TULIP

P. Tulips are bulbs for every garden. They should be planted in October or early November in any reasonably fertile, well-drained soil. Work in bonemeal and compost when preparing the ground. Note that shallow planting can be responsible for poor quality blooms on short stems, or the bulbs may come ‘blind’, I.e. flowerless. Plant not less than 4 in. deep, I in. deeper on light soil. Tulips are best lifted annually, as this reduces the likelihood of disease, although the Cottage varieties are sometimes left undisturbed for several years and are even naturalised in grass.

There are many different classes of tulips, including singles and doubles. The display begins in early April with the Early Single varieties like Pink Beauty, Prince of Austria and the ever-popular Keizerskroon. The Early Doubles follow, then the Mendel and Triumph tulips with longer stems. The Darwins, Cottage, Lily-flowering, Parrot, Breeder and Double Late tulips carry on well into May. They are in bloom about the same time and have an astonishing range of colours. The following varieties have been carefully chosen to provide an extensive up-to-date assortment of colours. All are suitable for bedding or they may be planted in groups of 6 or more in borders, preferably 6 in. apart. Those suitable for forcing are noted.

Early Single Tulips:

These usually vary in height from 12 to 16 in.

Couleur Cardinal: cardinal-red.

De Wet: fiery orange with orange-scarlet markings. Can be forced from late January. Very fragrant.

Keizerskroon (Grand Due): very vigorous and taller than other varieties in this group, often reaching 18 in. Scarlet edged golden-yellow. Very large blooms.

Orange Banner: apricot-orange. Fragrant.

Pink Beauty: clear pink with a white flush showing through the centre of the outer petals.

Prince of Austria: flaming red with a warm orange glow. Very fragrant.

White Plawk: pure white. Large, globular, long-lasting flowers.

Early Double Tulips:

When grown in pots etc. they should be forced slowly. In the open they like a little shelter from wind as the blooms are sometimes a little top-heavy. It is, however, essential to plant in full sun. Heights about 1 ft.

Aga Khan: deep yellow with salmon and orange flushes. Forces well.

Herman Broeckaert: red and yellow, rather like Keizerskroon in the Early Singles.

Jan Steen: orange-yellow and red.

Louis Apol: pale lemon-yellow.

Peach Blossom: rose-pink with white flushes. Forces well.

Safrano, Tea Rose or Brimstone: soft yellow and salmon. Forces well.

Scarlet Cardinal: brilliant scarlet. Can be forced from mid-December.

Mendel Tulips:

These flower at the end of April, coming just before the Triumph group. Heights vary from 16 to about 20 in. Most varieties may be forced into bloom during January.

Athleet: pure white.

Krelage’s Triumph: dark geranium-red with black base and narrow yellow margin.

Olga: dark violet-red with white margin. Large, globular blooms.

Orange Wonder: deep-orange-red.

Triumph Tulips:

A mid-season group, flowering towards the end of April just before the Darwins. Many varieties can be forced from mid-February onwards. The blooms are large, borne on strong stems, and they stand up well to rain or wind. They are accordingly excellent for planting on exposed position. Heights vary from 16 to 24 in. Bandoeng: mahogany-red, orange and yellow. Can be forced from late January.

Bruno Walter: chestnut-orange, with light purple flushes on outsides of petals. Very fragrant.

Piccadilly: cherry-red with creamy-white margin. Long lasting both on the plant and when cut. Princess Beatrix: scarlet, orange and yellow. Useful for forcing.

Roland: cherry-red with broad white band at the petal edges.

Siam: creamy-white and soft salmon-orange. Excellent for cutting.

Ursa Minor: deep yellow.

Darwin Tulips:

These vary in height from 24 to 30 in., with large, usually cup-shaped flowers, mostly first-rate for cutting, and lasting long in water. They bloom in May and cannot usually be forced earlier than February. The stems are very long and care should be taken when planting in very exposed, windswept positions.

Ace of Spades: blackish-maroon.

Adoration: flesh-pink with white base, possibly an improvement on the famous Clara Butt.

Bleu Aimable: lilac-mauve, the colour deepening, as the flower ages.

Unsurpassed for cutting.

Blue Perfection: lavender-blue with slightly pointed, reflexed petals on extra long stems.

