Different kinds of tulips


Tulip Types

A symbol of spring, tulips are the most popular bulbs and most gardeners reserve them a spot in the garden or in containers. There are currently over 3,000 registered varieties, which are divided into fifteen groups, mostly based on the flower type, size and blooming period of the tulip.

Single Tulips

  • The ‘Single’ denomination comes from their unique cup-shaped six-petal flower.
  • Single tulips can be early spring bloomers and are denoted as ”Single Early” with an their average size of about 10 to 18 inches (25 – 45 cm).
  • Late spring bloomers, “Single Late”, are comparatively bigger with a height averaging 18 and 30 inches (45 – 75 cm).

Single Early Tulips

Tulip ‘Christmas Dream’

Tulip ‘Purple Prince’

Tulip ‘Apricot Beauty’

Single Late Tulips

Tulip ‘Queen of Night’

Tulip ‘Blushing Beauty’

Tulip ‘Pink Diamond’

Double Tulips

  • Also called ‘peony’ tulips because of their shapes, their elegant flowers can be as wide as 10 inches (25cm).
  • Sensitive to rain or wind, they will do well in a sheltered spot.
  • Their average size is between 12 – 16 in. (30-40 cm). Similar to the Single tulips, the Double Tulips have Early and Late bloomers.

Double Early Tulips

Tulip ‘Monsella’

Tulip ‘Foxtrot’

Tulip ‘Mondial’

Double Late Tulips

Tulip ‘Annelinde’

Tulip ‘Orange Princess’

Tulip ‘Double Sugar’

Fosteriana Tulips feature solitary, bowl-shaped flowers, 5 in. wide (12 cm), with a slender shape and large, sometimes striped, leaves. Reds are strongly represented in this assortment. The most famous of its cultivars is ‘Madame Lefeber’, better known as ‘Red Emperor’. Naturalizing is possible with these tulips. Flowering in early to mid spring, they will be among the first ones to bring color in your garden and grow up to 10-20 in. tall (25-50 cm). As an added bonus, some of the Fosteriana Tulips are fragrant.

Tulip ‘Exotic Emperor’

Tulip ‘Orange Emperor’

Tulip ‘Flaming Purissima’

These tulips are noted for their brightly contrasting colors. The flowers open wide during the sunny hours of the day providing an entirely different color effect than when closed. The flower shape also changes dramatically; when open they resemble a shining star. Blooming in superb combinations of red, rose and golden yellow in early to mid spring, these showy prima donnas are low growers at 6-12 inches tall (15-30 cm) and are ideal in rock gardens or containers.

Tulip ‘Ancilla’

Tulip ‘Verdi’

Tulip ‘Heart’s Delight’

Greigii tulips produce single bowl-shaped flowers in early to mid spring. The principal colors are red, yellow and white. Combined with their stunning spotted and striped leaves, these flower colors create an unforgettable visual impact. These qualities make Greigii tulips unsurpassed for use in borders, rock gardens, and in pots. Very reliable perennials, these tulips are low growing (8 – 12 inches, 20 – 30 cm).

Tulip ‘Calypso’

Tulip ‘Pinocchio’

Tulip ‘Winnipeg’

These tulips were developed in the Netherlands: Mr. D.W. Lefeber, the prominent Dutch breeder, was the one who watched over the early beginnings of this type. He crossed the famous Tulipa fosteriana ‘Madame Lefeber’ (also known as ‘Red Emperor’) with various cultivars from the group of tulips then known as the Darwin tulips. The result of this cross-breeding was a series of tulips that excelled due to their flower size and sturdy, long stems. Due to these qualities, these tulips have really made a name for themselves as cut flowers, and are cultivated extensively for this purpose. Their egg-shaped, single blooms, up to 3 in. wide (8 cm), are available in a wide range of colors including orange, red, yellow and pink varieties as well as varieties with differently colored speckles and stripes on their petals. Among the best for naturalizing, these tulips provide blooms up to 5 years and rise up to 20-28 in. tall (50-70 cm) in mid-late spring.

Tulip ‘Acropolis’

Tulip ‘Daydream’

Tulip ‘Ad Rem’

Triumph Tulips are by far the largest group of tulips, including many different cultivars. Growing only 10-16 inches tall (25-45 cm) on sturdy stems, they withstand April’s showers and offer a vibrant display of colors in the garden in mid to late spring. Flowers are single and cup-shaped and bloom in an endless assortment of colors. Triumph tulips are among the best tulips for forcing.

Tulip ‘Gavota’

Tulip ‘Shirley’

Tulip ‘Attila’

More and more people are becoming interested in Fringed Tulips – so that these tulips now have their own group. It must be remembered, however, that because the tulips in this group are mutants from various other groups, that heights and flowering periods will vary somewhat among them. The one characteristic they have in common though, is their finely incised petals. Flowering in mid or late spring, they rise up to 14-30 in. (35-75 cm) and bring elegance to the garden.

Tulip ‘Bell Song’

Tulip ‘Davenport’

Tulip ‘Cummins’

What makes Lily-Flowered Tulips different from other tulip varieties are their slender flowers with often pointed, recurving petals. The flower stems are thin and not very sturdy, making them susceptible to wind damage. Most bloom in late spring, a few in mid spring. Some make good cut flowers, others are fragrant. But all are incredibly beautiful and should be considered in your seasonal plantings. They typically grow up to 16-24 in. tall (40-60 cm).

Tulip ‘Ballade’

Tulip ‘Mariette’

Tulip ‘Fly Away’

These whimsically-shaped, unusually-colored tulips have been developed from mutations of certain late-flowering tulips, and from tulips in the Triumph group. The petals of these tulips are serrated or ‘fringed’. As the large flowers are exposed to the sun over time, they open so wide that they almost flatten out. The flowers are green as buds, and as they grow it may seem as if the tulips will remain entirely green forever. But as the flower matures and opens, resembling a parrot’s plumage, the brilliant colors are revealed. Blooming in late spring, Parrots Tulips grow up to 14-26 inches tall (35-65 cm)

Tulip ‘Bright Parrot’

Tulip ‘Black Parrot’

Tulip ‘Estella Rijnveld’

At this time, Viridiflora Tulips form the least significant of the tulip groups. Many gardeners looking for unusual plants, however, quickly find what they want in this group. What makes these tulips so fascinating is that their petal color includes green, in stripes or flames on the back of the petals. Their overall bloom shape is cupped, to about 3 inches across (7 cm). Blooming in late spring, these spectacular tulips enjoy long-lasting blooms (3 weeks!) and look ravishing in a vase! Typically they reach 16-20 in. (40-50 cm).

Tulip ‘Artist’

Tulip ‘Florosa’

Tulip ‘Doll’s Minuet’

Botanical tulips have a natural look. They stay nice and close to the ground, and they seem to be in flower as soon as they emerge from the soil. Their bright colors make them real eye-catchers in early spring. The striped leaves of many varieties make these even more appealing. And another important thing: these ‘wild’ tulips won’t be bothered by wind and weather.

Tulip clusiana ‘Cynthia’

Tulip saxatilis ‘Lilac Wonder’

Tulip humilis ‘Alba coreulea oculata’

Tulips are the most favored type of bulb and have had a continuous reign of popularity since their introduction several centuries ago. In the mid-1600s, Europe developed such an obsession for this perennial flower that tulip prices rocketed, with Holland being the most badly affected, and many people found themselves in economic crisis.

