12 Types of Tulips and When They Bloom
Many people don’t realize there are more than a dozen different types of tulips. The earliest ones open just after the crocuses; the late ones flower right before the peonies; and many others bloom in between.
Each type of tulip has its own special beauty and it’s fun to get to know them all. By planting varieties from each of the different bloom times, you can have tulips flowering for six weeks or more every spring.
To see how the bloom time for tulips fits into the entire gardening season, check out our Bloom Time Chart for Spring and Summer Bulbs. Keep in mind that actual bloom times are influenced by weather, growing conditions and location.
Fosteriana tulips, also known as Emperor tulips, are the first large-flowered tulips to bloom each spring. This makes them ideal companions for daffodils. They have jumbo flowers on sturdy, 16” stems. Their blossoms open wide on sunny days and can measure up to 8” across. Shown at left is Orange Emperor.
Double Early tulips have lots of extra petals that give the flowers a rose-like softness. They are a little shorter than most other tulips, generally standing about 12” tall. The flowers are long lasting in the garden and wonderful for bouquets. Shown at left is Monsella. Also consider Abba, Foxtrot, Foxy Foxtrot, Margarita and Monte Orange.
Single early tulips have nice big blossoms with a classic tulip shape. They bloom during the peak of daffodil season and stand about 10-14” tall. Shown at left is the Prince Mix of single early tulips including Purple Prince, Sunny Prince and Candy Prince. Flair is a high-impact variety with bright red and yellow petals.
Darwin hybrid tulips are strong plants with extra-large flowers. They bloom in mid-spring and have a big presence in the garden. Darwin Hybrids are sometimes referred to as “perennial tulips” because if the growing conditions are favorable, the bulbs may rebloom for several years after planting. Ad Rem is shown at left. Other Darwin hybrid favorites include Apricot Impression, Banja Luka, Blushing Apeldoorn, Cosmopolitan, Daydream, Golden Parade, Oxford, Pink Impression and Red Impression.
Most Greigii tulips produce two to four flowers per stem, so you get more color per bulb and a long blooming season. The foliage of these tulips often displays burgundy flecks or stripes. Shown at left is Toronto. Other Greigii tulips include Casa Grande, Mary Ann and Red Riding Hood.
Triumph tulips bloom in mid-spring. They come in a rainbow of colors as well as many attractive bicolors. Such a wide variety of choices suggests endless color combinations. Triumph tulips stand 18 to 20” tall and are reliable performers for both gardens and containers. Shown at left is Brilliant Mix. Other popular triumph tulips include Barcelona, Bastogne, Happy Generation, Jimmy, Purple Lady and Ronaldo.
These are also known as "green tulips." There are many different petal colors, but all viridiflora tulips display characteristic streaks of green on their petals. Most varieties bloom in mid to late spring. The flowers are long-lasting and are wonderful in bouquets. Shown here is Flaming Spring Green. We also offer a Viridiflora Mix of assorted colors.
Parrot tulips have fancy, ruffled petals and come in lots of fabulous color combinations, ranging from pure white through red, orange, purple almost black. As the flowers mature, their petals twist, giving each blossom a unique look. They were a favorite subject in Dutch Master paintings. Parrot tulips flower at the end of the tulip season and are a favorite with floral designers. Classics include Black Parrot, Estella Rijnveld and Parrot King.
The petals of fringed tulips are edged with a delicate filigree that catches the light and plays up each flower’s perfect beauty. Plant them on their own or mix them with other late season tulips. Salmon-rose Lambada (shown at far left) and red and white Marilyn are two popular varieties. Lily-Flowered tulips have long, elegant stems and flared petals. They are excellent companions for other late-blooming tulips and are particularly beautiful in bouquets. Consider burgundy Merlot, elegant white Sapporo and red and white Marilyn (shown at near left).
Among the last tulips to bloom in the spring, these tulips have plush, peony-like flowers with layers of silky petals. Beautiful when planted on their own, they are also are perfect partners for taller single late tulips. Several varieties are wonderfully fragrant and all are outstanding cut flowers. Favorites include Carnival de Nice, Angelique (shown at left) and Mount Tacoma.
These extra-large, long-lasting tulips are also known as French or cottage tulips. They can grow up to 28” tall and have shapely, perfectly formed flowers. Single late tulips are heat tolerant and have a regal presence in the garden. Classics include Dordogne (shown at left), Queen of Night and Menton.