Botanical tulip, excellent for unique and zero-care tulip beds

Purissima botanical tulip

Botanical tulip blooms very early, hugs the ground instead of growing tall, and bears magnificent flowers.

Botanical tulip is a family of flowers that is closest to what can be found in nature. Stems are short and flowers open even as they’re emerging from the bulb. At the very beginning of spring, their bright colors definitely catch the eye. Many varieties have a stripe along their leaves, which makes them even more remarkable. More importantly, this type of “wild tulip” resists storms and bad weather without batting an eye.

Advantages of botanical tulips

Cluster of botanical tulips called turkestanicaEarly Spring is a time where not much can yet be done in the garden. Luckily, botanical tulips immediately display lively colors, even potted on a terrace or balcony. These fighters can brave Spring freezing and nonetheless bloom earlier than other tulips. Two things set them apart from regular tulips: they bloom earlier and with very bright colors. On top of this, leaves are also ornamental and appealing even after the blooming is over. Botanical tulips are indeed worthy of high esteem!

Let nature do the work

Most varieties of botanical tulips can propagate completely naturally, such as the Greigii, Turkestanica, Sylvestris, Batalinii and Pulchella. You won’t need to dig them out every year. If you do prefer to remove them, wait for leaves to have turned brown in June.

Tulips for full sun

Botanical tulips love sun. Plant the tulips in October/November with the pointy tip facing upwards, and cover them with 3 to 4 inches of soil (7 to 8 cm). Compared to cultured tulips, botanical tulips are often cheaper. Usually 4 or 5 dollars or euros for 10 bulbs.

Most beautiful botanical tulip varieties

There are too many to name them all! A quick overview:

  • T. greigii is a family of botanical tulipsTulipa kaufmanniana ‘Berlioz’, a very special mini-tulip
  • T. fosteriana ‘Spring Pearl’, a stunning variety with red and white flowers
  • T. greigii ‘Zampa’, a fragrant tulip
  • T. fosteriana ‘Purissima’, with leaves shaped like those of hosta
  • T. greigii ‘Lovely Suprise’, one of the most resilient ones
  • T. greigii ‘Annie Salomons’ which has silvery leaves and red flowers

Image credits (edits Gaspard Lorthiois):
CC BY 2.0: David Wright, Cristina Sanvito, Esther Westerveld