Brectner: dark blood-red, passing to a rather brighter red. Very late.

Charles Needham: luminous scarlet.

City of Haarlem: vivid scarlet with blue base. Lasts nearly 3 weeks when cut.

Clara Butt: light pink with salmon-rose flushes. Still a firm favourite for bedding and excellent for cutting.

Demeter: deep violet-blue. Extra early and can be forced soon after Christmas.

Grand Canyon: deep sunflower-yellow.

King Mauve: soft mauve to about 30 in.

La Tulipe Noire: the so-called black tulip, which is really very dark maroon.

Mahogany: name describes the colour. Associates well with a yellow wallflower such as Cloth of Gold or Golden Monarch.

Mamassa: rich golden-yellow.

Neerlandia: clear pink. Stands up well to bad weather.

Niphetos: creamy-yellow.

Nobel: almost pillar-box red.

Notre Dame: outside clear red with darker undertone, inside claret-red with blue sheen and vivid blue base.

Peach: a delightful peach-pink.

Prunus: rose-pink with a salmon suffusion.

Queen of the Bartigons: clear salmon-pink.

Rev. Rollo Meyer: dark purple-black. Very large bloom.

Scarlett O’Hara: vivid scarlet with a clear yellow base. Lasts well.

Smiling Queen: exceptionally long-lasting. Soft satin-pink with rose-pink flushes on the outer petals.

Sunkist: a long-lasting golden-yellow.

The Bishop: deep violet. An old variety still unsurpassed in its particular colour. Lasts well and is very pleasing associated with yellow wallflowers.

Vagabond Prince: carmine-purple edged violet with blue and white centre.

William Tell: a most beautiful uniform buff-pink on the outside, rich-rose pink on inside. Long-lasting blooms which are excellent for cutting.

Zinnia: very deep yellow. ulu: blackish-purple. Zwanenburg: pure white.

Hybrid Darwin Tulips:

A new section flowering earlier than the ordinary Darwins as they are crosses with the April-flowering Tulipa Fosteri-ana. The individual blooms are very large (probably the largest of any tulips) but they do not last as well as the Darwins and must be planted on their own. Holland’s Glory is soft orange-red, London dark brown with yellow edges, General Eisenhower vivid scarlet with goblet-shaped flowers and Gudoshnik creamy-peach with rose edging on the petal edges.

Cottage Tulips:

These are shorter in growth than the Darwins and if left undisturbed will often persist for several years.

Advance: vivid orange-scarlet. Early.

Annie Laurie: an incredibly beautiful variety, rarely offered in catalogues but worth some effort to procure. Goblet-shaped, salmon-flesh blooms which last well especially when cut.

Artist: inside salmon-rose and green, outside purple and salmon-rose.

As the blooms (which have pointed petals) age, they turn almost entirely green. Very long-lasting.

Carrara: pure white.

Good Gracious: a blend of salmon, pink and orange on a yellow base which has been well compared to an illuminated Chinese lantern.

Grenadier: rich orange. A very distinct colour but does not blend well with other varieties. Fragrant.

G. W. Leak: orange-red with a white base.

Inglescombe Yellow: canary-yellow globular flowers. Forces well. Late.

Ivory Glory: creamy-white, egg-shaped flowers.

Marjorie Bowen: salmon and buff passing to deep pink with a salmon glow.

Marshal Haig: brilliant scarlet.

Orange Ophelia: salmon-orange. Long-lasting.

President Herbert Hoover: egg-shaped, coppery-red flowers, which are most effective when cut, colouring well under artificial light.

Yellow Emperor: deep yellow, oval-shaped flowers.

Lily-flowering Tulips: A most elegant race of May-flowering tulips with reflexing petals, often curved or pointed, the blooms borne on slender, firm stems. They are excellent for cutting. Heights vary from 18 to about 24 in.

Beverley: flame-orange. Very distinct colour.

Captain Fryatt: ruby-purple.

Ellen Willmott: soft primrose-yellow.

Florestan: rich crimson.

Mariette: deep pink.

Mrs Moon: golden-yellow. Fragrant.

Philemon: creamy-white.

Queen of Sheba: a superb colour blend, deep scarlet-brown with yellow margins. The veins on the leaves show up as slight ridges. Excellent for cutting.

