Tulip Divisions
D 1 - Single Early Tulips
D 2 - Double Early Tulips
D 3 - Triumph Tulips
D 4 - Darwin Hybrid Tulips
D 5 - Single Late Tulips
D 6 - Lily Flowered Tulips
D 7 - Fringed Tulips
D 8 - Viridiflora Tulips
D 9 - Rembrandt Tulips
D 10 - Parrot Tulips
D 11 - Double Late Tulips
D 12 - Kaufmanniana Tulips
D 13 - Fosteriana Tulips
D 14 - Greigii Hybrid Tulips
D 15 - Species Tulips

Tulips (members of the genus, Tulipa) originated in Eurasia around Turkey and were first introduced into Europe around 1554. Growers in the Netherlands found that they had the ideal growing environment for tulips and the rest is history. The vast majority of tulips we grow in the home landscape still come from Holland although the Pacific Northwest also produces a lot of bulbs. Some estimate that there are over 3,000 named cultivars of tulips today.

Modern tulip divisions were established in 1917 and revised in 1996. These divisions group tulips more by shape and bloom time rather than by strict botanical or genetic distinctions.

As the name suggests, these are among the earliest tulips to bloom in the spring. The flowers are produced on 10 to 18 inch long stems and come in a variety of colors, many of which have a sweet fragrance. Each stem bears one flower having the typical six petals. They usually flower in early April.

  • 'Bellona'
  • 'Brilliant Star'
  • 'General de Wet'
  • 'Keizerskroon'
  • 'Prince of Austria'
  • 'Sunburst'
  • 'White Hawk'

This group includes semi-double to fully double flowers which are often called Peony Tulips. Some flowers may measure up to 4 inches in diameter on thick stems that average 8 to 12 inches in height. They have more than the typical 6 petals normally found on tulips. Generally, these tulips do not display the total range of colors commonly found in tulips. Bloom time is early April.

  • 'All Gold'
  • 'Marechal Niel'
  • 'Mr. van der Hoef'
  • 'Orange Nassau'
  • 'Peach Blossom'
  • 'Schoonord'
  • 'Stockholm'
  • 'Triumphator'

These tulips produce cup shaped flowers that sit on strong, 10 to 16 inches in length. This is the largest Division of tulips and consists of a wide array of flower colors. Many of them are the result of crosses of Single Early and Late Flowering Tulips. These plants make good cut flowers and stand up well in bad weather. They bloom in mid-April.

Mendel tulips are included in this Division.

  • 'Crater'
  • 'Edith Eddy'
  • 'Her Grace'
  • 'Kansas'
  • 'Meissner'
  • 'Porzellan'
  • 'Orange Wonder'
  • 'Paul Richter'
  • 'Prince Charles'
  • 'Tambour'

These tulips were the result of crosses made by Mr. Krelage in 1921. They are now included in Division 3.

  • 'Apricot Beauty'
  • 'Krelage's Triumph'
  • 'Remagen'
  • 'White Sail'

Flowers in this Division come in various shades of red, pink, orange and yellow. The blooms are large and are borne on top of stems that can get up to 30 inches tall with the average being 12 to 20 inches. They tend to be more perennial that other hybrid tulips and usually last several years in the home landscape. Most of the cultivars are the result of crosses involving T. fosteriana and Darwin tulips by D.W. Lefeber in about 1940. These tulips flower in mid-April.

  • 'Apeldoorn'
  • 'Beauty of Apeldorn'
  • 'Big Chief'
  • 'Dover'
  • 'Elizabeth Arden'
  • 'Golden Springtime'
  • 'Golden Sun'
  • 'Gudoshnik'
  • 'Jewel of Spring'
  • 'Orange Sun'
  • 'Oxford'
  • 'President Kennedy'

This Division consists of the former Darwin, cottage and breeder tulips. The popularity of hybridizing these groups of tulips has made them all blend together in single late flowering tulips. They are among the tallest tulips with some up to 30 inches tall with the range being 14 to 30 inches. These tulips flower in late April.

