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Fall Bulbs 2017: 9 Best Tulips to Order Now

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Fall Bulbs 2017: 9 Best Tulips to Order Now

September 26, 2017

So many tulips, so little time. Here are nine favorites to order now for a spring show in the gardne:

‘National Velvet’ Tulip

Photograph by Britt Willoughby Dyer. See more of the tulips Britt planted in her Cotswolds cottage garden, see Garden Visit: The Tulips of Hawthorn Cottage.
Above: Photograph by Britt Willoughby Dyer. See more of the tulips Britt planted in her Cotswolds cottage garden, see Garden Visit: The Tulips of Hawthorn Cottage.

‘National Velvet’ belongs to the Triumph class of tulips, known for sturdy stems and cupped, chalice flowers. Blooming in mid-spring, Triumph tulips are workhorses in the garden and most will thrive in growing zones 3-7.; 25 bulbs for $17.75 from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.

Analita Tulip

Diminutive Analita Tulip is a new offering from Brent and Becky&#8
Above: Diminutive Analita Tulip is a new offering from Brent and Becky’s Bulbs; it “opens pink with a darker center and then changes as it matures to white, pink and golden petals.” Suitable for growing zones from 2 to 9, it it $15.75 for 25 bulbs.

‘Mount Tacoma’ Tulip

Mount Tacoma is a fragrant double tulip, with white petals &#8
Above: Mount Tacoma is a fragrant double tulip, with white petals “subtly adorned with green feathering,” notes grower Van Engelen. Introduced in 1924, looks more like a peony than a tulip and is hardy in growing zones from 3 to 7; 100 bulbs for $40.75. Photograph by Steph & Teddy Gravell via Flickr.

Clusiana Tulip

Tulipa clusiana ‘Peppermint Stick’ opens in the morning and closes as the day wanes. Photograph by Britt Willoughby Dyer.
Above: Tulipa clusiana ‘Peppermint Stick’ opens in the morning and closes as the day wanes. Photograph by Britt Willoughby Dyer.

One of the rarest tulip bulbs offered by Old House Gardens, delicate red and white Tulipa clusiana has a history dating back to 1607. But careful: “Although many sources offer this petite, charming wildflower, virtually all deliver cheap impostors such as hybrid ‘Lady Jane’ (oversized, and empty inside) or modern cream-to-yellow forms,” notes Old House Gardens.

If happy, it will naturalize and spread year after year. Hardy in growing zones from 6a to 8b (and to 10b on the West Coast), Clusiana bulbs are $22 for 5.

Aladdin Tulip

Lily-flowered Aladdin (registered in 4
Above: Lily-flowered Aladdin (registered in 1942) is a new introduction from White Flower Far; hardy in zones 4 to 8, 10 bulbs are $11.50 from White Flower Farm.

Estella Rijnveld Tulip

A parrot tulip with ruffly feathers, Estella Rijnveld was introduced in the 50s. Hardy from growing zones 4 to 7, 0 bulbs is $43.75 from Van Engelen. Photograph by Carol VanHook via Flickr.
Above: A parrot tulip with ruffly feathers, Estella Rijnveld was introduced in the 1950s. Hardy from growing zones 4 to 7, 100 bulbs is $43.75 from Van Engelen. Photograph by Carol VanHook via Flickr.

Sylvestris Tulip

Yellow Tulipa sylvestris. Photograph by Cristina Sanvito via Flickr.
Above: Yellow Tulipa sylvestris. Photograph by Cristina Sanvito via Flickr.

With a fragrance that smells like violets, Tulipa Sylvestris is a wildflower. It dates to 1597, and later Thomas Jefferson grew it in the gardens at Monticello. It is hardy in growing zones from 5a to8a (and 8b on the West Coast; 10 bulbs for $17 from Old House Gardens.

Gavota Tulip

Tulipa &#8
Above: Tulipa ‘Gavota’ Liliaceae has an “unusual form and coloration…with classically shaped flowers with somewhat pointed petals that are royal, deep red with broad yellow margins.” It is hardy in growing zones from 3 to 8; a bag of 25 bulbs is $13 from K. von Bourgundien and Sons. Photograph by Ryan Somma via Flickr.

Princess Irene Tulip

A single, early tulip, &#8
Above: A single, early tulip, ‘Princess Irene’ has orange petals softened by tinges of purple; 25 bulbs for $18 from Dutch Grown. Photograph by Steph & Teddy Gravell via Flickr.
N.B.: Placing your fall bulb order this week? (Better do it soon before the best are sold out?) See our recent posts:

Interested in other bulbs and tubers for your garden or indoor space? Get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various bulbs and tubers with our Bulbs & Tubers: A Field Guide.

Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various perennial plants with our Perennials: A Field Guide.

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