Old House Gardens
From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
Page 7 of Tulips: Lost Forever?       << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
THEEROOS, 1890
The fragrance of “TAY-rohs” shouldn’t have surprised us since its Dutch name means “tea rose,” but give it a sniff and we bet you’ll be surprised at how great it smells, too. And it’s a treat for the eyes — opening pale primrose faintly misted with pink, it gets rosier and more richly speckled every day. Double Early, 12”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2013. We hope to offer it again soon. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
THOMAS MORUS, 1820
This very rare, sweetly scented tulip is an intriguing, rusty color that catalogs over the years have struggled to describe: “nankeen-orange,” “terra-cotta shaded gold,” “orange shaded with buff,” even “light brown.” It was offered by New York’s Linnaean Botanic Garden nursery in 1830, and nearly a century later it was a “special favorite” of garden diva Louise Beebe Wilder. Its name honors the Renaissance statesman, author of Utopia, and saint beheaded for opposing Henry VIII. Last offered in 2006, Single Early, 12-14”, zones 4b-7aS/7bWC, from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2011. We hope to offer it again. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
URSA MINOR, 1929
Named for the “Little Bear” constellation, this bright, early tulip is deep yellow with an impossibly thin, all but invisible outline of red, as if the edges were glowing from inner heat. Tulips are grown on more than 26,000 acres in the Netherlands, but this endangered gem accounts for little more than one thousandth of one percent of the total crop. Single Early, 12”, zones 4-7, from Holland. Last offered in 2002. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
VAN DER NEER, 1860
After gracing American gardens for 150 years, this rosy-purple relic went “commercially extinct” in 2012. The good news is the Hortus Bulborum is preserving it, which means we can continue offering it, albeit no longer at mainstream prices. A long-time Victorian favorite for ribbon beds and carpet-bedding, it’s just as striking in modern mixed borders, too. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 3-7bS(8bWC), from Hortus Bulborum. Last offered web-only in 2012. We’re sad to say that ‘Van der Neer’ is now “commercially extinct,” although we could special order it for you from the Hortus.
VUURVLAM, 1897
If you’re bored with red tulips, try this unique beauty from the Hortus Bulborum. Its radiant color will draw your eye, but what really sets it apart is its antique, goblet-like shape with its elegantly curling, flame-like petals (in Dutch its name means “fire-flame”). Though a favorite in stylized Victorian carpet-bedding, it’s full of the purity and grace of a wildflower. Single Early, 10-12”, zones 3-7, from the Hortus. Last offered in 2005. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
WEST POINT, 1943
Recalling both jesters’ caps and the first Turkish tulips that came to Europe in the 1500s, ‘West Point’ has narrow, pointed petals that curve back gracefully and dramatically. That and its many other good qualities led the RHS in 1995 to honor it with an Award of Garden Merit as a plant that should be in every garden (yes, including yours!). Lily-flowered, 20”, zones 3-7, from Holland. Last offered in 2008. Available elsewhere.
WHITE HAWK, ALBION, 1880
In Camelot’s “one brief shining moment,” England was known as Albion, and this luminous white tulip well evokes the magic of the Arthurian legends. From the 1880s until World War II, American catalogs praised its “snow white” petals, “robust habit,” and “great substance.” In the style of much older tulips, its petals are pointed – yes, beak-like – and as they mature they are faintly touched with rose. A.k.a. ‘Witte Valk’, Single Early, 10-12”, zones 5-7, from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered web-only in 2008. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
YELLOW PRINCE, 1750
Mozart, William Blake, and Betsy Ross all could have grown this 18th-century treasure, and now you can, too! Its sweet fragrance is just one of its many virtues. As late as the 1920s it was still being forced in “enormous numbers” because “the flower lasts a long time and retains its splendid form and perfect color” (LaPark catalog, 1922). Its cheery yellow is often misted with bronze, “giving it an old-gold effect.” Aka ‘Gele Prins’, Single Early, 9-12”, zones 4-7S/8WC, from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2004. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
Page 7 of Tulips: Lost Forever?       << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
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