Favorite tulip?

tulips91(z6 MO)January 23, 2006

Or, perhaps easier for some of us, your 10 favorites?

I especially like:

Elegant Lady (lily-flowering)

Lilac Perfection (peony-flowering)

Blushing Girl (Single Late)

Golden Melody (Triumph)

Pink Diamond (Single Late)

Violet Beauty (Single Late).

BTW, does anyone else have problems with the white varieties giving off a foul odor? Both Maureen and another white one I grew (can't think of the name) were beautiful, but putrid.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Among my favorites:
Tulipa greigii 'Compostella',
Darwin 'Pink Parade',
Tulipa praestans 'Unicum',
Tulipa fosteriana 'Red Emperor', and
Tulip 'Ballerina' (lily flowered)

Tulipa fosteriana 'Red Emperor'

Tulip 'Ballerina' (lily flowered)

Tulip 'Pink Parade' (Darwin type)

Tulipa praestans 'Unicum' (species with variegated foliage)

Tulipa greigii 'Compostella' (one of my all time favorites)

    Bookmark   January 23, 2006 at 8:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
iris_gal(z9 CA)

'Queen of the Night' hands down. Her black-purple looks great with every other color.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 1:36AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
pitimpinai(z6 Chicago)

T. humulis 'Persian Pearl' for daintiness.
'Mt. Tacoma' and 'Pink Impression' for beauty or gaudiness??? LOL.
'Monte Carlo' for fragrance.

I added a lot more in various sizes and shapes last fall to get succession bloom from early through late spring. I'll see how gaudy my garden will be. :-D

    Bookmark   February 1, 2006 at 11:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tulips91(z6 MO)

Tulips are always graceful, but never gaudy. ( =
(And no, I'm not saying that about myself!)

Thanks for sharing the pictures, kdjoergensen.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2006 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks so much for asking, tulip91. Hard to pick favorites, especially when there are so many hundreds of new and old varieties still to try.

Heres the short list:

1. Rococo
2. Tulipa acuminita
3. Apricot Beauty
4. Bleu Aimable
5. Purple Heron
6. White Triumphator with Queen of Night underplanted with Angelique, Toronto, and Lilac Perfection
7. Banja Luka
8-10. Tulipa humilis, T. humilis "Violacea Black Base," T. clusiana "Candy Tulip," and T. turkistanica.

Whoa, thatÂs eleven. Sorry. Here are some comments on each, but PLEASE STOP HERE if youÂre not a tulipomaniac. I donÂt want to bore anyone or waste your time.

1. "Rococo" is a parrot-type that is shorter in stature and sturdier-stemmed than other parrots, and has a tighter, less "frillaceous" flower that is rich scarlet in color and tending to viridiflora-type flames of apple-green. Forces very well, too, which is very uncharacteristic of the parrot type.

2. Tulipa acuminita  the so called "Flame Tulip"  is a seventeenth century heirloom  circa 1688, I read somewhere, but I donÂt get how they can know the exact year with any accuracy. T. acuminita has fantastically elongated and spiral petals, elegant and bizarre at the same time. In terms of its other characteristics  such as size, provenance, perennializing potential, etc.  it seems to be intermediate between species and garden origin tulips. Alas, the bulbs are expensive and are not perennial in my garden.

3. Single early "Apricot Beauty" is deservedly a classic. It has a perfect tapered form and subtle peach and pink tones that develop and change over time. It also combines well with "Bleu Aimable." Easy to force.

