Class 13: Fosteriana Tulips

Fosteriana Tulips were developed from Tulipa fosteriana, a wild species of tulip found in mountainous areas of Central Asia. The resulting Fosteriana Tulips differ somewhat in height, but all have a wonderful flower shape with huge, wide petals in bright colours.

Fosteriana Tulips are more commonly known as Emperor Tulips, and the names of many of the varieties reflect this ("Red Emperor", "White Emperor", "Pink Emperor", "Orange Emperor", etc.).

Fosteriana Tulips look particularly impressive when planted in large beds ("drifts"), and will come back year after year. A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of the variety.

Flowering time: Early spring.

These are the earliest flowering "mid-height" Tulips. In other words, except for the short "rock garden" Tulips like the Kaufmannianas and the Botanical Species Tulips, these will probably be the first Tulips to flower in your garden.

Plant height:10 - 20" (25 - 50 cm); average: 14" (36 cm)
Minimum planting depth:6" (15 cm)
Hardiness zones: suitable for zones 3 - 8
Colours:white, pink, yellow, orange, red
Shape/form:immense petals
one cup-shaped flower on a strong stem
leaves are sometimes striped or mottled
Alternate names: Emperor Tulips
Notes:good for beds, and as cut flowers
perennialize very well (i.e. come back year after year)
Example varieties: Candela (lemon yellow), Concerto (white), Golden Emperor (golden yellow),Juan (orange with yellow base), Orange Emperor* (orange with yellow base), Pink Emperor/Solva (rose pink), Princeps (red with bronze green base), Red Emperor/Madame Lefeber (red), Sweetheart (lemon yellow with white edges), White Emperor*/Purissima* (white), Yellow Purissima (golden yellow), Zombie (red and cream)

Juan Golden Emperor Orange Emperor


White Emperor Red Emperor Zombie


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Last modified: October 15, 2008