The fashionable Viceroy Tulip at one time was priced five times higher than a typical house! Fortunately, tulips are now a very affordable and rewarding part of many homes and gardens. And despite their somewhat negative history, tulips remain an ever popular flower and gift, being synonymous with springtime and happiness. Although most people believe they could instantly recognize a tulip, many would be surprised to find that varieties of tulips are extensive, with some bearing little resemblance to the common tulip we have come to know and love.

Of around 3,000 currently identified varieties, these can be broken down into 15 categories of tulip, which we will discuss below.

Caring for Tulips

Tulips are a very easy-care flower. They require minimal effort, but reward you with stunning blooms in a huge variety of colors and styles.

All tulips grow from bulbs, which should be planted in well-draining soil in the fall. They typically require freezing over winter and will begin to emerge from the soil during spring. Bulbs can be planted directly into the ground or in container pots filled with rich and fertile soil. Soil needs to be kept moderately moist, but not wet and soggy. Water freely as long as your soil is well draining, to avoid the soil becoming waterlogged. Aim for a lightly moist soil, but don’t be worried if it occasionally dries out.

Most tulips need to be in a position of full sun. They enjoy cool winters and warm, dry summers. Some varieties will need protection from wind and rainfall, while other hardier varieties are tolerant of these weather conditions. If you ensure these conditions are met, you will have beautiful tulips blooming year on year with very little care or maintenance required.

These cup-shaped tulips are commonly known as single tulips, which references their individual layer of petals on the flower. This type of tulip is the one which most people are familiar with. As an early bloomer, you can expect them to appear in mid-spring in a wide variety of colors, including purple, pink, white, and orange. They have strong, medium-sized stems that will withstand rain and wind, making them a good robust choice of bedding plant.

Types of Single Early Bloomers include:

1. Purple Prince

Easy to grow

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic when ingested

This stunning variety of tulip has vibrant purple flowers, which are a deep yellow at the base. The blooms are long lasting and can withstand a fair amount of wind and rain.

2. Apricot Beauty’

Grows to 16 inches in height

Easy to grow

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can cause skin irritation

This award-winning flower is radiant in a delicate peach color. Having secured the Award of Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society, it is considered one of the best tulips available and has a delightfully sweet scent.

These tulips, as you might imagine, are much like the single early tulips, with the key difference being that they bloom slightly later in the year. They are easy to care for, making an ideal garden plant for even inexperienced gardeners.

Types of Single Late Tulips include:

3. Blushing Beauty

Grows to 30 inches in height

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic when ingested and can cause skin discomfort

These golden colored blooms are infused with shades of pink and purple around the base of the flower, giving a delicate and unique result. They bloom in late spring, and similarly to early blooming varieties, the Blushing Beauty has strong stems which cope well under the stress of wind and rainfall.

4. Queen of Night

Grows to heights of 26 inches

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Skin irritant

This variety is another breed of tulip to have received the coveted Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society. The color of this tulip varies depending on which light you are viewing it in, ranging from a deep purple to mahogany red or even black. It is the darkest tulip available in any variety and brings a touch of drama to wherever it grows.

One look at these unusual tulips will instantly reveal where the name of fringed tulip comes from. The edge of each flower petal has tiny cuts all along it, giving the effect of fringing. This variety of tulip is made up of mutants that were taken from other varieties and transformed. Because of this, there’s a wide range in blooming time, height, and general attributes.

Types of Fringed Tulips include:

5. Bell Song

Grows to 20 inches in height

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic to pets and humans

This pretty variety has cup-shaped blooms in shades of pink, lilac, and coral. The fringed edges of the petals tend to fade to a paler shade or creamy white color. They flower in mid to late spring, with long-lasting blooms that look spectacular as cut flowers in vases.

6. Davenport

Grows to 18 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic properties

This stunning tulip features flowers in a startling red that can turn into a vibrant yellow. The deep intensity of the coloring combined with the petal shape and fringed edge brings to mind images of passionate fiery flames.

These tulips make ideal container flowers as they grow to low heights of just 6 to 12 inches. The interesting thing about these tulips is that they change shape during daylight, providing you with a completely different looking flower than you will have in the evening and overnight. In response to sunlight, these tulips open to their flowers until the petals are splayed out into a star shape, laying almost entirely flat. In low light, they will return to a more typical tulip form of a cup shape. When spread out, the flower displays its inner colors, which are not visible when closed, making the flower seem like a completely different species.

Types of Kaufmanniana Tulips include:

7. Ancilla

Grows to just 8 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Blooms in early to mid spring

Can be toxic if ingested, and a skin irritant

This tulip won the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit in 1993. Its petals on the outside are a pale pinkish red, but the inner petals are white with markings of red and yellow. The difference between the inner and outer petal shades means this flower can completely transform its appearance, both in shape and color, when its blooms open up in response to the sun. This tulip is easily naturalized, returning year upon year and spreading out to create more striking tulips.

These low-growing tulips reach heights of just 8 to 12 inches, making them perfect choices for container planting or rock gardens. They are available in just a few select colors, but their main feature is that the petals are striped or spotted.

Types of Greigii Tulips include:

8. Winnipeg

Grows to just 8 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Blooms in early to mid spring, with 3-5 blooms per bulb

Can be toxic if ingested, and a skin irritant

Undoubtedly, the best thing about this tulip is its ability to multi-flower. Each tulip will produce several flowers on a single stem, usually between 3 and 5 blooms per bulb. This makes it ideal for bringing lots of bright color to a small area of a garden, or to make a container pot look full and lush. With a sparkling yellow color and distinctive red stripes, this tulip variety opens up its blooms in sunlight, transforming from a closed cup shape to an open star.

This group of tulips is distinguishable by their playful looking flowers. Each petal has serrated edges much like the fringed varieties, but the petals themselves are shaped differently and have a habit of fanning out to give the look of a parrots plumage. In the early blooming stages, each bud of a parrot tulip will be green. They remain this color so far into the season that you may think they are a green variety; however, eventually, they do transform into an array of vibrant colors. It is at this point the petals fan out until they are almost laying completely flat, creating an unusual and surprising tulip flower. This group of tulips was developed from tulips in other late-blooming groups, and so, they tend to bloom much later into the spring.

Types of Parrot Tulips include:

9. Gay Presto

Credit to Agnieszka Kwiecień, Nova

Grows to between 16 and 24 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Toxic to pets and humans

This remarkable flower is bright pink and white, with pink feathered edges. Blooming late in the spring, it opens wide when exposed to the sun, spreading out into a large and nearly flat flower.

10. Black Parrot

Grows to heights of 24 inches

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Skin irritant

This dramatic flower has received the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. It makes a real statement in any garden, thanks to its deep purple petals, which fan out into a large open flower in response to sun exposure. It has thick and strong stems, but in consideration of the large flowers, these tulips are typically planted in sheltered areas that are protected from the potential harm of heavy winds and rain.

This group of tulips is a result of crossbreeding other tulips. The ‘Madame Lefeber’ variety was crossed with various other cultivars by a famous breeder from the Netherlands named D. W. Lefeber. The result was a collection of tulips that had the best qualities from the crosses breeds, including sturdy stalks and large flowers. Being both strong and beautiful, Darwin Hybrid tulips make excellent cut flowers and are now bred specifically to supply stores and garden centers with bouquets of tulips. The single blooms of these tulips appear in late spring and will provide five years of blooms.

Types of Darwin Hybrid Tulips include:

11. Ivory Floradale

Credit to saomik

Grows up to 24 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested and cause skin irritation

This award-winning flower is widely adored thanks to its enormous blooms in a soft yellow-ivory color. Its strong stems grow to between 20 and 24 inches long and are sturdy enough to tolerate heavy rainfall and strong winds. Blooming in the middle of spring, this tulip species nicely with its subtle coloring nicely compliments many other mid-spring flowers.