4. "Bleu Aimable," a single late variety, was one of the first tulips I tried, along with "Apricot Beauty. I bought the bulbs for both varieties at an Agway over ten years ago. As I recall, "Bleu Aimable" was in fact nearly true blue, although IÂve read that itÂs more accurately described as lilac-blue. It had the same ovoid shape as the "Apricot Beauty" that I planted with it, and they bloomed at about the same time, making a beautiful color combination. They are not in fact supposed to bloom at the same time, one being early and the other late, but they did anyway, maybe because they were forced together. "Bleu Aimable" seems unfortunately to hae become by in recent years. I searched for it unsuccessfully for several years until I finally found a source in McClure & Zimmerman. I realized a packing error had occurred, though, when the "Bleu Aimable" turned out to be "Blue Heron" fringed tulips. I have had wonderful dealings with McClure & Zimmerman in the past, and IÂm certain they would have offered a refund if IÂd asked for it. But "Blue Heron" has serendipitously become a favorite, anyway. IÂm still searching for the "Bleu Aimable" though, and may chance ordering it again from McClure and Zimmerman.

5. "Purple Heron" is a lavender-blue fringed tulip with what appear to be ice crystals edging the petals. It blooms late with the parrots. IÂve been pondering what other tulips might look good with it, as itÂs color does need something to set it off. Maybe "Maureen," as that single also blooms late and its white color would contrast with the blue and complement the fringe. Both are tall. Maureen is in fact gigantic, and would float somewhat above the herons. How about haiku? Bright herons cross a winter sky under giant white clouds Â- spring is near. IÂm just foolin around now.

6. Except for "Angelique" Â a fragrant and beautiful shell-pink double late or peony type, none of the other tulips would make my short llist, though each does good substance on its own. But planted together these are a late-blooming smash. The contours of the white triumphator and the purple-black "Queen of Night" single late fit well together, and the short peony-flowered tulips are effective as a color-coordinated "groundcover" under these taller varieties. The peony varieties, especially "Angelique," are very fragrant as well. Got the idea for this color blend by studying a photograph in a wholesale catalog that does not specify the varieties they use in their various mixes. Feel a little bad about leaking the formula.

7. "Banja Luka" is another outstanding classic. ItÂs a knockout, really. Large blooms with great substance, long-lasting and one of the few that perennializes in my garden. It combines, in a single bloom. the screaming red and screaming yellow colors of the and Golden Apeldorn Darwin tulips (locally known as "Dutch" tulips) that seem to be the most commonly grown mass planting combination around here. I personally wouldnÂt want to grow that kind of display  though I hasten to add that I donÂt mind looking at them and am glad to see anyone growing any kind of tulip, most any kind of plant more at all, in fact  but I find small plantings of "Banja Luka" here and there to be very appealing additions to my spring garden. They glow from a long way off, especially when backlit by the evening sun. They bloom medium-late.

8-10. Last but certainly not least are some of the diminutive species tulips. Again, itÂs hard to choose among them, but one my favorites are Tulipa humilis, which is a most outrageous violet-pink that glows like a neon light, especially on gray days. It originates from North West Iran. Another favorite is T. humilis "Violacea Black Base," also from Iran. Then thereÂs the T. clusiana selection "Candy Tulip". I donÂt know the origin of the true clusianas. This one is mostly cream inside and out with a red band on the outer petals. Finally T. turkistanica (not from Iran). Star-shaped flowers petals are grayish, and the base is orange. These all have the advantage of blooming on the early side, and they can take a bit of shade. Each has an intriguing form and blooms in very unusual colors with strongly contrasting inner petals or bases. They are great choices for perennializing, though theyÂre still somewhat short-lived where situated in my own garden. Alas once more!

I have tried many new ones this year, among them a mix of double earlies, multi-flowering "Praestans Fusilier," Darwin-type "Jewel of Spring, and lily-flowered "Queen of Sheba." Also a mix of "Modern Rembrants" even though the box department store mixes have disappointed me in the past (theyÂre mostly picoteed or flamed varieties that are commonly offered as separate selections, ones such as "Shirley" and Banja Luka. IÂm hoping my McClure & Zimmerman mix will be more impressive. But hey, they might turn out to be "Bleu Aimable." IÂve also got seven or eight pots of forced tulips that are up and running. IÂve got no idea which ones they are, as I neglected to label them. But I like surprises, anyhow. There are still dozens more tulips IÂd like to try.

