Alphabetical Plant Listing

Darwin Hybrid Tulips

Darwin Hybrid Tulips, Spring Bulbs, Spring Flowers (Tulipa)


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.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Tulipa - Tulips
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Height 1' - 3' (30cm - 90cm)
Spread 4" (10cm)
Spacing 4" (10cm)
Depth 7" (17cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Edging, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage

Photo: Peter Wiezoreck

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.

Guide Information

Hardiness 3 - 8
Heat Zones 1 - 8
Climate Zones 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Plant Type Bulbs
Plant Family Tulipa - Tulips
Exposure Full Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Mid,Late)
Height 1' - 3' (30cm - 90cm)
Spread 4" (10cm)
Spacing 4" (10cm)
Depth 7" (17cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Fragrant, Showy
Landscaping Ideas Beds and Borders, Edging, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Coastal Garden, Informal and Cottage
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