12. Ad Rem

Grows up to 24 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested and cause skin irritation

This egg-shaped variety of tulip has scarlet colored flowers with subtle hints of orange and pink. The edges of the petals are lined with a bold yellow flash of color, perfect for adding some vibrancy to your garden. As is typical of tulips in the Darwin Hybrid category, this variation benefits from large blooms and strong stems which will withstand most adverse weather. This tulip is a fairly late bloomer, showing its flowers in late spring.

These graceful flowers are often mistaken for peonies, with their wide and multi-layered blooms. They tend to be shorter and more fragile than other tulip varieties, gaining typical heights of around 15 inches and being susceptible to harm caused by rain or wind. As the name suggests, they bloom early, at the beginning of spring.

Types of Double Early Tulips include:

13. Mondial

Grows up to 12 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

This easy to grow tulip has elegant flowers in a pale creamy yellow color. It has a sweet scent, with large open blooms on a relatively short stalk. Growing to between just 8 and 12 inches in height, this is one of the smallest tulip varieties, but it is small and mighty! Its strong stems can tolerate wind and rain, making it perfect for bringing a touch of class and elegance to open areas of your garden.

14. Foxtrot

Grows up to 12 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

This beautiful flower is sweet in every way. It has a delightful fragrance, candy floss coloring, and a petite height. The double layer of petals gives a very full look to the flower, which is made all the more intriguing with the combination of dark and pale pinks that blend seamlessly on each petal. This flower has short but strong stems, making it suitable for unsheltered spots where it may be subject to rainfall.

This group of tulips has everything in common with the Double Early Tulip category, with the only difference being that they bloom later into the season.

Types of Double Late Tulips include:

15. Double Sugar

Grows up to 18 inches tall

Cannot tolerate adverse weather, so plant in a sheltered spot

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

This tulip barely resembles a common tulip at all, looking more like a cross between a peony and a rose. It has several layers of petals, which give it a sumptuous look, along with slightly feathered edges, which add to its romantic style. In an array of pink shades, this tulip emanates lust and charm. Its flowers bloom in late spring and last a long time.

This quirky collection of tulips has something to offer to anyone looking for a less conventional flower. Bearing little resemblance to the tulip most of us are familiar with, these tulips have petals that tend to spread out creating more of a star shape. They also, unusually, have green stripes or markings on the underside of the petals. For a unique display within your home, these tulips make great cut flowers. They bloom in late spring and can last in excess of three weeks.

Types of Viridiflora Tulips include:

16. Artist

Grows up to 12 inches tall

Sturdy stem, can withstand rain and wind

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Easy to grow

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

In a vibrant orange shade with lime green accents, this tulip presents a striking flower. It has been the recipient of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit and is favored by gardeners who adore the eccentric and unconventional. The flowers are cup-shaped, with each petal coming to a point at the top to create a zigzagging edge. The colors combined with the unusual shape bring to mind images of young birds crying out to their mothers with their beaks wide open.

17. Florosa

Grows up to 12 inches in height

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

This tulip has an elegant appeal, with its long arching petals in muted colors giving a dainty look. The base of the flower begins in a snowy white, which gradually faded into green, and then pink at the tips. With long-lasting flowers in the region of three weeks, this tulip makes a great choice for cut flowers to display in your home. In spite of its delicate appearance, this tulip is strong and reliable, with a sturdy stem of just 12 inches tall.

This category of tulips contains more color variations than any other category. The Triumph tulip was created by crossing two other tulip varieties; the Darwin Tulip and the Single Early Tulip. The resulting Triumph Tulip is daintier than other varieties, but with a neat-shaped flower and a glorious array of colors. At an average of 16 inches in height, these are by no means the tallest tulips, but they are strong and mighty. Their sturdy stems can withstand wind and rainfall. This category of tulip is known for being the best to “force.” Forcing a bulb is a way to get the flower to bloom outside of its usual time by using methods to trick it into thinking it is late spring.

Types of Triumph Tulips include:

18. Attila

Grows between 16 and 18 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Strong stem, able to withstand wind and rain

Blooms in late spring

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

In a stunning magenta, these blooms bring a shock of color to any garden. The heavily pigmented petals give a deep and luscious feel to the flower, which has the added bonus of being sweetly scented.

19. Gavota

Grows up to 20 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

An award-winning flower, this species blooms in a deep wine-red color, which is lined around the upper edges of the petals with a soft yellow. Recipient of the Award of Garden Merit from the Royal Horticultural Society in 2010, this celebrated tulip blooms in the middle of spring and is capable of tolerating adverse weather conditions.

This category of tulips typically contains varieties that have long and slender stems, making them weak under pressure and therefore not suitable for planting in unsheltered areas where they may be subject to wind and rain. They generally tend to bloom in mid to late spring, producing delicate looking flowers in a variety of colors. In terms of appearance, these flowers have elegant, pointed petals that curve outward in a flirtatious style.

Types of Lily-Flowered Tulips include:

20. Fly Away

Grows up to 20 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Susceptible to damage from wind and rain

Plant in the fall in a protected area

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

This variety of tulip has a cup-shaped flower that fans out at the top, giving the impression that the petals may actually fly away. In an electrifying shade of scarlet with canary yellow edges, this tulip is truly dazzling. As a late spring bloomer, plant it in a sheltered area to protect it from adverse weather.

These early bloomers appear early in spring, bringing the first flash of color to your garden. The flowers are shaped like a large bowl, spanning approximately 5 inches across. On tall and slender stems, these tulips have a graceful appearance.

Types of Fosteriana Tulips:

21. Flaming Purissima

Grows up to 20 inches tall

Prefers full sun, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

Introduced in 1999, this tulip variety has an irresistible flower that starts in a creamy yellow and fades into a speckled pink. In terms of height, it can vary between 10 and 20 inches tall, making it suitable for containers, garden beds, and borders.

This category of tulip tends to have a look more reminiscent of wildflowers. They are typically the shortest of all tulips, growing in the region of just 5 inches in height. This feature makes them especially suited to planting in containers.

Types of Botanical Tulips include:

22. Cynthia

Grows up to 10 inches tall

Enjoys both full sun and light shade, with dry summers and cool winters

Likes well-draining soil kept moderately moist

Plant in the fall

Can be toxic if ingested, irritating to the skin

At around 10 inches in height, this variety is tall compared to most botanical tulips. Its flowers are pale yellow with red striping. In low light, the blooms close to a tight cup shape, but open in sunlight to form a perfectly symmetrical star. Tolerant of both wind and rain, this award-winning tulip can be planted almost anywhere.

With tulips coming in such a wide array of variations, they offer something that will appeal to everyone. As an easy-care flower that will re-bloom year upon year, they present a rewarding option for very little expenditure in terms of both money and time required to maintain them.



Better Homes and Gardens

The Old Farmers Almanac

National Garden Bureau

Gardeners World Magazine

Royal Horticultural Society

Types Of Tulip Flowers: Learn About Different Varieties Of Tulip

If you’re new to the world of tulips, you’ll be amazed at the diversity and sheer number of tulip varieties available to gardeners, ranging from tall, stately tulips to petite, dainty tulip varieties and even a few whimsical or odd-looking tulip bulb types. Read on to learn about just a few of the many different kinds of tulips.

