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

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Page 2 of Heirloom Tulip Bulbs       << Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 Next >>
CLARA BUTT, 1889        Web-Only & Rarest
Hallelujah! Once the world’s most popular tulip, gracing hundreds of catalog covers, this willowy, shell-pink beauty was lost to gardeners in 2007 when the last US grower finally gave it up. To save it, we sent 100 bulbs from his last harvest to our friends in Holland, and now there’s enough to share! Though bred from antique Flemish stock, ‘Clara’ was the prototypical 20th-century tulip — not feathered or flamed, not short and bright, but tall, late, pastel, and lovely. Darwin/Single Late, 22”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC). Chart to compare.
TU05Add to basket:1/$8.503/$23.505/$36.5010/$68
CLUSIANA, 1607        Rarest
A tulip for Mobile? Yes! And it’s hardy and multiplies in Boston and Denver, too! Although many sources offer this petite, charming wildflower, virtually all deliver cheap impostors such as hybrid ‘Lady Jane’ (oversized, and empty inside) or modern cream-to-yellow forms instead of the ancient rose and WHITE with its heart of deep, ravishing purple. Bill Finch of the Mobile Press-Register writes that in his garden our true clusiana has “come bursting out of the ground, each year better than the last.” It can do the same for you, in zones 6a-8b(10bWC), if you give it well-drained soil that’s relatively dry in summer. 10-14”, from Holland. Chart to compare.
TU25Add to basket:3/$12.755/$2010/$3825/$8650/$160
COULEUR CARDINAL, 1845
The best red tulip ever? Could be! It’s definitely the only tulip this old that’s still widely grown today. Generations have prized its rich color – red with a plum blush – and its fine habit – sturdy, weather-proof, and enduring. Isn’t it time you tried it? Triumph, 12”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
TU06Add to basket:5/$7.7510/$14.5025/$33.5050/$62100/$115
DEMETER, 1932
How about a tulip that’s immortal? Our customers led us to ‘Demeter’, telling us it returned and bloomed in their gardens for a decade or more. A vibrant, very rosy purple, it’s named for Demeter (say Di-MEET-er), the Greek goddess of agriculture and fertility – another good reason to grow it. Triumph, 24”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Although we hope to offer this rarity again in 2014, availability can’t be confirmed until June. Please check back then or subscribe to our email newsletter.
DILLENBURG, 1916        Rarest
Fragrant, tall, and late, ‘Dillenburg’ blooms with the earliest iris, offering one last spring treat to look forward to each year. It’s a sophisticated “art shades” blend of peach brushed with rose and one of the last survivors of a whole class of tulips, the Dutch Breeders, that once filled pages of catalogs in the early 1900s. Single Late, 26”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from one last Dutch farmer. Chart to compare. See our other unusually fragrant tulips. Although we hope to offer this rarity again in 2014, availability can’t be confirmed until June. Please check back then or subscribe to our email newsletter.
DUC VAN TOL RED AND YELLOW, 1595        Rarest
If we had to choose a dozen landmark varieties to summarize the whole amazing history of tulips, this 400-year-old miniature would be one of them. Just 6 inches tall and extra early blooming, ‘Red and Yellow’ is the grandaddy of the ‘Duc van Tols’, a fabled clan of pixie tulips once grown in every garden and forced in pots for Christmas bloom. In front of purple hyacinths, its tiny flames are stunning. 6”, zones 4b-7a(7bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU69Add to basket:1/$8.503/$23.505/$36.5010/$6825/$153
DUC VAN TOL ROSE, 1700        Rarest
Short, sweet, and extra-early, the ‘Duc van Tols’ grew in every stylish garden from about 1600 to 1900. But then tall, late tulips came into vogue, and the ‘Ducs’ all but vanished. Perfect little miniatures, they’re the earliest traditional garden tulips to bloom each spring. Elizabethan ‘Rose’ is our favorite, an innocent white that’s blushed with a little more pink every day it’s open. 5-7”, zones 4b-7/8WC, from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU51Add to basket:1/$9.503/$265/$4110/$7625/$171
ELEGANS ALBA, 1895        Web-Only & Rarest
Here’s a vanilla that’s far from plain — and deliciously fragrant! An ancestor of today’s lily-flowered tulips, it’s a Devon-cream colored, vase-shaped beauty with long slender petals that twist and reflex gently for an almost whirling effect. Aka ‘White Crown’, Cottage/Lily-flowered, 16”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC) from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare. See our other unusually fragrant tulips.
TU67Add to basket:1/$10.503/$28.505/$4510/$84
ELEGANS RUBRA, 1872        Rarest
With its almost savage beauty, this bright, dagger-petaled tulip was listed as a wild species in 19th-century catalogs. It’s never been found in the wild, though, and may be a survivor from the early 1700s when tulips much like it (and T. acuminata) ruled in the lavish gardens of the Ottoman Empire. Whatever its origins, it’s spectacular! Lily-flowered, 16”, zones 4a-7b(8bWC), from the Hortus Bulborum. Chart to compare.
TU81Add to basket:1/$8.503/$23.505/$36.5010/$6825/$153
ESTELLA RIJNVELD, 1954
“Like raspberry-ripple ice-cream,” says Anna Pavord in The Tulip, and “one of the best.” It’s also one of the most dramatic of modern parrots, with a whirling-dervish intensity that rivals that of much older parrots such as ‘Amiral de Constantinople’. I first grew ‘Estella’ 25 years ago, and the outrageous beauty of its first blooms still blazes in my memory. Parrot, 18-20”, zones 3a-7b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart to compare.
TU92Add to basket:5/$9.2510/$17.5025/$4050/$74100/$137
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