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22 Types of Tulips - Growing Guide (with Pictures)

by Max - last update on June 16, 2019, 1:38 am
Types of Tulips

Tulips are the most favored type of bulb and have had a continuous reign of popularity since their introduction several centuries ago. In the mid-1600s, Europe developed such an obsession for this perennial flower that tulip prices rocketed, with Holland being the most badly affected, and many people found themselves in economic crisis.

The fashionable Viceroy Tulip at one time was priced five times higher than a typical house! Fortunately, tulips are now a very affordable and rewarding part of many homes and gardens. And despite their somewhat negative history, tulips remain an ever popular flower and gift, being synonymous with springtime and happiness. Although most people believe they could instantly recognize a tulip, many would be surprised to find that varieties of tulips are extensive, with some bearing little resemblance to the common tulip we have come to know and love.

Of around 3,000 currently identified varieties, these can be broken down into 15 categories of tulip, which we will discuss below.

Caring for Tulips

Tulips are a very easy-care flower. They require minimal effort, but reward you with stunning blooms in a huge variety of colors and styles.

All tulips grow from bulbs, which should be planted in well-draining soil in the fall. They typically require freezing over winter and will begin to emerge from the soil during spring. Bulbs can be planted directly into the ground or in container pots filled with rich and fertile soil. Soil needs to be kept moderately moist, but not wet and soggy. Water freely as long as your soil is well draining, to avoid the soil becoming waterlogged. Aim for a lightly moist soil, but don’t be worried if it occasionally dries out.

Most tulips need to be in a position of full sun. They enjoy cool winters and warm, dry summers. Some varieties will need protection from wind and rainfall, while other hardier varieties are tolerant of these weather conditions. If you ensure these conditions are met, you will have beautiful tulips blooming year on year with very little care or maintenance required.

Tulip Types

Single Early Tulips

These cup-shaped tulips are commonly known as single tulips, which references their individual layer of petals on the flower. This type of tulip is the one which most people are familiar with. As an early bloomer, you can expect them to appear in mid-spring in a wide variety of colors, including purple, pink, white, and orange. They have strong, medium-sized stems that will withstand rain and wind, making them a good robust choice of bedding plant.

Types of Single Early Bloomers include:

1. Purple Prince

Purple Prince

Easy to grow

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic when ingested

 

This stunning variety of tulip has vibrant purple flowers, which are a deep yellow at the base. The blooms are long lasting and can withstand a fair amount of wind and rain.

2. Apricot Beauty’

Apricot Beauty’

Grows to 16 inches in height

Easy to grow

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can cause skin irritation

 

This award-winning flower is radiant in a delicate peach color. Having secured the Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, it is considered one of the best tulips available and has a delightfully sweet scent.

Single Late Tulips

These tulips, as you might imagine, are much like the single early tulips, with the key difference being that they bloom slightly later in the year. They are easy to care for, making an ideal garden plant for even inexperienced gardeners.

Types of Single Late Tulips include:

3. Blushing Beauty

Blushing Beauty

Grows to 30 inches in height

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic when ingested and can cause skin discomfort

 

These golden colored blooms are infused with shades of pink and purple around the base of the flower, giving a delicate and unique result. They bloom in late spring, and similarly to early blooming varieties, the Blushing Beauty has strong stems which cope well under the stress of wind and rainfall.

4. Queen of Night

Queen of Night

Grows to heights of 26 inches

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Skin irritant

 

This variety is another breed of tulip to have received the coveted Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. The color of this tulip varies depending on which light you are viewing it in, ranging from a deep purple to mahogany red or even black. It is the darkest tulip available in any variety and brings a touch of drama to wherever it grows.

Fringed Tulips

One look at these unusual tulips will instantly reveal where the name of fringed tulip comes from. The edge of each flower petal has tiny cuts all along it, giving the effect of fringing. This variety of tulip is made up of mutants that were taken from other varieties and transformed. Because of this, there’s a wide range in blooming time, height, and general attributes.