Sebastian: deep yellow. A tall grower to about 2 ft. Long-lasting when cut and forces well.

White Triwnphator: probably the tallest variety in this section. Pure white, long flowers with typical reflexing petals and extra long stems.

Parrot or Dragon Tulips:

Another May-flowering group which comprises various sports from varieties in other sections. They have large, gorgeous blooms with jagged petals. They last well when cut but the stems in some of the older varieties are a little weak. Black Parrot: maroon-black.

Blue Parrot: lavender-mauve with slight green markings. Fantasy: a sport from the well-known Darwin variety, Clara Butt. Outside soft rose and green, inside salmon-rose. Opal Queen (Violet Queen): lavender-blue and white.

Orange Parrot: mahogany-orange and old gold. Huge, very fragrant blooms.

Queen of Parrots: another very large variety. Silvery-rose with pale margin. Red Champion: deep blood-red with very small white markings at the petal tips.

Van Dijck: rather like Fantasy but with a stronger stem. There is also a fine white variety, named White Parrot.

Breeder Tulips:

These embody various shades of bronze, orange, copper, brown, purple etc. not usually found in the Darwins or Cottage varieties. They are mostly very tall (a few such as Manitou and Pericles reaching 3 ft.) and are first-rate for cutting. The rich colourings show to best advantage when the plants are in full sun. Barcarolle: rich bluish-purple. Bronze Queen, Clio or Biscuit: buff and bronze. Chappaque: cherry-pink. Very large flower.

Don Pedro: coffee-brown, inside reddish-mahogany. Very fragrant and delightful for cutting.

Indian Chief (Meyerbeer): reddish-mahogany and purple. Very tall grower.

Jan van Gelen: egg-shaped flowers which are orange, bronze and reddish-mahogany. Resistant to bad weather. Jessey: coffee-brown and bronze-red. Fragrant. John L. Baird: coffee-brown, orange and mahogany. Louis XIV: purple, lilac and bronze. Large globular flowers. Fragrant. Manitou: carmine-red and orange. Papago: brown and scarlet.

Pericles: golden-yellow and brown. Extra large flowers. Prince of Orange (Orange Beauty): orange and terracotta. Very lasting when cut. Fragrant. Southern Cross: lemon-yellow and bronze.

Double Late or Paeony-Flowered Tulips:

These varieties tolerate a little shade, although they are probably most effective grown in full sunlight. They are useful for cutting. Blue Flag (Bleu Celeste): violet-blue.

Brilliant Fire: rich cherry-red.

Golden Lion: deep yellow.

Hermione: cherry-blossom pink. Very fragrant and resistant to bad weather.

Lilac Perfection: clear lavender-lilac.

Mount Tacoma: white.

Nizza: Creamy-yellow and crimson.

Pavo: rose-pink.

Uncle Tom: dark crimson-scarlet.

Bybloem, Bizarre and Rembrandt Tulips:

These are tulips which have ‘broken’ into permanent variegation, I.e. the blooms have various stripes and blotches. Good varieties include American Flag (rosy-red overlaid with white lines), May Blossom (bluish-purple markings on white ground), and Regularity (salmon-pink feathered with creamy-white).

Tulip Species:

These are most useful for rockeries but must be planted in a sunny position in light, rich soil, and left undisturbed. Tulipa Eichleri reaches 1 ft. with brilliant scarlet flowers in April.

T. Clusiana (the lady tulip) has the outer petals cherry-red, inner petals white, and also blooms in April.

T. persica bears yellow and bronze, fragrant flowers on an 8 in. plant in May. The many varieties of T. Kaufmanniana (the water-lily tulip) bloom in March and April in shades of yellow, pink, crimson, scarlet etc.

Tulip Troubles:

Aphids (greenfly) carry virus diseases and should be destroyed by spraying with a gamma-BHC (lindane) insecticide directly they are noticed.

Tulip ‘fire’ is a fungus disease which can be troublesome in cold, damp spells. Grey-brown spots appear on foliage and stems, and the flower petals are also spotted. Sometimes the plant topples over but the generally effect resembles scorching by fire. A thiram spray should be applied when growth is 3—4 in. high. Repeat as necessary at 10-day intervals but do not spray after the flower buds have emerged.

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