Tulip Divisions – Garden Tulips and Their Identities

Tulips are classified into 15 tulip groups or tulip divisions.

There are an enormous number of large-flowered hybrids and these are classified into 11 of these divisions, according to flowering time, plant shape, flower size and form.

Species and species hybrids make up the four remaining groups.

Let’s look at each group!

Division 1 – Single early tulips

This tulip division flowers have rounded petals forming small deep cup-shaped single flowers, which sometimes open flat in full sun.

They flower in mid spring.

They grow to 25-60cm (10-24in) high

Their stems are thick so they can handle the wind and rain.

They are excellent used as bedding plants.

Some varieties can be forced indoors.

Popular Single Early tulips are ‘Apricot Beauty’ (apricot-pink), ‘Bestseller’ (copper-orange), ‘Generaal de Wet’ (golden-orange), and ‘Ruby Red’ (scarlet).

Division 2 – Double early tulips

These have large double flowers resembling peonies.

They flower in mid spring and are long-lasting.

They grow to 25-30cm (10-12in) high.

They are good for mass bedding layouts or containers.

They prefer a sheltered site.

Popular Double Early tulips are ‘Electra’ (cherry-red), ‘Mr Van de Hoef’ (golden-yellow), ‘Oranje Nassau’ (orange-red), ‘Peach Blossom’ (rose pink) and ‘Schoonoord’ (white).

Division 3 – Triumph tulips

These are sometimes referred to as Mid Season tulips in bulb catalogs.
They have large, single, angular flowers.

They flower in mid spring and are long-lasting.

They grow to 40-60cm (16-24in) high.

They can handle the wind and rain so can be used as bedding plants in exposed sites.

Popular varieties include ‘Attila’ (violet-purple), ‘Bellona’ (golden-yellow), ‘Garden Party’ (white and carmine-pink), ‘Kees Nellis’ (pink and yellow), ‘White Dream’ (white) and ‘Orange Bouquet’ (red-orange) which has several flowers on each stem.

Division 4- Darwin hybrids

These have large, round brilliantly colored flowers.

They flower in late spring.

They grow to 55-70cm (22-28in) high on strong stems.

Their colorful flowers make them ideal for the main focal point of a display.

Popular hybrids include ‘Apeldoorn’ (rich red), ‘Big Chief’ (pink with white), ‘Elizabeth Arden’ (salmon pink), ‘Olympic Flame’ (yellow and red) and ‘Red Matador’ (scarlet).

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Division 5- Single late tulips

These are sometimes referred to as May flowering tulips.

They have squared-off, oval or egg shaped flowers.

They flower in late spring.

They grow to 65-80cm (26-32in) high.

These are usually used in bedding or border layouts.

Popular varieties include ‘Avignon’ (red), ‘Golden Harvest’ (lemon yellow), ‘Queen of Bartigons’ (salmon-pink), ‘Queen of Night’ (maroon black) and ‘Sorbet’ (white and red).

Division 6- Lily-flowered tulips

These have long single flowers with pointed petals, often curving out at the tips.

They flower in late spring.

They grow to 50-65cm (20-26in) high.

They prefer a sunny site.

Popular varieties include ‘Aladdin’ (crimson and yellow), ‘China Pink’ (soft pink), ‘Maytime’ ((mauve lilac with white edges), ‘Red Shine’ (deep red), ‘West Point’ (yellow) and ‘White Triumphator’ (white).

Division 7- Fringed tulips

These have flowers similar to those of the Single late group but with fringed petals.

They flower in late spring.

They grow to 55-80cm (22-32in) high.

Popular varieties include ‘Arma’ (cardinal-red), ‘Burgundy Lace’ (wine-red) and ‘Fringed Beauty’ (red and yellow).

Division 8 – Viridiflora

They are also known as Green tulips.

These are similar to the Single late tulips but the petals are partly green.

The flowers appear in late spring.

They grow to 23-60cm (9-24in) high.