By the way, some of the very best bulbs IÂve ever purchased have been in those $2.00 per six or eight bulb boxes from the so-called Netherlands Bulb Company (many aliases) that you can buy in grocery stores around planting time. The biggest, fattest and most robust bulbs IÂve ever seen. or grown. They often produce not one but two flowers per bulb!

IÂd enjoyed hearing about your own lists, and would enjoy hearing more. Thanks for reading, and have many splendid displays!


    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 4:34PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I planted some tulips in pots last fall. When can I bring them in the house to bloom?


    Bookmark   February 15, 2006 at 8:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


My understanding is that tulips require 8-10 weeks of chill in order to bloom. I think at least ten weeks to be on the safe side. Consider that in most zones, outdoor pots need to be insulated or the bulbs will freeze and die, which will almost certainly happen in zone 3 unless insulated with bubble wrap or buried in an appropriate mulch such as dry out autumn leaves. Alternatively they can sunk into your garden and lifted at the appropriate time. If the pots ever get saturated with melting ice or whatever and then freeze solid, the bulbs are definitely done for (sad experience).

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 1:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

By the way, Gary, what varieties of tulips did you plant?


    Bookmark   February 17, 2006 at 1:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tulips91(z6 MO)

This thread is kind of like tulips out in the woods - you don't check on them very often, but when you do you are pleasantly surprised that they have grown.
Cranebill, saying "PLEASE STOP HERE if youre not a tulipomaniac" is a green light for me to read on! But unfortunately I didn't have time to read it all... yet. Yes, it is exceedingly hard to pick favorites. Almost disloyal to all the other beautiful tulips in the world; some of which I haven't heard of... yet.
I think the nursery I shop at ever so often stocks the bulbs you are talking about, and yes, they ARE very nice and fat and healthy. I have one way in the corner of my yard from three years ago that I still haven't moved. It was pretty much my first serious planting effort, which means absolutely NO soil amending was done, just "Here is you new home, tulip bulbs. I hope you enjoy getting all your nutrition from rocks and clay. Mostly rocks". And yet, even this year that bulb sent up a beautiful golden bloom. Maybe not the largest in the world, but flowers three years in a row doesn't give me a reason to complain. While I'm at it, does anyone have any interesting/funny "first try" tulip or bulb stories?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 10:45AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
deeds1(the far SWUK-9)

It's species tulips for me every time, and if I could only pick one it would be a tiny tulip with a huge name.

Tulipa humilis var. pulchella Albo caerula occulata.

The pure glisting white it set off to perfection by the steel blue-grey centre - absolute bliss.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 12:11PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Tulips, I haven't noticed any white tulips giving off a foul odour. In fact, Diana, a white early tulip, is quite fragrant. I'll be sure to sniff any white ones that bloom this spring.

Some of my favourites are:

Calgary (short, white triumph)
Stresa (yellow/red, kaufmanniana)
West Point (yellow, lily)
Yellow Present (yellow, early or triumph)
Moonshine (pale yellow, lily)
Ted Turner (short, yellow triumph)
Coleur Cardinal (red, early - con short bloom period, IMO)
United States (orange, gregii)
China Pink (delicate pink, lily)
Mariette (pink, lily)

Even more... love tulips!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2006 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

By far my favorite has been Red Oxford - what an extraordinary show every spring. Splashy and bold.

Next would be Queen wilhamina (sp.) and another similar dutch name purchased twelve years ago - don't know which is which but the orange with yellow edging, yellow center, and smells like citrus, oranges, AND has never lost color, never flamed - always true, divided three times at least. The other one has turned mostly yellow. I have never seen these tulips offered again.

Bastogne (sp.) for its deep, deep red
Pink perfection
and I think Frange pange - a fringed, orange/dark pink that is stunning.


