RIGHT: ‘Princess Irene,’ division 3 tulip.


There are enough tulip divisions to thrill an elementary school math teacher.

Tulips are naturally inclined toward diversity, and there are more than 150 species with more than 3,000 varieties classified into division by type. The National Garden Bureau has named 2018 as “Year of the Tulip” and is celebrating with a list and description of tulip divisions:

Division 1: Single Early. Medium size blossoms with a classic tulip shape. Short, sturdy stems. 10-14 inches tall. Often fragrant.

Division 2: Double Early. Extra petals give these flowers a full look. Shorter than most other tulips. About 12 inches tall.

Division 3: Triumph. This class offers the widest range of tulip colors. Triumphs are midseason bloomers and stand 15 to 20 inches tall.

Division 4: Darwin Hybrid. Strong plants with large flowers. Bulbs often return and bloom for several years. Mid-spring. 22 inches tall.

Division 5: Single Late. Tall, egg-shaped flowers are large and long-lasting. Regal presence in the landscape. Heat tolerant. 22 inches tall.

Division 6: Lily-Flowered. Long, narrow cups with pointed petals that flare out at the top. Excellent for cutting. 12-20 inches tall.

Division 7: Fringed. The top edge of each petal is whiskered and often slightly paler in color. Bloom time is mid to late spring. Overall height 20 inches tall.

Division 8: Viridiflora. Streaks of green give these tulips a distinctive look. Most cultivars bloom mid to late spring. Long-lasting cut flowers. 20 inches tall.

Division 9: Rembrandt. Petals display exotic markings and color breaks. Resemble the tulips in 17th-century paintings. 20-25 inches tall.

Division 10: Parrot. Ruffled, puckered and fringed petals twist as they mature. Excellent cut flowers. Heights vary from 14-22 inches tall

Division 11: Double Late. Plush, peony-like flowers are long-lasting in the garden or in a vase. Many cultivars are fragrant. 15-22 inches tall.

Division 12: Kaufmanniana. Early bloomers with a tall, narrow cup and pointed petals. Blossoms open out flat in the sun. 8-10 inches tall.

Division 13: Fosteriana. Also known as Emperor tulips. Big flowers are 4-5 inches tall and open wide on sunny days. Early spring. 18 inches tall.

Division 14: Greigii. Decorative foliage adds to the appeal of these flowers. Some cultivars have two to four flowers per stem. 12 inches tall.

Division 15: Species. Wild or wild-like cultivars with relatively small flowers on slender stems. Good naturalizers. 4-10 inches tall.

Division 16: Multiflowering. Sometimes called “bouquet” tulips. Three to five flowers per stem extends bloom time and impact. 14-20 inches tall.


Arts/Special Sections Editor

Special Sections Editor for the Courier

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