The Darwin Hybrid group was developed in the Netherlands: Mr. D.W. Lefeber, the prominent Dutch breeder, was the one who watched over the early beginnings of this type. He crossed the famous Tulipa fosteriana 'Madame Lefeber' (also known as 'Red Emperor') with various cultivars from the group of tulips then known as the Darwin tulips.
- The result of this cross-breeding was a series of tulips that excelled due to their flower size and sturdy, long stems that withstand wind and rain. When the buds are still immature, they look almost like little pyramids. Due to these qualities, these tulips have really made a name for themselves as cut flowers, and are cultivated extensively for this purpose.
- Their egg-shaped, single blooms, up to 3 in. wide (8 cm), are available in a wide range of colors including orange, red, yellow and pink varieties as well as varieties with differently colored speckles and stripes on their petals.
- Among the best for naturalizing, these tulips provide blooms up to 5 years and rise up to 20-28 in. tall (50-70 cm) in mid-late spring.
- They perform best in full sun in rich, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils. Prefer areas with cool winters and warm dry summers.
- Easy to grow, these tulips are welcomed additions to beds, borders, containers. For best visual impact, plant in groups (at least 10 to 15 bulbs) or mixed with any other flowering bulbs.
- To be planted in fall.
- Eating may cause severe discomfort and may cause a skin allergy.
A symbol of spring, tulips are the most popular spring bulbs and most gardeners reserve them a spot in the garden or in containers. Grown for their attractive, vibrantly colored flowers, there are currently over 3,000 registered varieties, which are divided into fifteen groups, mostly based on the flower type, size and blooming period of the tulip.