    Bookmark   April 17, 2006 at 5:10PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie197(z5 MI)

Apricot Beauty, lovely soft color, early
Angelique, double pale pink
Bellona, single early yellow, sturdy and cheerful
Creme Upstar, double pink & yellow
hageri Splendens, brick red species tulip
humilis Persian Pearl, magenta-rose species tulip
Princess Irene, orange with purple, lovely with new leaves of Goldflame Spirea
Quebec, pinkish orange with cream edges, greigii - good returner
Toronto, salmon red greigii, looks good with Quebec
Queen of the Night, dark dark maroon, dramatic

    Bookmark   April 18, 2006 at 9:18PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I found many of my favorites this year. Many I planted for the first time and have been really impressed.

Queen of Night. I've grown this before and just love the dark color.

Princess Irene. I love this one. I've grown this before too. It combines two of my favorite colors, and favorite color combination-orange and purple.

Orange Favorite. I was so impressed when this parrot tulip bloomed. I love it. I planted lighter orange, black/violet, and burgundy pansies in front of these and it looks incredible.

Evergreen. This hasn't quite bloomed out yet,but I love the pictures of it. A totally green tulip. Pretty wild.

Mariette and Ballerina. I love these lily flowered tulips in bright orange and deep pink with those graceful shapes.

Negrita. I've grown this before too. It's an old favorite.

Cairo. This tulip is an incredible combination of burnt orange,gold, rust and brown colors. Really unusual and very beautiful. I planted them next to the 'Princess Irene'.

I planted a purple parrot tulip and I love how it looks,but I cant for the life of me remember it's name. I know it's a female name,but thats all I know!

Jenny. I like the combination of pink and golden orange.

Don Quichotte. I love the bright magenta of this one.

I also have a burgundy peony-flowered tulip that came up this year that I also can't remember the name of that I really like. It could be 'Queen of The Congo', but I know that was not the name of what I got,but it looks similiar to the pictures of 'Queen Of The Congo'.

I'm intersted in 'Queen Of Sheba', "Blue Amiable', 'Diana Ross', 'Orange Emperor', and many more.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 1:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ljrmiller(z7 NV)

This year my favorites are:

'Tournesol Red and Yellow', available last Fall from Old House Gardens. It lasted forever, and was absolutely glorious.

'Juan'. Juan is one of those 60-mph tulips, and has attractive purple and green striped/mottled leaves.

'Generaal de Wet', because it's just plain indestructible

'Little Princess', because it's indestructible almost to the point of invasive.

'Clara Butt', which is a luminous clear pink.

If I go any further, there will be a list of every tulip I grow, so I'll just stop here.


    Bookmark   May 13, 2006 at 2:15PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
leslie197(z5 MI)

Just had to add another one - this year I planted Monsella for the first time ever - longest lasting flowers I have ever had on any tulip ever. Still up and showy despite 7 days of heavy rain and it was in bloom well before the rains even started. But you have to like your tulips really bright & gaudy LOL. I have more than a 100 of them planted in the shade and you can see them as you turn onto our street way down the block.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2006 at 4:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

My favorite for the past two years has been Montreux, a buttery-yellow with a bit of raspberry marking......Red Emperor comes in second, I think. I grabbed about two dozen at Lowe's when they were at 75% off around Thanksgiving, stuck 'em in a big pot outdoors, and crossed my fingers. I think I paid about $4.00 for all of them. I figured if nothing happened, it wasn't much money down the drain. To my surprise, all came up, and bloomed gorgeously for about three weeks in March. Had the pot right at the gate into my backyard, so I got to pass it every time I went from house to car and back. Heavenly! I'll definitely plant them again next year.......Didn't have as much luck with some of the others I planted. We had a pretty mild winter 'round here and I don't think they got quite enough chill, even though I stuck some of them in the fridge as soon as I bought them at Labor Day, and then potted them up in late October.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2006 at 8:45PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have many favorites, depending on what is in bloom at the time. My longstanding favorite is also Princess Irene also because of the purple and orange combo. Last fall I bought 50 and they all bloomed -- but this year I am going to try Marjoletti, which I saw at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Tulipa fosteriana is also good, especially the blushing one and the yellow and orange ones. Yellow and white early tulips are nice to go along with the daffodils. I also like clusiana and battaldini in its varieties. Viridiflora, the green tulip, is a midseason favorite -- I particularly liked Hummingbird but it no longer seems to be obtainable. For later in the season Douglas Baeder and, of course, Shirley, lead into the pinks of the rose season.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2006 at 11:20PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

