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About Darwin Hybrid Tulips: Early in the 20th Century, a talented Dutch hybridizer named Lefeber worked long and hard with a wild tulip called 'Tulipa fosteriana' from Central Asia. It is red, and from it, he hybridized the group that became known as the Emperor Tulips. The world-famous Red Emperor was introduced in 1931, and is what we now call a member of the 'Fosteriana Tulip' group. In fact, Red Emperor's official variety name is 'Madame Lefeber' in honor of the original hybridizer's wife.
Even though the Red Emperor and other fosterianas were instant sensations, the hybridizers were not satisfied. They were fascinated by what were then called simply 'Darwin Tulips'. These were large-flowered tulips in clear colors on tall stems, but without any perennial qualities. The Emperors, being close to a wild species, were quite perennial, so they crossed the two groups. And voila! Darwin Hybrid Tulips were born, with the best qualities of both groups.
Ever since, the Darwin Hybrids have set the standards worldwide for tall graceful, large flowered perennial tulips. The famous Apeldoorn group was introduced in 1951 by D. W. Lefeber and Company. There are not many Darwin Hybrids, even today. But they are every good gardener's favorites and always highly valued by florists.
In America's Top Ten list for popularity in the US, compiled by the Netherlands Flower Bulb Information Centre, they list no less than three Darwin Hybrids, more than from any other group.
|Common Name||Darwin Hybrid Tulip|
|Zones||3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8|
|Ships As||Bulb, Rhizome, Tuber|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun, Half Sun / Half Shade|
|Flower Color||Red, Yellow|
|Mature Height||20-24" tall|
|Bulb Size||12/+ cm|
|Bulb Spacing||9 bulbs per sq. ft.|
|Planting Depth||Plant 5" deep|
|Bloom Time||Mid spring|
|Plant Type / Life Cycle||Perennial|
|Soil Type||Loamy Soil, Drought/Dry Soil|
|Soil Moisture||Average, Well Draining|
|Advantages||Easy to Grow, Cut Flowers, Containers, Multiplies / Naturalizes|
|Poisonous or Toxic to Animals||Yes - Bulbs, blooms, leaves, and stems all contain toxic compounds, which are most concentrated in the bulb.|
|Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada||No|
Flower bulbs come in a wide variety of sizes. It is important to get the largest, best quality bulbs you can find. Larger bulbs help to ensure success, producing larger and stronger plants with more flowers.
Several flower bulbs are part of the onion family, and because of this I like to use Onions as a representation of how important bulb size is. Which of the onions on your shelf go bad first? The smallest ones! Larger onions are more resilient, taking longer to dry out/rot and can withstand swings in temperature better. Flower bulbs are the same. Larger bulbs will withstand disease, draught, large amounts of moisture, and colder temperatures significantly better than the smaller ones.
Here at American Meadows we are committed to providing you with the highest quality bulbs. This means we do everything we can to source the largest bulbs possible. Below is a comparison of bulbs purchased from three different retail stores:
Each of the glass tubes contains 20 Dutch Master Daffodils. Starting from the left, the first tube is what is sold here at American Meadows, the middle tube was purchased at a local “Home Supply” box store, and the third is another online retailer. The difference is easily noticeable.
The next picture is the same comparison, but with Tulip Bulbs:
Again, our bulbs are quite a bit larger than other retailers.
Other things to be aware of when it comes to bulb quality is making sure they are firm and without signs of external damage or cracking. Do your best to avoid bulbs that are already growing and have shoots or freshly grown roots. This is difficult when purchasing online, but if you are ordering through a reputable company, they should be checking for these things regularly.
Next time you are looking to buy bulbs, think about how much time you put into planning and planting your garden and then anxiously waiting for your flowers to grow and bloom. Don’t be disappointed after all that effort by planting sub-par bulbs. Buy the largest, firmest, disease free bulbs you can afford, and you will have the best possible results.
Now shipping within 5 business days.
As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Fall bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial orders may arrive separately from bulbs and seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.View Shipping Rate Chart
To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.
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