Types of Fringed Tulips include:

5. Bell Song

Bell Song

Grows to 20 inches in height

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic to pets and humans

 

This pretty variety has cup-shaped blooms in shades of pink, lilac, and coral. The fringed edges of the petals tend to fade to a paler shade or creamy white color. They flower in mid to late spring, with long-lasting blooms that look spectacular as cut flowers in vases.

6. Davenport

Davenport

Grows to 18 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic properties

 

This stunning tulip features flowers in a startling red that can turn into a vibrant yellow. The deep intensity of the coloring combined with the petal shape and fringed edge brings to mind images of passionate fiery flames.

Kaufmanniana Tulips

These tulips make ideal container flowers as they grow to low heights of just 6 to 12 inches. The interesting thing about these tulips is that they change shape during daylight, providing you with a completely different looking flower than you will have in the evening and overnight. In response to sunlight, these tulips open to their flowers until the petals are splayed out into a star shape, laying almost entirely flat. In low light, they will return to a more typical tulip form of a cup shape. When spread out, the flower displays its inner colors, which are not visible when closed, making the flower seem like a completely different species.

Types of Kaufmanniana Tulips include:

7. Ancilla

Ancilla

Grows to just 8 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Blooms in early to mid spring

Can be toxic if ingested, and a skin irritant

 

This tulip won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Its petals on the outside are a pale pinkish red, but the inner petals are white with markings of red and yellow. The difference between the inner and outer petal shades means this flower can completely transform its appearance, both in shape and color, when its blooms open up in response to the sun. This tulip is easily naturalized, returning year upon year and spreading out to create more striking tulips.

Greigii Tulips

These low-growing tulips reach heights of just 8 to 12 inches, making them perfect choices for container planting or rock gardens. They are available in just a few select colors, but their main feature is that the petals are striped or spotted.  

Types of Greigii Tulips include:

8. Winnipeg

Winnipeg

Grows to just 8 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Blooms in early to mid spring, with 3-5 blooms per bulb

Can be toxic if ingested, and a skin irritant

 

Undoubtedly, the best thing about this tulip is its ability to multi-flower. Each tulip will produce several flowers on a single stem, usually between 3 and 5 blooms per bulb. This makes it ideal for bringing lots of bright color to a small area of a garden, or to make a container pot look full and lush. With a sparkling yellow color and distinctive red stripes, this tulip variety opens up its blooms in sunlight, transforming from a closed cup shape to an open star.

Parrot Tulips

This group of tulips is distinguishable by their playful looking flowers. Each petal has serrated edges much like the fringed varieties, but the petals themselves are shaped differently and have a habit of fanning out to give the look of a parrots plumage. In the early blooming stages, each bud of a parrot tulip will be green. They remain this color so far into the season that you may think they are a green variety; however, eventually, they do transform into an array of vibrant colors. It is at this point the petals fan out until they are almost laying completely flat, creating an unusual and surprising tulip flower. This group of tulips was developed from tulips in other late-blooming groups, and so, they tend to bloom much later into the spring.

Types of Parrot Tulips include:

9. Gay Presto

Grows to between 16 and 24 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic to pets and humans

 

This remarkable flower is bright pink and white, with pink feathered edges. Blooming late in the spring, it opens wide when exposed to the sun, spreading out into a large and nearly flat flower.

10. Black Parrot

Black Parrot

Grows to heights of 24 inches

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Skin irritant

 

This dramatic flower has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. It makes a real statement in any garden, thanks to its deep purple petals, which fan out into a large open flower in response to sun exposure. It has thick and strong stems, but in consideration of the large flowers, these tulips are typically planted in sheltered areas that are protected from the potential harm of heavy winds and rain.

Darwin Hybrid Tulips

This group of tulips is a result of crossbreeding other tulips. The ‘Madame Lefeber’ variety was crossed with various other cultivars by a famous breeder from the Netherlands named D. W. Lefeber. The result was a collection of tulips that had the best qualities from the crosses breeds, including sturdy stalks and large flowers. Being both strong and beautiful, Darwin Hybrid tulips make excellent cut flowers and are now bred specifically to supply stores and garden centers with bouquets of tulips. The single blooms of these tulips appear in late spring and will provide five years of blooms.