Popular varieties include ‘Artist’ (apricot-pink and green), ‘Golden Artist’ (orange-yellow and green), ‘Groenland’ (green-edged rose) and ‘Spring Green’ (lemon-yellow and green).

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Division 9 – Rembrandt tulips

These have large single flowers with petals streaked or blotched with a second color which is caused by a harmless virus.

The flowers appear in late spring.

They grow to 45-75cm (18-30in) high.

Among the varieties available are ‘lnsulinde’ (violet and yellow), ‘Lotty van Beuningen’ (lilac, purple and white) and ‘Jack Laan’ (purple, yellow and white).

Division 10 – Parrot tulips

These have large, often bi-colored, flowers with frilled and/or twisted petals.

They flower in mid and late spring.

They grow to 50-65cm (20-26in) high.

Their stems are often too weak to support the large unsheltered flowers and so staking is sometimes necessary.

They prefer a sheltered position

Popular varieties include ‘Black Parrot’ (purple-black), ‘Fantasy’ (pink), ‘Flaming Parrot’ (yellow flamed red) and ‘White Parrot’ (white).

Division 11 – Double late tulips

These are sometimes called Peony-flowered tulips,

They have large showy flowers, resembling peonies.

They flower in late spring.

The plants grow to 40-60cm) (16-24in) high.

They prefer a sheltered position.

Popular hybrids include ‘Angelique’ (pale pink), ‘Gold Medal’ (golden-yellow) and ‘Mount Tacoma’ (white).

Division 12 – Kaufmanniana hybrids

These are also known as Waterlily tulips.

They have long, often bi colored, flowers.

They flower in early spring.

They grow to 10-25cm (4-10in) high,

These tulips are ideal for rock gardens, containers, or along the edges of orders.

Popular hybrids include ‘Heart’s Delight’ (carmine-red, white and yellow), ‘Johann Strauss’ (red and white) and ‘The First’ (white tinted carmine-red).

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Division 13- Fosteriana hybrids

These have large, long flowers.

They flower in mid spring.

They grow to 20-40cm (8-16in) high.

Their brilliant eye-catching colors make them good for focal planting.

Popular hybrids include ‘Cantata’ (deep scarlet), ‘Orange Emperor’ (pure orange), ‘Rockery Beauty’ (orange-red) and ‘Purissima’ (white-yellow).

Division 14- Greigii hybrids

These have lovely colorful flowers with maroon or purple-brown veined or spotted foliage.

They flower in early to mid spring.

They grow to 23-50cm (9-20in) high.

As most are short, they look best in rockeries and containers.

Popular hybrids include ‘Cape Cod’ (bronze-yellow and apricot), ‘Dreamboat’ (amber yellow), ‘Plaisir’ (creamy white with red stripes), ‘Red Riding Hood’ (carmine red) and ‘Toronto’ (salmon-orange).

Division 15- Species tulips

The flowers of this final tulip division tend to be smaller and more delicate in form than the garden tulips. They are ranging from 7.5-45cm (3-18in) in height. Those listed below are the most readily available species, though others are sometimes sold by specialist bulb growers.

Tulipa clusiana (known as the lady tulip)

The clusiana ‘cynthia’ has red pointed petals flushed yellow with grey-green leaves that are upright and very narrow.

They flower in mid spring.

The plants grow to 23-30cm (9-12in) high.

Tulipa praestans

The praestans ‘Bloemenlust’ has long red flowers with blunt petals.
Each stem has between two and five flowers accompanied by broad grey-green leaves.

They flower in early and mid spring.

The plants grow to 30-45cm (12-18in) high.

Tulipa tarda

The tarda has white narrow petaled flowers with a yellow eye, with up to five flowers on each stem. The narrow mid-green leaves form a rosette at flowering time.

They flower in early spring.

They grow to 10cm (4in) high.

You can find more detailed information about tulip divisions at

http://www.elegant-tulip-bulbs.com/tulip-divisions.html