STRIPED SAIL, 1960        
Although this looks like a very old broken tulip, it’s actually a virus-free, genetically streaked Rembrandt tulip introduced in 1960. And though we usually scorn modern Rembrandt tulips as crude — and we’ve never offered a tulip this young before — when we saw ‘Striped Sail’ in bloom at the Hortus Bulborum, its dramatic beauty won us over. ’Nuff said? Mid-season blooming Triumph, 14”, zones 4b-7bS/7bW, from the Hortus. Last offered in 2008. We could special order it for you.
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 2014. We’ll offer it again whenever bulbs are available. For an alert subscribe to 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. Although we hope to offer this rarity again for fall 2016 delivery, availability can’t be confirmed until July 2016. Please check back or subscribe to our newsletter for an alert.
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.
WAPEN VAN LEIDEN, 1760        
Did Benjamin Franklin grow this legendary tulip? He could have! Its lively rose and white petals are illuminated by a broad yellow flare at the base, and its antique shape echoes the pointed-petaled tulips of Elizabethan herbals. Wapen means “coat of arms,’ and it was to Leiden in the late 1500s that Clusius brought the first tulips ever grown in Holland. Single Early, 12-14”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Last offered in 2015. 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.
WILDHOF, 1953        
Although we’re still mourning the loss of ‘Alabaster’ and ‘Diana’; (both commercially extinct, though counterfeits are rife), when this sparkling white, mid-season, mid-century RHS Award of Garden Merit winner blooms here, we feel a lot better. Triumph, 18-22”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Last offered web-only in 2014. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
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