Types of Darwin Hybrid Tulips include:

11. Ivory Floradale

Ivory Floradale

Credit to saomik

Grows up to 24 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested and cause skin irritation

 

This award-winning flower is widely adored thanks to its enormous blooms in a soft yellow-ivory color. Its strong stems grow to between 20 and 24 inches long and are sturdy enough to tolerate heavy rainfall and strong winds. Blooming in the middle of spring, this tulip species nicely with its subtle coloring nicely compliments many other mid-spring flowers.

12. Ad Rem

Ad Rem

Grows up to 24 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested and cause skin irritation

 

This egg-shaped variety of tulip has scarlet colored flowers with subtle hints of orange and pink. The edges of the petals are lined with a bold yellow flash of color, perfect for adding some vibrancy to your garden. As is typical of tulips in the Darwin Hybrid category, this variation benefits from large blooms and strong stems which will withstand most adverse weather. This tulip is a fairly late bloomer, showing its flowers in late spring.

Double Early Tulips

These graceful flowers are often mistaken for peonies, with their wide and multi-layered blooms. They tend to be shorter and more fragile than other tulip varieties, gaining typical heights of around 15 inches and being susceptible to harm caused by rain or wind. As the name suggests, they bloom early, at the beginning of spring.

Types of Double Early Tulips include:

13. Mondial

Mondial

Grows up to 12 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

This easy to grow tulip has elegant flowers in a pale creamy yellow color. It has a sweet scent, with large open blooms on a relatively short stalk. Growing to between just 8 and 12 inches in height, this is one of the smallest tulip varieties, but it is small and mighty! Its strong stems can tolerate wind and rain, making it perfect for bringing a touch of class and elegance to open areas of your garden.

14. Foxtrot

Foxtrot

Grows up to 12 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

This beautiful flower is sweet in every way. It has a delightful fragrance, candy floss coloring, and a petite height. The double layer of petals gives a very full look to the flower, which is made all the more intriguing with the combination of dark and pale pinks that blend seamlessly on each petal. This flower has short but strong stems, making it suitable for unsheltered spots where it may be subject to rainfall.

Double Late Tulips

This group of tulips has everything in common with the Double Early Tulip category, with the only difference being that they bloom later into the season.

Types of Double Late Tulips include:

15. Double Sugar

Double Sugar

Grows up to 18 inches tall

Cannot tolerate adverse weather, so plant in a sheltered spot

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

This tulip barely resembles a common tulip at all, looking more like a cross between a peony and a rose. It has several layers of petals, which give it a sumptuous look, along with slightly feathered edges, which add to its romantic style. In an array of pink shades, this tulip emanates lust and charm. Its flowers bloom in late spring and last a long time.

Viridiflora Tulips

This quirky collection of tulips has something to offer to anyone looking for a less conventional flower. Bearing little resemblance to the tulip most of us are familiar with, these tulips have petals that tend to spread out creating more of a star shape. They also, unusually, have green stripes or markings on the underside of the petals. For a unique display within your home, these tulips make great cut flowers. They bloom in late spring and can last in excess of three weeks.

Types of Viridiflora Tulips include:

16. Artist

Artist

Grows up to 12 inches tall

Sturdy stem, can withstand rain and wind

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Easy to grow

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

In a vibrant orange shade with lime green accents, this tulip presents a striking flower. It has been the recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit and is favored by gardeners who adore the eccentric and unconventional. The flowers are cup-shaped, with each petal coming to a point at the top to create a zigzagging edge. The colors combined with the unusual shape bring to mind images of young birds crying out to their mothers with their beaks wide open.

