Varieties of Tulips and Daffodils
There are many tulip varieties and knowing how they differ will help you succeed in your bulb planting. Here is a list of some of the major classifications of tulips and basic descriptions. We have also included examples of tulips that are suitable for growing in our area.
Single Early Tulips range from 10-14" tall and have large blooms. They are good for forcing and bedding. Examples: Apricot Beauty and Prins Carnival.
Double Tulips range from 10-12" tall and have large, double petalled long-lasting blooms. They are good for forcing and bedding. Examples: Angelique, May Wonder, and Peach Blossom.
Darwin Tulips grow from 18-24" tall and are known for their brilliant colors. Generally used for forcing, cutting and bedding. They are very long lived. Examples: Apeldoorn, Gudoshnik, Ivory Floradale and President Kennedy.
Cottage Tulips have large, egg-shaped blooms on tall stems. They bloom late and are good for cutting and bedding. Examples: Doll's Minuet and White Dream.
Lily Flowered Tulips produce flowers with long, pointed petals on slender, sturdy stems 14-20" tall. Good for bedding and cutting. Examples: Aladdin, Lilac Wonder, and Maytime.
Single Late Tulips range from 18-24" tall and have large classic flowers in a wide range of colors. Results from crossing Cottage and Darwin tulips. Best for bedding and cutting. Examples: Blushing Beauty, Hocus Pocus, Mrs. John T. Scheepers and Shirley.
Viridiflora Tulips have blooms with prominent green markings on the petals. They are late blooming and long flowering and are used in bedding and cutting. Long lived. Examples: Greenland and Spring Green.
Triumph Tulips grow from 12-16" tall with substantial mid-season blooms. Excellent for beds and borders and for planting in front of taller mid-season bloomers. Examples: Attila, Kees Nelis and Preludium.
Parrot Tulips range from 16-20" tall and bloom mid to late season with feather-like flowers. Informal blooms good for cutting, showy in beds. Examples: Karl Doorman, Leen Vandermark and Red Sensation.
Fringed Tulips are like no other tulips, with fringes on the edges of the petals. Blooms mid to late season and should be planted more! Examples: Blue Heron, Fancy Frills and Maja.
Bunchflowering Tulips offer a cluster of smaller blooms from each bulb. Good for bedding. Examples: Georgette, Praestans Fusilier and Toronto.
Greigii Tulips are long-lived, early to mid season bloomers growing only 8-10" tall. Their foliage is attractive even without the blooms. Good for bedding and forcing. Examples: Cape Cod, Miskodeed and Red Riding Hood.
Fosteriana Tulips grow 12-18" tall and are one of the best for perennializing, naturalizing and forcing. Bloom early to mid season with large flowers. Examples: Red Emperor, Concerto, and Sweet Heart.
Kaufmanniana Tulips are only 5-10" tall and bloom extremely early with midsized blooms. Good for rock gardens borders and niches. Examples: Chopin, Hearts Delight and Stresa.
Species Tulips are 6-8" tall and are most suitable for rock gardens, fronts of borders, and forcing. Naturalize well and come in a wide variety of smaller sized flowers. Examples: Ali Baba, Compostella and Linifolia. There are twelve different divisions of Daffodils determined by their physical characteristics and family tree or genetic background. Some varieties fall clearly into one division, other seem to fit in more than one. The following is a list of the divisions with a brief description, along with examples of daffodils locally available.
Trumpet Daffodils have one flower to a stem and the trumpet is as long or longer than the petal segments. They are probably the best daffs for bedding and make an excellent cut flower. Examples: King Alfred and Mount Hood.
Large-Cupped Daffodils have one flower to a stem but the cup is smaller and wider. They are good for bedding, picking, naturalizing and forcing. Examples: Carlton, Flower Record, Ice Follies and Professor Einstein.
Small-Cupped Daffodils have one flower to a stem with a very small cup. They are most often used for long-term perennial, naturalized plantings. Example: Barrett Browning.
Double Daffodils come in both single and multiple blooms and are good for bedding and picking. They are showy garden plants and are best planted where they are protected from the wind. Examples: Bridal Crown, Cheerfulness, Flower Drift and Ice King.
Triandrus Daffodils have two or three nodding blossoms per stem and are especially nice in rock gardens. Example: Thalia.
Cyclamineus Daffodils have one stem per flower and are very early bloomers with small leaves. They are especially good for forcing and naturalizing and work well in rock gardens. Examples: February Gold and Jack Snipe.
Jonquilla Daffodils have several small fragrant flowers per stem and are marginal here in Minnesota, but they force well. An example of a Jonquilla daff is Trevithian.
Tazetta Daffodils have many flowers on each stem and a musky, sweet fragrance. Like Jonquilla, they are marginal but force extremely well. Geranium is an excellent Tazetta.
Poeticus Daffodils have dogwood-like, fragrant blooms with a red-edged cup. They are not commonly grown or sold in our area.
Species and Wild Daffodils vary greatly in color, size, hardiness and fragrance. Examples: Recurvus, Pheasant Eye and Jonquilla.
Split Corona Daffodils, with the cups split about a third of the length and large, upfacing blooms, are one of the showiest groups. Examples: Orangery and Cassata.
Papillon Daffodils, also called butterfly daffs, bear a burst of color from the center of the cup. They are not commonly grown or sold in our area.
Miniature Daffodils, 6 inches or less, come in various configurations and are excellent for rock gardens, perennializing, and niches in tree roots and forcing. Example: Tete-a-Tete.
Additional Bachman's Information:
Bulb Buying Tips
Bulbs in the Landscape
Minor Spring Bulbs
Success with Daffodils
Success with Tulips
Success With Amaryllis
Paper White Narcissus
Forcing Hyacinths in Water