Class 4: Darwin Hybrid Tulips

The Darwin Hybrid Tulips were created by crossing the Fosteriana Tulips with the old Darwin Tulips (now part of the Single Late Class). Along with the Single Late Tulips, Darwin Hybrids are the tallest tulips available.

Darwin Hybrid Tulips are known for the HUGE size of their brilliantly coloured flowers. The blossoms are an almost perfect pyramid shaped when closed, but they can measure as much as 6" (15 cm) in diameter when fully opened.

Because of their long stems, lovely pyramid shape, and brilliant colours, Darwin Hybrids are often considered the very best type of tulip to raise for cut flowers. However, there are definite advantages to growing them for beds and borders, especially in areas where they can be sheltered from strong winds.

Unlike many types of tulip which only look well for the first couple of years, Darwin Hybrid Tulips will come back looking great year after year (provided you don't cut the leaves off after blooming). As a result, you will sometimes hear them called "perennial" tulips.

A few varieties have a fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of the variety.

Flowering time:mid to late spring
Plant height:12 - 34" (30 - 86 cm); average: 18 - 24" (46 - 60 cm)
Minimum planting depth:6" (15 cm)
Hardiness zones: suitable for zones 3 - 7
Colours:white, pink, yellow, orange, red, purple, black
Shape/form:one large, pyramid-shaped bloom per stem
very long, sturdy stem
Alternate names:none
Notes:outstanding as cut flowers; good for beds, borders, and indoor forcing
best kept out of the wind, due to their height
Example varieties: Ad Rem* (red/orange), Apeldoorn (red), Big Chief (raspberry with yellow base), Burning Heart (cream with red), Cream Jewel (creamy white), Daydream* (yellow with apricot orange edges), Elizabeth Arden (dark pink), Francoise (white), Golden Apeldoorn (yellow), Golden Parade (yellow), Holland's Glory* (scarlet), Ivory Floradale (ivory white, especially tall), Kingsblood (red), Menton (apricot with orange edges), Ollioules (dark pink with light rose edges), Olympic Flame (yellow with red flames), Orange Bowl (orange and yellow), Oranjezon* (orange), Oxford* (red), Parade (red), Pink Impression (rosy-pink), President Kennedy (sherbet orange and red), Queen of the Night (black), Sorbet (white and pink)

Big Chief Burning Heart Menton


Olympic Flame Golden Parade President Kennedy


Olioulles Queen of the Night Pink Impression


Sorbet Kingsblood Francoise


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Last modified: October 15, 2008