  • 'Asta Neilson'
  • 'Belle'
  • 'Jaune'
  • 'Elsie Eloff'
  • 'General Ridgeway'
  • 'Golden Harvest'
  • 'Beverley'
  • 'President Hoover'
  • 'King's Blood'
  • 'Marshall Haig'
  • 'Mirella'
  • 'Renown'
  • 'Smiling Queen'

As the name implies, these tulips have long, pointed petals that arch backward similar to types of the genus, Lilium. They come in white, pink, red, yellow and purple colors. Some of the cultivars have petals that are edged or feathered in contrasting colors. They are very popular for cut flowers. The average height is 14 to 20 inches and they bloom in late April.

  • 'Aladdin'
  • 'China Pink'
  • 'Dyanito'
  • 'Golden Harvest'
  • 'Mariette'
  • 'Maytime'
  • 'Queen of Sheba'
  • 'Red Shine'
  • 'White Triumphator'

As you might expect, the flowers of these tulips have elegant fringed petals. They are also known as "crispa tulips" and often result from mutant forms of single late tulips. The plant heights range from 8 to 30 inches and they bloom in late April.


Tulips with prominent green marking from the base of their petals to the tip belong to this Division. They are considered a novelty in the garden and are closely related to single late tulips. Their height ranges from 14 to 24 inches and they flower in late April. These tulips are valued for their exceptionally long flowering period and very good cutting qualities.


The white, yellow, or red petals of these flowers are striped with red, bronze, or purple. The color variations are actually caused by a virus. During tulip mania in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, these tulips brought the highest prices. The original, virus caused, Rembrandt tulips are no longer propagated. Modern cultivars are virus free but resemble the older types in color patterns. These tulips bloom in late April.


The name of this Division comes from the feathered, curved or twisted petals of the flowers that resemble a bird. Regardless of the main color of the flower, there is usually a green spot at the base of the petals. Parrot tulips tend to be damaged by winds and inclement weather so they should be planted in a protective site. The plants range from 12 to 16 inches in height and bloom in late April.

  • 'Black Parrot'
  • 'Blue Parrot'
  • 'Fantasy'
  • 'Flaming Parrot'
  • 'James Forrestal'
  • 'Karel Doorman'
  • 'Orange Favorite'
  • 'Texas Flame'
  • 'Texas Gold'

Also called Peony Flowered Tulips, this Division is the smallest one. There are few cultivars but the ones that exist are striking. The double flowers resemble those of peony plants and, due to their size, can be damaged by heavy rain and winds. Plant them in a protected site for best display. The plants range in height from 12 to 20 inches and flower in late April.

  • 'Bonanza'
  • 'Clara Carder'
  • 'Engelenburcht'
  • 'Eros'
  • 'Gerbrandt Kieft'
  • 'Mount Tacoma'
  • 'Orange Triumph'
  • 'Uncle Tom'

The flowers of these tulips are said to resemble a star or waterlily in shape. They come in white, yellow, pink and other colors and have bluish green foliage with chocolate brown stripes. Tulips in this class grow to about 4 to 8 inches in height. They are about the earliest tulips to bloom in the spring.

  • 'Goudstuk'
  • 'Shakespeare'
  • 'Johann Strauss'
  • 'Stresa'

These plants produce among the largest flowers of all tulips. The species that contributed to this division originated in Central Asia. They flower in April and grow to a height of 10 to 20 inches.

  • 'Red Emperor'
  • 'Easter Parade'
  • 'Galata'
  • 'Purissima'

These tulips grow to about 8 to 12 inches in height. They bear brightly colored, medium size flowers and the foliage has a purple stripe or is mottled. The species at the base of these tulips originated in Turkestan. In April, the blooms open with a black heart.

  • 'Cape Cod'
  • 'Frits Phiillps'
  • 'Margaret Herbst'
  • 'Oriental Beauty'
  • 'Red Riding Hood'

A plant species is one that either exists in the wild today or that there is evidence that it lived in the wild in the past. Even though this division is called Species Tulips, it includes some human made cultivated varieties (cultivars) too. Generally, this is a catch all category for tulips that are unique in some way and do not easily fit into one of the other 14 divisions.

