Tulipa spp., Tulip
tu – li – pah
Description: Hardy bulbous
plant, usually with bell-shaped
flowers, that blooms in early to
late spring, depending on
variety. Billions of tulips are
cultivated, the vast majority of
which are exported from
Holland. Around 100 cultivars
are common in commerce but
thousands of cultivars have
been named.
 Origin: Turkey.
 Height x width: 5 inches to 2
feet tall, depending on
cultivar, and about 6 inches
 Growth habit: Upright.
 Foliage: Long, thick, strap-like leaves
(ovate to lanceolate) that arise from
the bulb.
 Flowers: Many solid and mixed colors,
erect, single or double, bell or saucer
shaped, with six perianth segments.
The size of the bulb determines its
ability to flower—the larger, the
 Culture: Full sun, cool temperatures
and well-drained soil. With the exception of species tulips,
tulips do not perennialize well in Zone 6. Hybrid tulips need
a long, cool spring to produce storage carbohydrates for the
bulbs that remain dormant until the following spring. In
warmer climates, bulbs seldom rebloom more than once.
 Pests and problems: Botrytis (gray mold), basal and stem
rots, tulip break virus.
 Uses: Massed when possible in borders or rock gardens, cut
flowers, indoor potted plants.
 Other facts of interest: The word tulip is derived from the
Turkish word for turban. The first tulips brought to Europe in
the 1500s sold in Holland for the equivalent today of $10,000 each.
Propagation: Offsets.