Varieties of Tulip

Below are the most common types of tulip flowers grown in gardens:

  • Standard – Traditional, old-fashioned tulips available in many forms and shades, either single or bi-colors. Standard tulips are easy to find and relatively inexpensive.
  • Parrot – Impressive, long-stemmed tulips distinctive for fringed, feathery, ruffled, twisted, or curled petals in a variety of vibrant colors.
  • Fringed – As the name suggests, fringed tulips display a fine fringe that gives the blooms a soft, frilly appearance. Colors include pink, red, violet, yellow and white, with the fringe often contrasting to the bloom.
  • Rembrandt –Showy, tall tulips with pale colors distinctly variegated or streaked with deep purple or reddish “flames.”
  • Fosteriana – This early bloomer displays huge blooms measuring up to 8 inches across, with short, sturdy stems that top out at about 10 inches.
  • Triumph – A cold-hardy, sturdy-stemmed variety available in a wide variety of solid and bicolors.
  • Darwin hybrids – Tall tulips in spectacular colors, mostly in the reddish-orange to red range. Varieties also include pink, white and yellow.
  • Kaufmanniana – Also known as waterlily, this tulip is an early bloomer with short stems and large blooms in various colors, most with contrasting centers. Blooms open flat in bright sunlight.
  • Viridiflora – Also known as green tulips, this variety is distinctive for its various colors, all marked with green. For example, yellow tulips with green stripes, creamy white with bluish-green mottling, or pale colors with feathery green markings.
  • Greigii – A midseason bloomer with big, colorful blooms streaked and spotted with maroon or brownish markings.
  • Double – This variety is also known as peony tulip for its short stems and lush, multi-layered blooms.
  • Lily flowering – An elegant, late-spring bloomer with long, pointy petals that arch outward at the tips. Available in a variety of colors, including white, magenta, red, pink and yellow, often with contrasting edges.
  • Single late – Also known as cottage tulip, this is one of the tallest varieties at 2 to 3 feet. The graceful blooms are oval or egg-shaped in pure, vibrant colors, often with contrasting edges.

Tulip Types Explained: Our Top Picks For Success In The Garden

We’ve compiled a list of our top tulip picks. Fall-planted bulbs are usually available for sale in early-to-late summer, for delivery to you in the fall. Note that often times, the most popular bulbs will sell out fast!

If you’re just starting out with bulbs, we suggest picking tulips that are known for their reliability and then working from there, adding more every year as you learn where they are happy.

One challenge to bulb buying is that when the bulbs come up for sale, last year’s bulbs are gone; their blooms are no longer visible in the garden. Where was that spot that needed more tulips? Taking photos for reference helps, or placing a garden marker in the area, with what you’d like to plant, when the bulbs are blooming, makes ordering and planting quick and easy.

About Perennial Tulips

Are tulips perennial? Some varieties are perennial, coming back for several years, but some are not. For those that are called perennial, they only cooperate if their habitat is ideal – cold winters, winter-spring moisture, sunny location, dry summers, and good drainage are the keys to success. Many gardeners who want sure-fire flowers, will treat tulips as annuals, meaning that they’ll replant their tulips each year with no expectations of seeing them reappear the following spring.

Try splitting the difference at first, by planting a selection known for being perennial, and then adding in additions in the coming years. There is such a huge selection, it’s hard not to plant more each fall.

Tulip varieties that are the most reliable perennial bloomers are: Darwin Hybrids, Emperor, and the lovely wildflower type tulips; Greigii and Kaufmanniana.

Tulips can be planted for many effects. Formally, they can edge a path, entry, or driveway with almost military precision. Informally is where their wild side emerges. Mixed in with Crocus, Daffodils, Allium, Hyacinth, Muscari and other bulbs, you can create an ever-changing spring parade of color. Plant a bed of bulbs then top it off with our ‘Tulip Topper Wildflower Seed Mix’ (plant either in fall or spring). As the bulbs are growing, the seeds will sprout and create a lush green carpet around the bulbs. As the bulbs fade, the seedlings will grow up to cover them as they age, and with the last flowering bulbs, the wildflowers will begin to bloom with non-stop flowers all season long.

To enjoy tulips all spring long, choose Emperor, Darwin, Triumph, Lily-Flowered, and Parrot Tulip bulbs in an array of colors that pleases you. Mix them together at planting time, and plant them as a border, or fill a planting bed for maximum effect. You will enjoy an ever-blooming palate of color all spring long.

Or, how about choosing various types of tulips (and other bulbs too) in the same color range? They will subtly harmonize for a beautiful effect.


Flower Pictures of Tulips

Red TulipWhite TulipYellow Tulip

Basic Tulip Flower Information

Common Names

Scientific Name
Genus Tulipa
Family Liliaceae

Tulips have a long interesting history. Grown for years in Turkish gardens, tulips were introduced to Europe in the mid-16th century. Tulipa, the tulip’s genus name, is the Latinized version of tulipam or tulbend, which means “turban” in Turkish and was generally used to describe the tulips’ shapes.

Tulip Flower Meaning
Perfect lover, frame, flower emblem of Holland.

Astrological Flowers
Aries (Mar 21 – Apr 9)

Birth Month Flower

Floral Design Qualities For Tulips

Type Of Use: Flower

Form: Mass/ Form

Fragrance: N/A

Line: N/A

Silhouette: Solid/ Cup

Blossom Texture: Satin

Stem Size: 8-32”

Blossom Size: 2-5”

Vase Life: 3-7 Days

Tulip Design Uses

Tulip Flower Colors
Reds, Oranges, Yellows, Yellows/Greens, Red/Purples, Purples, Whites/Ivories, Pinks

Blooming Seasons

General Flower Availability
Year Round, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Wedding Flower Availability
Year Round, Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Tulip Classes

While tulips are favorites of mid-west gardeners, we often fail to appreciate the diversity of these spring-flowering bulbs. Tulips vary tremendously in flower and plant size, bloom period, shape, and color. By planting early, mid-season, and late blooming varieties, tulips may be enjoyed for several weeks in the spring.

The following tulip classifications are based on time of bloom and form.

Early flowering

Single Early Tulips are among the earliest tulips to bloom. The flowers, available in a wide range of colors, are produced on strong, 10- to 18-inch-long stems. The flowers of several varieties have a sweet fragrance. Single early tulips are excellent for rock gardens, beds, and forcing.

Double Early Tulips produce semi-double to double, peony-like flowers. The flowers, measuring up to 4 inches in diameter, are borne on strong, short stems. The color range of double early tulips is smaller than for most other tulip classes.

Greigii Tulips are noted for their brightly-colored flowers and purple striped or mottled foliage. Plant height varies from 8 to 12 inches. Because of their short stature, Greigii tulips are excellent choices for borders or rock gardens. They also perennialize well.

Kaufmanniana Tulips are long-lived perennial tulips. In sunlight, the flowers open fully. The open flowers resemble a star or waterlily. Flower colors include white, yellow, pink, and intermediary colors. The foliage is bluish green or chocolate brown striped. Kaufmanniana tulips are small plants. Average plant height is 4 to 8 inches. Their compact size makes them good choices for border edges and rock gardens.

Fosteriana Tulips produce some of the largest flowers of the genus. They also perennialize well. ‘Red Emperor’ is a widely grown variety in this class. Fosteriana tulips are sometimes referred to as emperor tulips.

Species Tulips include wild species, horticultural varieties, and hybrids. Most are early blooming, short-statured plants. Species tulips are available in a wide array of colors. They perennialize well and are excellent plants for rock and heirloom gardens.