  • Tulipa acuminata - This is a very old species, probably of garden origin, with long, narrow, and red marbled flowers with petals that terminate in fringed points. Average plant height 16-20 inches. Flowering mid-April.

  • Tulipa bakeri "Lilac Wonder" - This is a relatively new variety developed from Tulipa bakeri. This selection has small lilac-pink flowers that open out into stars with a orange-yellow heart. Flowering mid-April. Average plant height 6-8 inches.

  • Tulipa batalinii - This species is native to Turkestan and has produced the cultivar "Bronze Charm". This is practically the only one cultivated. The flowers are golden yellow with a red hue, with pointed petals that are star-shaped when open. Flowering mid-April. Average plant height 6 inches.

  • Tulipa chrysantha - This species is native to the mountains of Afghanistan, where it can be found at an altitude of 3000 meters. The flowers are yellow-red and the foliage is bluish-green and very narrow. Flowering mid-April. Average plant height 6-8 inches.

  • Tulipa clusiana - This species is native to Persia and Afghanistan. The flowers are vertically striped red-pink and white, and when open, the pointed petals forms a star. Flowering mid-April. Average plant height 12-14 inches.

  • Tulipa eichleri - This species is native to the Caucasus Mountains. They have big, red and yellow striped flowers with the petals terminating in points. This is a vigorous plant that multiplies rapidly. Flowering early April. Average plant height 10-12 inches.

  • Tulipa kolpakowskiana - This species is native to Turkestan. It has small yellow flowers that are flushed red on the outside petals. Flowering mid-April. Average plant height 6-8 inches.

  • Tulipa linifolia - This species is native to South Russia. It has big flowers that are brilliant red, almost florescent, a color not found amongst any other species. The pointed petals open in the sun, curving back to form an elegant chalice with a brilliant black heart. Flowering late April. Average plant height 4-6 inches.

  • Tulipa marjoletti - This species is native to Savoy. The flowers have pointed petals and are yellow and bright red flamed. Flowering late April. Average plant height 20-24 inches.

  • Tulipa pulchella violacea - This species is native to Asia Minor. It is a dwarf species with big, globular purple violet flowers that open to stars. It prefers to be planted in a sheltered place. Flowering early April. Average plant height 5-6 inches.

  • Tulipa saxatilis - This species is native to Crete. The flowers are mauve-pink with yellow bases that open in the sun to form stars. The foliage tends to be rampant. Flowering early April. Average plant height 12-14 inches.

  • Tulipa tarda - This species is native to Turkestan. The flowers are golden yellow with a white tip. Each stem has 5-6 flowers which are star-shaped when open. It multiplies rapidly into compact groups and makes a good carpeting plant. Flowering early April. Average plant height 8-10 inches.

  • Tulipa turkestanica - This species is native to Turkestan. The 7-9 flowers per stem are white and cream with pointed petals when open. The plant has narrow bluish leaves. It rapidly multiplies into compact groups.

  • Tulipa urumiensis - This species is native to Iran and is one of the shortest dwarf tulips. The flowers are bright yellow and open in the sun. This species is not vigorous and tends to wear out easily.

Multi-Flowering Tulips      

Multi-flowering Tulips produce 3 to 7 blooms per stem. The main stem of multi-flowering 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 multi-flowering cultivars belong to the single late tulip class. These tulips are 14- to 20-inch-tall plants which bloom late in the season. Several cultivars are multi-flowering Greigii tulips which are 8 to 12 inches tall and early blooming.

Fragrant Tulips
These tulips have at least some degree of fragrance to the flowers.
  • 'Apricot Parrot'
  • 'Bastogne'
  • 'Cardinal'
  • 'Beauty Queen'
  • 'Christmas Velvet'
  • 'Floradale'
  • 'Little Beauty'
  • 'Tide Princess'


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