It's tulip planting time for most of us, I guess. Back again with a sincere post, but one which is also a bit of a sneaky attempt to revive tulips91's great message concept and so recycle this thread into the 2006-2007 season. I really loved this thread - I learned so much and enjoyed the excellent and tantalizing descriptions people provided.

After evaluating the performances of some of my "new" tulips last spring and comparing them with my old favorites, I felt compelled to revise my "Top Ten Tulips" list:

I'm bumping Tulipa acuminita (too expensive and too ephemeral) in favor of "Abba." Praestans-Fusilier knocks off Apricot Beauty. This was tough, but the Praestans earned extra points for being more unusual and rarer to find than the Beauty.

"Abba" is a double early tulip with an intensely deep and dramatic tomato red color and a light, fresh fragrance. It stands sturdily on medium short, stout stems. Forces perfectly.

"Praestans fusilier" is a multi-flowering tulip that seemed to bloom for weeks on end in my yard. I've read descriptions that state that it's a glowing orange-red in color, but mine were in fact a color similar to the Apricot Beauty, but yes, a bit more luminous. The Praestans produces about four or five flowers per stem. This tulip is somewhat diminutive, and gives the impression of an exquisite small bouquet.

There were a lot of close contenders for making my new list. They included all of the double earlies that I tried, which were Monsella, Montreux, and Peach Blossom. They were all fragrant to some significant degree, some intensely so, with distinct aromas of honey. All of them forced beautifully, and arrayed together in pots it was like having the outdoors indoors with spring arriving six weeks early. I really recommend this class of tulips to one and all. A couple of the new species tulips that I tried were also outstanding, with the delicacy, varied and interesting forms, and fantastic color combinations such as one tends to find only in the species tulips.

tulips91, I admired your metaphor of "tulips in the woods." And I'll soon be taking the bait of your "first try" story invitation.

I'm a raving tulipmaniac once again, and have ordered or bought in stores lots of new varieties this year, especially species tulips. I intend to post a separate "Your recent tulip acquisitions?" message which will, I hope, attract some respondents who will share their lists of any tulips they will be planting for the first time this year.


    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 9:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lovetogarden(z4 NY)

I love the majority of those mentioned but hands down my all time favorite is King's Blood (late single), which was accidentally included in a bulb purchase I made at my local nursery last fall. The pictures don't do this tulip justice. It's a deep blood red with a violet cast. Very striking!
My second favorite is Blushing Lady. Another bulb I also purchased accidentally one year. So tall and stately. Really striking.
The two that I mentioned received the most praise from visitors to my garden which is saying a lot considering that I have almost every tulip bulb mentioned in this subject!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 2:00AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
silvergold(z5a WI)

Sorry - no favorites to add. Cranebill, Old House Gardens sold Blue Amiable this year - but is now sold out. Maybe for next year!

    Bookmark   October 19, 2006 at 7:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


I hope you're still frequenting this forum and will maybe peruse the newer responses to this thread. I was looking back to what people had to say about their favorites and noticed yours was Tulipa humilis var. pulchella Albo caerula occulata. I just put in my second bulb mail order but had taken that one off my list, because it was $7.95 per three bulbs only, one of McClure & Zimmerman's most expensive offerings. Sounds like I should have kept it on the list. Where did you get yours?