Mid-season flowering

Darwin Hybrid Tulips are highly prized for their large, brilliant flowers. Flowers are available in shades of red, pink, orange, and yellow. Blooms are borne on strong stems which are up to 30 inches tall. Darwin hybrid tulips often bloom well for several years, making them one of the better perennial tulips.

Triumph Tulips produce cup-shaped flowers on strong, medium-length stems. Average plant height is 10 to 16 inches. This is the largest class of tulips and offers the widest range of flower colors. Triumph tulips are excellent for forcing.

Parrot Tulips have deeply feathered, curled, or twisted petals. Flowers may be single or multi-colored. Many varieties have a green spot at the base of their petals. Parrot tulips are sensitive to poor weather and should be planted in a protected spot.

Late season flowering

Single Late Tulips incorporates the former Darwin, cottage, and breeder tulips. Along with the Darwin hybrid tulips, they are the some of the tallest tulips. Flowers are borne on stems up to 30 inches tall. Flowers are available in a wide range of colors.

Double Late Tulips are often referred to as peony-flowered tulips. The many-petaled flowers are borne on 12 to 20 inch stems. Plant double late tulips in protected locations as the large flowers can be damaged by rain and strong winds.

Viridiflora Tulips produce long-lasting flowers which have prominent green markings on their petals. The unusual flower characteristics make it a novelty item in the garden.

Lily-flowering Tulips have long pointed petals which arch outward, the flowers somewhat resembling a lily. Flower colors include white, pink, red, yellow, and purple. Several varieties have petals edged or feathered in contrasting colors. Plants grow to a height of 20 to 30 inches.

Fringed Tulips have flowers with elegant fringed petals. Many varieties are mutants of single late tulips. Also known as “crispa tulips.”

Rembrandt Tulips produce striped or “broken” blooms. The white, yellow, or red petals are striped with red, bronze, or purple. These types were bought for huge sums during the “tulip mania” in Holland in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The unusual markings were actually caused by a virus. Due to the virus, the original Rembrandt tulips are no longer sold. However, there several modern, virus-free Rembrandt tulips available.

Multiflowering Tulips produce 3 to 7 blooms per stem. The main stem of multiflowering tulips branches into secondary stems. Each secondary stem produces a flower. The flower on the main stem is slightly larger than those on the secondary stems. Many of the multiflowering cultivars belong to the single late tulip class. These tulips are 14- to 20-inch-tall plants which bloom late in the season. Several varieties are multiflowering Greigii tulips which are 8 to 12 inches tall and early blooming.

Unless otherwise indicated above, most tulips bloom well for only 1 or 2 years. Fosteriana and Darwin hybrid tulips should bloom for 2, 3, or 4 years. Greigii, Kaufmanniana, and species tulips are the longest-lived tulips and should continue to bloom for several years.

When browsing the garden centers this fall, don’t forget to purchase some tulip bulbs. Your only problem may be selecting varieties from the wide array of tulips.

This article originally appeared in the September 4, 1998 issue, pp. 118-119.

Did you know there are actually over 3,000 varieties of tulips divided into 15 different groups. It’s an insanely popular flower for bouquets and gardens. We decided to list out 42 of the most popular types of tulips which we feature and briefly explain them here.

Did you know there are actually over 3,000 varieties of tulips divided into 15 different groups. It’s an insanely popular flower for bouquets and gardens.

We decided to list out 42 of the most popular types of tulips which we feature and briefly explain below.

Related: How to store tulip bulbs

Tulip Varieties Chart

These tulips are the typical, six-petal cupped variety that most people think of when they think of tulips. Depending on when they bloom – early spring or late spring – they can grow up to 30 inches in height.

Christmas Dream

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These tulips are dark pink-red in color and grow up to 14 inches tall. They usually bloom in early spring.

Purple Prince

With a mid- to late-spring blooming period, these tulips are a deep purple and can be up to 14 inches in height. They also have a very strong stem that can easily withstand wind and rain.

Apricot Beauty

These are peach in color and can get up to 16 inches tall. They do best in areas where the winters are cool and the summers are warm and dry. They are also an excellent flower to place in flower beds with other types of flowers and have a sweet scent.

Queen of Night

🔥 TIP: !

A tulip that is extra-deep red, mahogany, or dark maroon in color, this is one of the prettiest deep-purple cultivars. It grows up to 26 inches in height, has a sturdy stem, and looks most attractive when planted in large groups to highlight its beautiful color.

Blushing Beauty

This type of tulip blooms in late spring and grows up to 30 inches tall. It also prefers cool winters and warm, dry summers. Its petals are large and are soft pink with lilac highlights.

Pink Diamond

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Perfect when planted with other late spring-blooming flowers, this type of tulip is rosy pink and goblet-shaped, but is slightly lighter in color around the edges. Their color is but one of the many aspects that help this tulip stand out in a flower bed.

These are often called peony tulips because their petals can be as wide as 10 inches. Double tulips are sensitive to the wind and rain and therefore, they do better in sheltered spots around your home. Below are a few of the double tulip variety.


Beautifully variegated in dark and light pink, these tulips bloom in early spring and have strong stems. They are short and grow only to about 12 inches, but they are easy to grow and look beautiful with tulips of other colors and other types of flowers.


Monsella tulips are bright red and yellow in color, and each bulb can produce up to 3 blooms. They grow up to 12 inches in height and their flowers open 4-5 inches when they bloom.


These tulips resemble peonies because their feathery petals grow in double rows. They have yellow centers and are a creamy-white color, and they are typically 8-12 inches in height.


One of the most popular types of tulips, the Annelinde grows up to 18 inches in height and consists of various shades of light pink. They bloom in late spring and last a lot longer than a lot of other tulips.

Orange Princess

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Another peony-shaped flower, its colors are a mixture of bright orange, reddish-purple, and warm pink. The petals are large and bowl-shaped, and they typically grow 12-14 inches tall. They should also be planted in a sheltered location because they can be damaged in the wind and rain. In addition, they have a wonderful aroma for you to enjoy.

Double Sugar

These resemble roses because of their ruffled petals, and they are variegated shades of pink, ranging from light pink to dark pink, but they can include colors such as pale green and pale yellow. The Double Sugar tulips grow up to 18 inches in height and need to be planted in a sheltered location because of their delicate petals.

Fosteriana Tulips

These tulips are bowl-shaped and have petals that are approximately 5 inches wide. They sometimes have striped leaves and they bloom in early- to mid-spring, so they are some of the first tulips you’ll see each year. They include varieties such as:

Orange Emperor

An extraordinary-looking tulip, it has large, wide petals and is bright orange in color with a pale-yellow base and black anthers. It grows up to 16 inches high and comes back year after year, much to the grower’s delight. It also has a strong stem that easily withstands the wind and rain.

Exotic Emperor

Lovely white tulips with light green stripes and sometimes cream color mixed in with it, these flowers come back year after year and grow up to 16 inches in height.

Flaming Purissima

This tulip is creamy-white in color and brushed with a lovely raspberry-rose color; they also grow up to 16 inches tall. They look best when planted in groups of 12-15 bulbs, and they work great in beds, borders, and containers.

Kaufmanniana Tulips

Kaufmanniana tulips are well-known because they contain several contrasting colors, which makes them stand out in a beautiful way. They open up when it’s sunny, and their shape resembles a star, but when they close up, their colors become even more extraordinary. They typically grow only 6 to 12 inches high, and they bloom in early- to mid-spring. They include the following.

