Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs

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Page 5 of Heirloom Tulip Bulbs       << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next >>
OLD TIMES, 1905        Web-Only & Rarest
This uniquely colored, brown-inflected tulip has “a real ‘old-timey’ look to its garnet and primrose flowers,” as J. Horace McFarland wrote in 1938. Its shape is wonderfully old-fashioned, too, with lancet-pointed petals that curl back gracefully as they open in the sun. One of the so-called Cottage tulips, it was re-discovered by the Rev. Joseph Jacobs “in an old garden in Hanmer in 1905.” Very limited supply, Cottage/Single Late, 14-16”, zones 4a-7b(8aWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare. See our other brown tulips.
TU936Add to basket:1/$16.503/$455/$71Limit 5, please.
We sell tons of this old tulip every year, even though doubles have been woefully out of fashion for decades now — a testament to its great beauty. It’s a frothy extravaganza of white and pink (not peach), like a lacy, Victorian valentine. If you’ve never grown double tulips, this is the one to start with — and what are you waiting for? Double Early, 12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare. See our other unusually fragrant tulips.
TU19Add to basket:5/$8.5010/$1625/$36.5050/$68100/$126
“Dark polished mahogany,” is how Peter Henderson described this tall, late tulip in 1929, but it always reminds us of dark sweet cherries. Despite its dramatic looks, ‘Philippe’ had vanished from American gardens until we reintroduced it in 1998. The great ‘Black Parrot’ is its ruffled sport (mutation). Single Late/Darwin, 24”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
TU30Add to basket:5/$910/$1725/$3950/$72100/$133
PRINCE OF AUSTRIA, 1860        Rarest
This is the tulip that launched Old House Gardens way back in 1993. When the last US catalog dropped it, I knew I had to do something. It was just too wonderful to let go extinct. It’s one of history’s most fragrant tulips (violets? orange blossoms?), with a scent that will draw you across the garden on a sunny day. It’s also so vigorous that it’s been returning for well over a decade here with no special care. Scarlet maturing to almost-orange, Single Early, 12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), grown exclusively for us in Holland. Chart to compare.
TU20Add to basket:3/$21.505/$35.5010/$67Limit 10, please.
PRINCESS ELIZABETH, 1898        Web-Only & Rarest
Nineteen years ago this elegant beauty was featured in a Garden Design article about a tiny new source devoted to heirloom bulbs, and suddenly we weren’t so tiny anymore. Well-described in the 1931 Scheepers catalog as “rose-pink with topaz lights and hints of fuchsia shadowing,” it was lost to us in 2002 when the last Dutch farmer quit growing it — but thanks to the Hortus we were finally able to offer it again in 2013. Single Late/Darwin, 18-22”, zones 4a-7b(8aWC). Chart to compare.
TU38Add to basket:3/$21.505/$3410/$64Limit 10, please.
Irene’s warm, strong fragrance and unusual coloring — melon-orange flamed with subtle bronze-purple — make it one of the most distinctive tulips of the 1900s. It’s a favorite at Holland’s glorious Keukenhof gardens and easy to force indoors where you can enjoy its heavenly scent up close. Triumph, 14”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare. See our other unusually fragrant tulips.
TU39Add to basket:5/$910/$1725/$3950/$72100/$133
PURPERKROON, 1785        Web-Only & Rarest
Tulips from the 1700s are exceedingly rare. To last that long, they have to be both wonderful and tough — like ‘Purple Crown’, a raggedy double tulip of dusky, purplish crimson that’s also called ‘The Moor’. We like to imagine a crystal vase of it sitting by Beethoven as he wrote one of his dark, somber movements. It was grown way back then, so it really could have happened! Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU61Add to basket:1/$12.503/$345/$5410/$100Limit 10, please.
ROSE LUISANTE BONTLOF, 1850        Web-Only & Rarest
Bontlof means variegated, luisante means bright or glittering, and 1850 was a long time ago — which shows in the graceful, old-fashioned profile of this charming tulip. What you can’t see here, unfortunately — since this is actually a photo of the regular, non-variegated form — is the cream-colored ribbon that outlines each rippling leaf. From the moment its distinctive foliage pushes through the cold, damp soil of early spring, ‘Rose Luisante’ is a pleasure! Single Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU951Add to basket:3/$19.505/$3110/$58Limit 10, please.
ROYAL SOVEREIGN, 1820        Rarest
This extraordinary tulip is considered the oldest surviving English florists’ tulip, having “first bloomed about 1820” according to tulip-breeder John Slater in his 1843 Descriptive Catalogue of Tulips. Richly patterned with mahogany-red on gold, it multiplies slowly and is very rarely offered today, even by us. Aka ‘Charles X’, ‘Defiance’, ‘Duke of Lancaster’, ‘Le Conquerant’, ‘Page’s George IV’, ‘Platoff’, ‘Victory’, and ‘Waterloo’. 16-18”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU996Add to basket:1/$18.503/$50.505/$79.5010/$148Limit 10, please.
Imagine a perfect white peony or a double white waterlily unfolding in the morning sun. That’s ‘Schoonoord’ (say SKOH-nord), lush and radiant. In 1935 Louise Beebe Wilder praised it for perennial borders, saying its “prestige as the best... has never been questioned. It is an old variety but invaluable.” And that’s still true! Double Early, 12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
TU21Add to basket:5/$1210/$22.5025/$51.5050/$96100/$178
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