17. Florosa

Florosa

Grows up to 12 inches in height

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

This tulip has an elegant appeal, with its long arching petals in muted colors giving a dainty look. The base of the flower begins in a snowy white, which gradually faded into green, and then pink at the tips. With long-lasting flowers in the region of three weeks, this tulip makes a great choice for cut flowers to display in your home. In spite of its delicate appearance, this tulip is strong and reliable, with a sturdy stem of just 12 inches tall.

Triumph Tulips

This category of tulips contains more color variations than any other category. The Triumph tulip was created by crossing two other tulip varieties; the Darwin Tulip and the Single Early Tulip. The resulting Triumph Tulip is daintier than other varieties, but with a neat-shaped flower and a glorious array of colors. At an average of 16 inches in height, these are by no means the tallest tulips, but they are strong and mighty. Their sturdy stems can withstand wind and rainfall. This category of tulip is known for being the best to “force.” Forcing a bulb is a way to get the flower to bloom outside of its usual time by using methods to trick it into thinking it is late spring.

Types of Triumph Tulips include:

18. Attila

Attila

Grows between 16 and 18 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Strong stem, able to withstand wind and rain

Blooms in late spring

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

In a stunning magenta, these blooms bring a shock of color to any garden. The heavily pigmented petals give a deep and luscious feel to the flower, which has the added bonus of being sweetly scented.

19. Gavota

Gavota

Grows up to 20 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

An award-winning flower, this species blooms in a deep wine-red color, which is lined around the upper edges of the petals with a soft yellow. Recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2010, this celebrated tulip blooms in the middle of spring and is capable of tolerating adverse weather conditions.

Lily-Flowered Tulips

This category of tulips typically contains varieties that have long and slender stems, making them weak under pressure and therefore not suitable for planting in unsheltered areas where they may be subject to wind and rain. They generally tend to bloom in mid to late spring, producing delicate looking flowers in a variety of colors. In terms of appearance, these flowers have elegant, pointed petals that curve outward in a flirtatious style.

Types of Lily-Flowered Tulips include:

20. Fly Away

Fly Away

Grows up to 20 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Susceptible to damage from wind and rain

Plant in the fall in a protected area

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

This variety of tulip has a cup-shaped flower that fans out at the top, giving the impression that the petals may actually fly away. In an electrifying shade of scarlet with canary yellow edges, this tulip is truly dazzling. As a late spring bloomer, plant it in a sheltered area to protect it from adverse weather.

Fosteriana Tulips

These early bloomers appear early in spring, bringing the first flash of color to your garden. The flowers are shaped like a large bowl, spanning approximately 5 inches across. On tall and slender stems, these tulips have a graceful appearance.

Types of Fosteriana Tulips:

21. Flaming Purissima

Flaming Purissima

Grows up to 20 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

Introduced in 1999, this tulip variety has an irresistible flower that starts in a creamy yellow and fades into a speckled pink. In terms of height, it can vary between 10 and 20 inches tall, making it suitable for containers, garden beds, and borders.

Botanical Tulips

This category of tulip tends to have a look more reminiscent of wildflowers. They are typically the shortest of all tulips, growing in the region of just 5 inches in height. This feature makes them especially suited to planting in containers.

Types of Botanical Tulips include:

22. Cynthia

Cynthia

Grows up to 10 inches tall

Enjoys both full sun and light shade, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

 

At around 10 inches in height, this variety is tall compared to most botanical tulips. Its flowers are pale yellow with red striping. In low light, the blooms close to a tight cup shape, but open in sunlight to form a perfectly symmetrical star. Tolerant of both wind and rain, this award-winning tulip can be planted almost anywhere.

With tulips coming in such a wide array of variations, they offer something that will appeal to everyone. As an easy-care flower that will re-bloom year upon year, they present a rewarding option for very little expenditure in terms of both money and time required to maintain them.

Sources:

Gardenia

Better Homes and Gardens

The Old Farmers Almanac

National Garden Bureau

Gardeners World Magazine

Royal Horticultural Society

22 Types of Tulips - Growing Guide (with Pictures)

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