Giuseppe Verdi

These tulips are stunning because they are bright gold and have wide red stripes on the inside and carmine stripes on the outside. They typically grow 8 to 10 inches high and prefer mild temperatures.

Heart’s Delight

These tulips are the earliest hybrid to bloom and contain red petals with creamy-white edges on the outside. Their interior is pale pink with a yellow center, and their mottled foliage makes them an eye-catching variety indeed.


On the inside, these tulips are creamy-white and have yellow centers outlined in red, while on the outside they are rose red and soft pink. Their foliage is wavy-edged and gives the flower an even more unique and beautiful look. They are also very easy to grow.

Darwin Hybrid Tulips

These tulips were developed in The Netherlands and are a result of excellent cross-breeding. Because of this, the tulips have large petals and strong stems, produce blooms for up to five years, and grow up to 28 inches in height. Below are some of their varieties.


Dark pink or red in color, these tulips grow up to two feet tall and look best when planted in groups of 12-15 bulbs. They bloom in mid- to late-spring and are stunning in color and stateliness.

Ad Rem

With large petals in very rich colors such as dark red trimmed in yellow, these tulips brighten up any garden and can grow up to 24 inches in height. They prefer milder temperatures all year around.


Daydream tulips are white-yellow in color and have won many international awards thanks to their unique look. They bloom in mid-spring and can easily withstand wind and rain.

Greigii Tulips

Blooming in early- to mid-spring, Greigii tulips have single, bowl-shaped petals and usually come in yellow, red, and white. They grow low – only around 12 inches in height – and usually have leaves that are either striped or spotted. Their variety includes the following.


With orange-red petals outlined in yellow, these tulips have mottled purplish leaves that are very decorative. They grow up to 12 inches in height and open up fully in the sun. When they open up, they can be as wide as 4 inches, and they make any garden sparkle and shine.


These tulips contain 3-5 flowers per bulb and grow up to 12 inches high. They are bright yellow in color and highlighted in red, and they come back again every spring.


Pinocchio tulips are ivory white and bright red, with a bronze-colored heart. Their mottled leaves put a finishing touch on an already beautiful flower, and when they open during the day, they can be as wide as 4 inches. They are a striking flower.

Fringed Tulips

It is easy to figure out how these tulips got their name, because they have petals with fringed edges. They can grow up to 30 inches tall, but since they are a mutant, they vary in both height and in their flowering period. They include the following.

Bell Song

These tulips grow approximately 20 inches in height and range from violent-pink to coral in color, with white edges and large leaves.


Davenport tulips have crimson-red petals trimmed in bright yellow, so they are quite striking. They make an especially attractive addition to beds with other types of flowering bulbs.


Beautiful lavender-purple petals trimmed in white. These tulips can be as wide as 4 inches when they open up and grow to approximately 20 inches in height.

Triumph Tulips

Triumph tulips are the largest tulips by far, and their single, cup-shaped petals come in a wide variety of colors. They only grow up to 16 inches high and are strong enough to withstand April’s endless showers. They come in varieties such as:


This is a bi-color cultivar that truly stands out among tulips, in part because of its vibrant colors of deep maroon edged with a creamy yellow. It is easy to grow and looks best coupled with 12-15 other Gavotas.


These tulips change color as they open and close, with an ivory-white petal trimmed in purple when it’s open and a light lilac one when closed. They are great for forcing and as cut flowers.


Large petals colored in dark purple and trimmed in shades of rose and pink. They also have an amazing aroma for you to enjoy, in addition to a strong stem to withstand the elements.

Parrot Tulips

Parrot tulips have unusual colors, large petals, and fringed edges. They resemble a parrot’s plumage and have green buds that eventually open to show off their colors. They bloom in late spring and can reach 26 inches in height. They include varieties such as:

Bright Parrot

These contain over-sized bright-orange petals that are trimmed in gold, and when they open in the daytime they open so wide that they look almost flat. They are also very easy to grow.

Black Parrot

These tulips bloom in late spring and have dark purple petals trimmed in black. It is a spectacular tulip with absolutely dazzling colors.

Estella Rijnveld

Also called Gay Presto, these tulips are whimsically shaped and come in bright, dark-pink petals, pink-rose edges, and feathery white spots throughout. They can grow up to 24 inches high.

Lily-Flowered Tulips

A little different from other tulips, these are slender in shape and often come to a point, with thin stems that won’t withstand heavy rains, which means they should be planted in a sheltered location. Lily-flowered tulips include varieties such as:


These tulips are shaped like goblets and have yellow centers, as well as royal purple petals that are trimmed in ivory. When swaying in the breeze, the Ballade tulip is slender and elegant.


Mariette tulips are long-stemmed and colored in deep satin rose which includes a white base. They are graceful and elegant, and they can grow as high as 22 inches in height.

Fly Away

Their goblet-shaped petals are scarlet in color with a golden yellow edge, and they make beautiful borders and cut flowers.

Botanical Tulips

These are tulips that stay low to the ground and have a very natural look. They bloom as soon as they emerge from the ground, and they come in a variety of bright colors, some with stripes. They bloom in early spring, are sturdy and strong, and are real eye-catchers. They are available in varieties such as:


The Cynthia tulips are pale yellow and rose red in color, and they close at night. However, they open during the day to reveal a star-like pattern, which makes them quite striking.

Alba Coreulea Oculata

Beautifully designed and containing white petals and deep-blue centers, they are only 4-6 inches in height, but their star-like appearance when open will certainly catch your attention.

Lilac Wonder

As their name suggests, these tulips are a dark lilac and have bright yellow centers, making them one of the most eye-catching botanical tulips around.

Viridiflora Tulips

Viridiflora tulips have one uncommon characteristic – each one contains petals that include some green coloring, and their cup-shaped petals can be up to 3 inches across. Their varieties include the following:


Slender and elegant, these tulips resemble the lily-flowered variety and are multi-colored: soft pink, deep rose, creamy white base, and lime-green flames running through them. They look stunning in a vase and last approximately 3 weeks, making them a long-lasting tulip.


With large, 3-inch-wide petals, these tulips are golden orange laced with soft green streaks. They, too, are long-lasting and allow you to enjoy their full blooms for roughly 3 weeks.

Doll’s Minuet

Magenta-pink pointed petals and featherings of purple and soft green. They are elegant, long-lasting, and grow up to 20 inches tall.

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Understanding the 15 different tulip groups

Below is the full list of the different tulip groups, with a little specification, as well as an example. We hope from this you can learn a bit more to help you pick the tulip that’s right for you.

