ROSE LUISANTE BONTLOF, 1850        
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. Last offered in 2014. We’ll offer it again whenever bulbs are available. For an alert subscribe to our email newsletter.
SAM BARLOW, 1860        
Perhaps the most famous of the English broken tulips, ‘Sam Barlow’ is richly flamed with deep red-brown on yellow. Bred by “railway man and florist, Tom Storer, who grew his tulips along the embankments of Derby’s railways” (Pavord), it’s named for the owner of Victorian England’s greatest tulip collection, a man who once offered to buy all of the bulbs of an especially fine broken tulip for their weight in gold — and ended up paying even more. Late-blooming, 18”, zones 4b-7a(7aWC), 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.
SCHRENKII, 1585        
No taller than a crocus and almost as early, this wild tulip is a cheery little flame of spring. When it bloomed in a display of our historic tulips on Park Avenue, it inspired Verlyn Klinkenborg of The New York Times to write a terrific editorial-page column about it. Parent of the whole ‘Duc van Tol’ clan, it’s a good stand-in for colonial ‘Duc van Tol Red and Yellow’ — and wonderful in its own right. 4-6”, zones 4-7, from Holland. Last offered in 2006. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
SPAENDONCK, 1893        
Many spectacular broken tulips bloom in our trial garden, but it seems EVERYONE wants to take ‘Spaendonck’ home with them. With its shapely blooms swirled with crimson, lilac, and rosy-purple on cream, it’s a fitting tribute to Cornelis van Spaendonck (1756-1840), Dutch flower painter and director of the great Sevres porcelain works. Single Early, 12-14”, 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.
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.
TOURNESOL RED AND YELLOW, 1769        
This voluptuous, nearly 250-year-old double tulip has billowing red petals edged with a mellow, butterscotch yellow, making it colorful enough for Victorian carpet-bedding yet lovely enough that it was once a leading cut-flower at London’s stylish Covent Garden market. Today it’s exceptionally rare, and we’re thrilled to be able to offer it! Double Early, 10-12”, zones 4a-7a(8bWC), 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.
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.
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