    Bookmark   October 20, 2006 at 2:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glassmouse(z5-Cent IL)

cranebill: Brent & Becky's has the tulipa humilis 'Alba Coerulea Oculata' at 5 for $10, and John Scheepers has it at 10 for $13.50. Both have good reputations at Garden Watchdog (I've ordered from both and can vouch for their good products and service). Sold out at both places for this season, but something to keep in mind for next year--

My favorite tulips, right off the top of my head, are:

--Shirley & Negrita planted together (Shirley is beautiful the way the color evolves!)

--Happy Family (a multi-blooming--so cheery to see the bigger bloom and the secondary blooms together)

--New Design (the foliage is silver-edged and truly pretty on its own)

--And my absolute favorite: the species tulipa turkestanica. If I could only grow one, it would be this one. Not flashy, but multi-blooming and incredibly sweet-looking...and different enough (from the standard tulips, anyway) that not everyone on the block will have it. Plus, the bulbs are relatively small, so you can cram them in anywhere. Always a plus if, like me, you are running out of places to plant things yet can't resist ordering "just a few more!" since fall isn't complete without bulb planting--

    Bookmark   October 22, 2006 at 12:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
tulips91(z6 MO)

Ten thousand tulip bulbs! Imagine my surprise when I finally visited Gardenweb again the other day and found that this thread is still alive.
It's fun (and yes, tantalizing) to read posts by fellow tulipamaniacs.

"tulips91, I admired your metaphor of 'tulips in the woods.' And I'll soon be taking the bait of your 'first try' story invitation."
Well, cranebill, we'll be waiting with "baited" breath until then! (-:

I should try some T. species next year; I hear they come closer to perennialization than the hybrids.
Well, I know it's cruel, but I'm knocking Golden Melody off my list and replacing it with Angelique (peony flowering). Can't beat that angelic, fluffy pink with double petals.
Happy tuliping!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 3:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
vetivert8(NI-NZ zone 9a)

About 'Abba': I bought it as a remaindered pot of forced tulips. Had no idea what colour. Put away in a net baggie and forgot I had them.

Early June (near mid winter) discovered the bulbs, squeaked 'Eek!' and planted them out just to 'give them a fair go.'

They were the first up. They flowered for weeks despite deluges - and even the small bulbs came through to flower.

My garden gets light frosts only (less than -5C usually). The soil is a silty-clay loam with lots of compost. Abba did brilliantly.

My other favourite is 'Spring Green' which does great things behind the Iris innominata and some self-sown Calendula.

I'm also a fan for T. humilis violacaea. They do well in a pot, and multiply generously. I like it that they flower sequentially rather than all together. A long-lasting treat.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 6:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
hemnancy(z8 PNW)

After having squirrels dig up all my hybridized tulips one year but leave my species tulips, I feel I must keep to species for my favorites-
praestans unicum
Little Beauty
batalinii- Bright Gem

I saw some gorgeous lily-flowered tulips in pots last spring, so if I can find some on sale I might try keeping them in the garage over winter where they will be safe from squirrels.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2006 at 10:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
lila888(Z5 IL)

It is tulip season and this is an interesting thread.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2010 at 2:02AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I love this post. I'm ordering tulip bulbs to be planted this fall. Thank you all for your favorites. I have placed two orders and have no idea where they will go but I will find room. Nothing like bright happy tulips in the spring. Hard for me to pick a favorite. What will you be ordering this spring?

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 7:22AM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Hipeastrum papilio x H.Donau
After repeated and many unsuccessfull crossbreeding...
what's goin' on
grocery store tulips , and am i blue
Phaedranassa dubia
Hi all, I bought this bulb couple of months ago. It...
Plants with deficiencies
My plants always suffer from nitrogen deficiency and...
pushkinia, scillas, aka chionodoxa, muscari. what nice...
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™