Single Early

Single flowered cultivars, these have cup-shaped flowers approx 7.5cm wide and are some of the earliest to flower.
E.g. Apricot Beauty

Double Early

Double-flowered cultivars, mainly short-stemmed and early-flowering. Very good long lasting properties, most suitable for cut flowers.These have double, peony like flowers approx 7.5-10cm wide.
E.g. Exotic Emperor


Single-flowered cultivars, stem of medium height, flowering in mid-season. Originally the result of hybridization between cultivars of the Single early group and the Single late group – also known as Mid-season tulips. Another variety with good lasting properties.These have conical flowers and are more rounded, up to 7.5cm wide.
E.g. Jan Reus


Single-flowered cultivars, long-stemmed, flowering in mid-season (April/May). Originally the result of hybridization between cultivars of the Darwin group with Tulipa Fosteriana, and the result of hybridization between other cultivars and botanical tulips. They have habits similar to that of the Fosteriana. These have huge, goblet-like flowers up to 15cm across.
E.g. Design Impression

Single Late

Single-flowered cultivars, mainly long-stemmed and late-flowering. This group includes such tulips as those from the former Darwin and Cottage Type groups. Versatile with large flowers on strong stems. These have oval to almost squarish flowers (often with pointed petals).
E.g. Red Georgette, Bruine Wimpel


Single-flowered cultivar, flowering mid-season or late, stem length varies. These have long, slim flowers with pointed petals flaring out at their tips (like a Lily, hence their name), approx 15cm across.
E.g. Sapporo, Ballerina


Single-flowered cultivars, petals edged with crystalline fringes, flowering mid-season or late. Stem of variable length.
E.g. Purple Tower


These are distinguished by having green streaks or markings on their petals and are normally late flowerers. There are only about 50 or so of these types of tulips.
E.g. Flaming Spring Green, China Town


Cultivars with broken flower colours; striped or marked with brown, bronze, black, red, pink or purple, on a red, white or yellow background. Cause of markings is a non-spreading virus infection. Long-stemmed.
E.g. Absalon


Cultivar with unusual fringed, curled and twisted petals. Mainly late-flowering. Stems of variable length. These have large flowers can also be bi-coloured.
E.g. Rococo

Double Late / Peony-flowered

These have large, fully double flowers up to 12cm wide.
E.g. Double Maureen

Kaufmanniana Hybrids

One of the most permanent tulip varieties. These have water-lily like flowers which flatten out when open and can be bi-coloured and/or have striped or mottled leaves.
E.g. Hearts Delight

Fosteriana Hybrids

These have many cultivars, subspecies, varieties and hybrids. Early-flowering variety with broad leaves which can be sometimes mottled or striped. Stems medium to long. These have slender flowers when closed which open up to approx 18-20cm in full sun.
E.g. Purissima

Greigii Hybrids

Usually marbled or striped foliage, flowering later than those in the Kaufmanniana group. Leaves usually spread out and bend down toward the ground. Almost permanent variety, coming up year after year. These have large brightly coloured flowers.
E.g. Red Riding Hood


Perennial species of tulip, they are also known as Botanical Tulips.These are smaller and more delicate than modern hybrids, but are normally very hardy and long lived.
E.g. whittallii

Browse our collection of tulip bulbs to discover your own favourites. On each of our Tulip product pages you’ll see the ‘Group’ listed in the further details section.

14 Types of Tulips

Written by: FTD

Tulips are one of the most popular spring flowers. Native to Eurasia and North Africa, they belong to the lily family. Cherished for their brightly colored, cup-shaped flowers, they are a classic flower to add to any home decor. The most popular being: single tulips, double tulips, parrot tulips, Darwin hybrid tulips and triumph tulips.

There are actually over 3,000 varieties of tulips, that belong to 14 main groups. To help you understand the differences, FTD created a guide below outlining the characteristics of each type.

Single early

Single early tulips are one of the first tulips to bloom. Their blooms open in cooler weather, right when winter is just disappearing, and tend to last longer. Their flowers have a distinct cup shape consisting of six petals.

Single late

The single late tulip is one of the last to bloom, and is also the tallest variety averaging heights of 18 to 30 inches. Also known as the Mayflowering tulip, these tulips come in the widest variety of colors.

Darwin hybrid

Darwin hybrid tulips are a cross between Fosteriana and late-looming single tulips. Best known for its sturdy stems and large, pyramid-shaped blooms, they are the best variety for cut flowers.

Double early and Double late

Also known as peony tulips, double tulips are known for their multi-layered blooms. They can either bloom in early or late spring, and have large blooms averaging 6-inches. During bloom season, the large blooms may require additional support from staked stems. Because they are sensitive to rain, it is advised to plant them in a sheltered area.

Fringed tulips are known for their soft and frilly appearance. Also known as Crispa tulips, popular colors include pink, red, white and yellow.

Typically the fringe color contrasts with the petal giving them a striking appearance.

Fosteriana Tulip

Fosteriana tulips descend from the wild tulips found in the mountains of Central Asia. They have large bowl-shaped flowers that measure up to eight inches, earning them the nickname of “Emperor” tulip.


Greigii flowers have bowl-shaped flowers that measure up to six inches across. Beneath the sunshine, these flowers can open up even wider.

Their maroon-streaked leaves are one of their most distinct characteristics. Also known as “Turkestan” tulips, they are mid-season bloomers.


Native to Turkestan, Kaufmanniana hybrids are one of the first tulip varieties to bloom.

Resembling waterlilies, they have pointed petals that open flat beneath bright sunlight. Thus they are also known as waterlily tulips.

Lily-flowered tulips are late spring bloomers. Their star-shaped flowers have long pointed petals that arch outwards. These uniquely shaped blooms come in a variety of colors with contrasting edges. They have tall stems ranging from 14 to 24 inches.


The parrot tulip is one of the most popular types of tulips. Known for its exotic and feathery appearance, they have ruffled petals with streaks of contrasting colors that evoke the feathers of a tropical parrot.

They are available in a variety of colors including pink, red, orange, purple, yellow, green and white. Since they have longer stems and large blooms, they are considered to be one of the more delicate types of tulips.

Viridiflora tulips are one of the longest blooming varieties. Also known as the green tulip, their most striking feature is the streak of green on their petals that contrasts to the base color. Most viridiflora tulips bloom in late springs and have stem heights that can reach 16 to 24 inches.

Species tulips are descendants of one of the very first tulips. Also known as botanical tulips, they are native to the Mediterranean. Amongst the smallest types of tulips, they have stem heights that range from three to eight inches. Species tulips are also one of the longest lasting tulips and are the most perennial of all tulip varieties.

Triumph tulips have sturdy stems with cup-shaped flowers. Able to withstand colder temperatures, they are midseason bloomers. A cross between Single early and Darwin tulips, they are available in almost every color including popular colors like pink and apricot. They are an excellent choice for cut flowers due to their long vase life.


Rembrandt tulips have deep purple streaks that were originally caused by a virus spread by aphids.

Today, they are intentionally bred to be this way and are one of the most striking varieties of tulips. One interesting fact about these tulips is that they are named after the famous Dutch painter!

Since there are so many different types of tulips, here is a handy guide to help you easily identify your favorite types. This infographic includes a list of each type’s most distinguishing characteristics including bloom time, flower shape, and height.

Browse through these different types of tulips and add them to your garden creating a gorgeous look that everyone will absolutely love.

Tulips are an incredibly distinctive breed of flower, instantly identifiable around the world.

In the most dry, scientific terms, the tulip is a bulbous flowering perennial plant encompassing around 75 currently accepted wild species belonging to the family Liliaceae. Tulips historically needed a good freeze to bloom, but modern farming techniques have made them generally available year-round. But we’re not here to learn history. We’re discussing the striking variety of tulips because, despite being one of the most recognizable flowers on earth, the plant has plenty of surprises in store.

For every archetypal tulip, with svelte bulb and bold color, there are likely several other unique species that pass by unknown. Gorgeous blooms can appear in a range of shapes and colors, some wholly unrecognizable from the sort you’ll often find associated with “Dutch” anything. We’ve gathered a handful of the most important types of tulip here, in the hopes of widening your perspective on this important flower.

Standard Tulips

Our first selection is the one most folks are familiar with. While coming in a range of specific species, the “standard” variant appears exactly as you’d expect. These are the types you’ll see in the tulip section at your local florist or the grocery store, and spread throughout local gardens in springtime. You can break down standard tulips into subcategories, but these are in-depth terms that we’ll leave for the hardcore gardeners.

