have proven themselves to be strong growers and excellent bloomers that can weather a wide range of climates and growing conditions.

Here are 10 classic tulip varieties to plant this fall and enjoy next spring.

Carnaval de Nice
A double late tulip introduced in 1953. Layers of gently cupped, snow-white petals feature raspberry-red stripes. Foliage has cream-colored edges. There’s simply no other tulip like it. Gorgeous in a vase. Fragrant. 16-20” tall. Holds an Award of Garden Merit (AGM) from the Royal Horticultural Society. 
Olympic Flame
A Darwin hybrid introduced in 1971. Big, goblet-shaped blossoms have bright yellow petals brushed with crimson inside and out. Great curb appeal. Like all Darwin Hybrids, Olympic Flame blooms in mid-spring. Height is 18”. AGM
Oxford
Introduced in 1945. Many consider Oxford the world’s best red Darwin Hybrid tulip. The glossy, bright red petals have a golden yellow base and jet-black center. Impressive height and bearing. Fragrant. 20” tall. AGM
Pink Impression
A Darwin hybrid introduced in 1979. The extra-large, egg shaped flowers are rose pink at the base and pale pink on top, often with hints of apricot, pale green or lavender, depending on the light. A great choice for perennial gardens. 20” tall. AGM
Princess Irene
A midseason triumph tulip introduced in 1949. Mango-colored petals feature dusky purple flames. Sturdy and weatherproof flowers smell like orange zest. Named for the sister of Holland’s Queen Beatrix. Height is 12-14”. AGM
Purple Flag
Introduced in 1983. Triumph tulips are known for their lovely colors. This one is a good, strong purple with a creamy white base. Makes an ideal partner for almost any other tulip. Stunning in bouquets. 18” tall.
Queen of Night
A single late tulip introduced in 1944. Queen of Night is the world’s darkest tulip. Its petals are maroon with a high gloss shine. Dramatic and very long lasting. Heat tolerant, too. 18-20″ tall.
Red Emperor
An early-blooming Fosteriana tulip introduced in 1931. Also known as Madame Lefeber. Its deep red flowers are tall and slender, and open wide on sunny days to display a jet-black center. Grows well in containers. Height is 18”.
Toronto
An early blooming Greigii tulip introduced in 1963. Each bulb produces a bouquet of 3 to 5 blossoms, which makes this an excellent cut flower. Coral-red petals and decorative foliage. Height is 14-16”.  AGM
Black Parrot 
Parrot tulip introduced in 1937. These large and expressive flowers are deep burgundy on the outside and almost black inside. Protect them from wind and hot sunlight. Magical in a vase. 18” tall.
National Garden Bureau’s members have a wide selection of timeless favorites as well as newer varieties of tulips available:
American Meadows
Burpee
Jung Seed
Longfield Gardens
McClure & Zimmerman
Park Seed
RH Shumway

And to make your fall bulb planting easier and more successful, check out these tools and supplies:
Bulb Bopper from Gardener’s Supply
Bulb Planter from Harris Seeds
ProPlugger

(Special thanks to Longfield Gardens for providing the content and photos for this e-newsletter.)

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