Twelve of the most popular tulip varieties

Right now it is tulip season, and the perfect time to check out the bulb fields around Lisse. Taking the train from Haarlem to The Hague is a great way to get a good view.

We asked the good folk at the Keukenhof gardens and a couple of leading growers which are the most popular blooms these days. Here is a list of 12, in no particular order.

The brightest yellow you can get

The brightest yellow you can get

Strong Gold:  reputedly the strongest, boldest yellow tulip around.  A go-for-gold bloom known for its longer vase-life.

Named after the inventor's Uncle Leen

Named after the inventor’s Uncle Leen

        Leen van der Mark: a cardinal-red tulip that starts with yellow edges that ripen to a crisp white as the bloom ages.  The strange name is in homage to a Dutch flower bulb hybridizer, no less.
As read as they get

As red as they get

 Ile de France:  this is the ultimate red tulip – elegant, tall, robust and traditionally beautiful.

Not named after a certain pop god

Not named after a certain pop god

Purple Prince:  one of the first tulips to bloom at the beginning of the season, this large lilac-purple flower is often paired with Princes Irene tulips.

Not the most imaginative name

Not the most imaginative name

Ben van Zanten: first spotted in 1966, this mid-sized red tulip is square in shape.  The bulbs are popular Dutch exports.

Imperial indeed

Imperial indeed

Purple Flag:  in shades of purple from violet to fuschia, this angular tulip is often featured in bouquets.

A stunning double bloom

A stunning double bloom

Viking:  a stunning double tulip in scarlet-yellow-green hues, this tulip is has been coveted for centuries, and remains popular with European and American gardeners.

Not yet in full bloom

Not yet in full bloom

Yellow Flight:  this tulip is described as being a deep canary yellow colour that blooms early in the season and emits a light scent.

Fit for a princess

Fit for a princess

Princess Irene:  one of the smaller in stature tulip varieties,  the Princes Irene tulip, introduced in 1949,  is named after a Dutch princess and is a mixture of orange and purple – think the colours of a sunset.

We like the pointy petals

We like the pointy petals

Yokohama:  a single, yellow tulip with a considerable perfume and long-lasting season.  Apparently eating these tulips may cause a rash and some stomach discomfort.

A classic

A classic

Debutante:  now 40 years old, the Debutante tulip continues to delight with its cherry-red petals laced with soft white edges.

Short and sweet

Short and sweet

Seadov: a shorter tulip variety that is often used for ground cover, the Seadov tulip is cup-shaped and deep-red in colour.

During the height of Tulip Mania (1634-7), one tulip variety, Semper Augustus, the resulting bloom from a virus infection, was valued at 10,000 guilders for a single bulb, approximately the same price as an expensive canal-side house in Amsterdam.

Today you should be able to pick up a decent bunch in the spring for a couple of euros. We’ve always been told a pushing a pin through the stem just under the bloom is a great way to stop tulips growing once they have been cut.

Your tips for keeping cut tulips at their best are most welcome.

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