As a traditional cut flower, tulips are fantastic for a handful of reasons. First of all, their familiarity has bred generations-deep associations with happiness, springtime, and positive feelings. They make for wonderful gifts! Most standard tulips also have a consistently pure color, which makes them a great addition for floral arrangements. The exceptions to this one-color rule are often surprisingly beautiful, with bi-color tulips found in gorgeous, complementary combinations. Best of all? Standard tulips are relatively cheap for such a beautiful flower.

Double Bloom

The meaning of the name double bloom becomes clear the moment you set eyes on this flower. Instead of the single petal layer seen in standard tulips, this breed displays a multitude of layers. You’re likely to hear these referred to by several different names, including peony bloom, but we’re sticking with double bloom because it’s literally descriptive.

These make a unique contribution to bouquets, adding a lush, voluptuous look to the design. While perfectly handsome on their own, double blooms mix well with other flowers for a complex, visually stunning arrangement. Please note that some variants of this type are seasonal to a fault, available only a few weeks of the year. If you’re really set on this look and want them for a specific occasion, you may want to plan around the season, or choose a less specific range of flowers.

Parrot Tulips are a truly unique proposition within the tulip family. The name comes from the appearance of ruffled petals with multiple colors, echoing the plumage of a tropical parrot!

Let’s spell out what sets the parrot tulip apart. First of all, they grow extra quickly. The blooms themselves tend to be larger, making a challenge for breeders who have to ensure strong stems to support the weight. The stalks may bend a bit more than standard breeds. While all parrot tulips are multi-colored, they also open into immense, textural blooms. This makes them add a truly unique touch to any arrangement.

The parrot doesn’t always appear as a recognizable tulip, which may cause friends to ask what type of flower it is. The unique visuals come from a quickly growing and relatively untamable plant, constantly shifting and resisting hard definition.

“Fringed” neatly describes the look of this tulip type. Quite similar to standard tulips in general shape, the edges of the petals themselves are fringed, frilly, and have an almost ragged, soft appearance. The fringed effect creates a striking visual complexity, enhancing the eye-catching ability of the flower in every diverse color they may be found. These are best placed around slimmer, more straightforward flowers in an arrangement, to really let the fringed look pop. Or better yet, employ these unique flowers all on their own!

Bi-Color Standard Tulips

Source: Wikimedia

While traditional standard tulips tend to be in solid colors, Bi-Color standard tulips have a bit more variation to them. They’re slightly more expensive than standard tulips, but still have that classic tulip shape to their blooms.

Pictured here is the beautiful Prinses Irene tulip cultivar, which have brilliant orange blooms with rich purple markings.

These showy, tall tulips feature pale colors that are distinctly variegated or streaked with deep purple or red “flames”, and as you may have guessed, are named for the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt. Originally, these striped beauties were the result of a virus that damaged the bulbs. The original Rembrandt bulbs are no longer sold, but a non viral variety are available. These modern Rembrandts are just as beautiful as the originals.

Fosteriana Tulips

These tulips were developed from a wild species of tulip found in the mountains of Central Asia, and vary in height but all have a beautiful bloom with huge, wide petals in bold colors. More commonly known as Emperor tulips, they look impressive when planted in large planting beds, and will come back year after year.

These beautiful flowers are a far cry from the standard tulip, and are among the first tulips to flower. They tend to be short, making them perfect for rock gardens and containers. The flowers have pointed petals, which open almost completely flat on sunny days. When they open flat, these tulips look much more like waterlilys than tulips, hence their alternate name, Waterlily. These blooms are among some of the largest, measuring 8 inches across at the largest.

Lily Flowering Tulips

These elegant tulips bloom in late spring, and have long, pointed petals that arch at the tips. Much like the Kaufmanniana tulips, the blooms are shaped like lily flowers. From above, they look like six-pointed stars. These beauties aren’t available in many varieties, but their shape makes up for the limited color variety. The cultivar pictured here is the Aladdin, which has fierce red petals with contrasting yellow edges.

These unique tulips are named for the streak of green that is found somewhere on each petal. These are in direct, dramatic contrast with the basic flower color, shown here in pink. In addition to their beauty, Viridiflora tulips are known for their exceptionally long blooms, which makes them a beautiful and worthwhile addition to any flower garden. Shown here is the Groenland cultivar.

Darwin Hybrids

These crosses between Fosteriana tulips and Darwin Tulips (which are now considered late-blooming single tulips) are the tallest tulips available. They’re best known for their huge blooms, which can measure 6 inches in diameter. Darwin Hybrids are treasured for their brilliant colors, and are sometimes considered the very best tulip for cut flowers.

While some tulips only remain beautiful for several years, Darwin Hybrids look just as beautiful year after year, as long as you don’t cut the leaves off after blooming. Shown here is the Daydream cultivar, a bold yellow flower with apricot edges.

These lovely tulips come into bloom, as their name implies, after every other variety of tulip. This type of tulip is also called a Cottage tulip or a Mayflowering Tulip. These are beautiful, standard cup-shaped tulips that come in the widest range of colors possible for tulips, and give Darwin Hybrids a run for the title of tallest tulip.

Shown above are Single Late Tulips of the Esther cultivar, which have pink petals with silver edges.

Source: Wikimedia

These beauties are typically shorter than most other varieties, but the blooms are enormous in proportion to their height. They come in bold colors, like red or yellow, and the flowers tend to open wide in the sunshine. Because these tulips are so short, they are ideal for rock gardens or containers.

One of the most striking features of these tulips are the striped or spotted leaves. Shown here are the Red Riding Hood cultivar.

We hope this brief breakdown of the surprising variety of tulips has been eye-opening for you. Realizing the sheer complexity and range of tulip appearances was a revelation for us. What once was merely a beautiful if stodgy standard-bearer is now understood as the innovative breed it truly is!


Popular Garden Ideas

Popular Garden Ideas

Tulips: Plant Care and Collection of Varieties

The jewels of the spring bulb garden, tulips are available in a huge range of flower shapes, sizes, and colors.

About tulips
From stately formal plantings to naturalized woodland areas, there’s a type of tulip for every garden setting. Tulips grow best in areas with cold winters, cool springs, and cool summers. The smaller species tulips are reliably perennial, while larger types may need to be replanted every few years. Flower colors include apricot, pink, salmon, red, deep maroon, and white, and flowers may be double, ruffled, fringed, or lily-shaped, depending on the variety. Height ranges from 6 inches to 2 feet. By planting varieties with different bloom times, you can have tulips blooming from early to late spring. Some types are good for forcing into bloom indoors.

Special features of tulips
Good for cut flowers

Choosing a site to grow tulips
Select a site with full sun to light shade and well-drained soil. Tall varieties should be sheltered from strong winds.

Ongoing Care
Keep tulips watered during dry spells in the fall. After plants are finished flowering in spring, cut back flower stalks but allow the leaves to die back naturally, hiding the unsightly foliage with annual or perennial plantings. An annual application of compost should provide adequate nutrients. Large varieties may need replanting every few years; small types usually multiply and spread on their own.

Planting Instructions
Plant tulip bulbs in fall, six to eight weeks before a hard frost is expected and when soils are below 60 degrees F. This is usually during September and October in the north, and October and November in the south. Prepare the garden bed by using a garden fork or tiller to loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost. Dig a hole about three times as deep as the height of the bulb. Set the bulb in the hole, pointy end up, then cover with soil and press firmly. Space bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart. Water thoroughly after planting. If hungry voles or mice are a problem, plant bulbs in buried wire cages to protect them from getting eaten.

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