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All About Tulips
All About Tulips: Growingtulips Nice Stories Passion of Tulips


Common name: Tulip

Of all the bulbous plants, the tulip is without a doubt the most popular. Tulips are grown on an extremely large scale, especially in the Netherlands where their history goes back to the end of the sixteenth century. That was when the first tulips were noticed growing in the vicinity of Leiden. Now, more than 400 years later, billions of tulips are being cultivated, the vast majority of them being exported from Holland. This goes not only for dry bulb sales but also for the cut flowers produced from the tulip bulbs. These cut flowers, available year-round in principle, are most in demand from November to May. The 'garden tulips' are the result of hybridization in which the species Tulipa gesneriana played an important role. Now there are more than 3,000 cultivated varieties registered, more being added each year to replace older varieties.

Tulip FieldTulips


In 1996, the Royal General Bulbgrowers Association of the Netherlands adopted the following classification system for the different species and cultivars of tulips:

Single early tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, mainly short-stemmed and early-flowering.

Double early tulips:
Double-flowered cultivars, mainly short-stemmed and early-flowering.

Triumph tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, stem of medium height, flowering in mid-season. Originally the result of hybridization between cultivars of the Single early group and the Single late group.

Single late tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, mainly long-stemmed and late-flowering. This group includes such tulips as those from the former Darwin and Cottage groups.

Darwin hybrid tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, long-stemmed, flowering in mid-season. Originally the result of hybridization between cultivars of the Darwin group with Tulipa fosteriana, and the result of hybridization between other cultivars and botanical tulips have habits similar to that of the T. fosteriana, but which lack the other characteristics of the wild species.

Lily-flowered tulips:
Single-flowered cultivar, flowering mid-season or late, displaying flowers with pointed, curled-back petals. Stem length varies.

Parrot tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars with fringed, curled and twisted petals. Mainly late-flowering. Stem of variable length. - Double late (Peony-flowered) tulips: Double-flowered cultivars which flower late. Mainly long-stemmed.

Rembrandt tulips:
Cultivars with broken flower colors: striped or marked with brown, bronze, black, red, pink or purple, on a red, white or yellow background. Cause of markings is a virus infection. Long-stemmed. (Not commercially available; displayed only in historical collections).

Multiflowered tulips

Fringed tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, petals edged with crystalline fringes, flowering mid-season or late. Stem of variable length.

Kaufmanniana (botanical) tulips:
Tulipa kaufmanniana, has cultivars, subspecies, varieties and hybrids, all of which resemble T. kaufmanniana. Very early-flowering, sometimes displaying mottled foliage. This has a flower with a multicolored base that opens completely. Exterior usually has a bright carmine blush. Height up to 8 inches (20 cm.).

Fosteriana (botanical) tulips:
Tulipa fosteriana has cultivars, subspecies, varieties and hybrids, all of which resemble T. fosteriana. Early-flowering, very broad leaves which can be green or gray-green, sometimes mottled or striped. Stem medium to long. Large elongated flower, base variable.

Greigii (botanical) tulips:
Tulipa greigii includes its cultivars, subspecies, varieties and hybrids, all of which resemble T. greigii. Usually mottled or striped foliage, flowering later than those in the Kaufmanniana group. Leaves usually spread out and bend down toward the ground. Flower shape variable.

Growing Tulips

The history of the tulip, and how to grow and care for one properly.

The tulip is a beautiful flower, and also a cheerful reminder of Spring. Read this article to learn the history, nature and cultivation of the tulip.

The tulip is also known by the Latin name tulipa. It requires partial to full sun to flourish, and for this reason often survives an average of three days indoors. It is planted at a depth of 8 to 9 inches under the soil, and the tulip is often planted in the fall for spring blooms.

The tulip is actually a native of central Asia! The tulip is a native of the Tien-Shan and Pamir-alai Mountain Ranges near Islamabad. Tulips spread to China and Mongolia from this point, and from there entered the far reaches of Europe. The Turkish Empire is greatly renowned for having the tulips that now decorate the Netherlands, and the Turks were known as cultivators of this flower through Persia and Asia from as early as 1,000 A.D.

Tulips are greatly associated with the Dutch, and this is because of a famous Dutch gardener named Carolus Clusius who was born in 1593. Clusius was the head gardener at the University of Lieden in Holland, where his work in botany, herbs and medicine was well-known. He was the first to plant tulips in what has today become a land renowned for its fields of tulips and daffodils. His work in this area was remarkable, for the tulip is considered a wild flower due to its origins in mountainous terrain and varieties. Certain kinds of tulips grow under rocks and only in the highest climates.


When planting tulips, it is nice to place them close to one another to avoid having them standing by themselves in the Spring. This is one flower that always looks better in groups. You can place bulbs as close as six inches away from each other in the ground, and for long rows of tulips, sometimes it is nice to dig a trench to plant them in. Tulips require ground that does not retain much water, because with prolonged exposure to water in the ground they tend to rot. You can test the ground by pouring water in a hole and checking to make sure it drains away in a reasonable amount of time.

When tulips begin to die in the summer, its important to leave them until they have all become brown. This ripens the soil for the next year, and also allows the tulips to live to their full life span. Be sure to rake away the browned and dead parts of tulips in June or July, however.