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Tulip Bulbs - What colours are there?

Tulip Bulbs - What colours are there?

Thanks to continuous cultivation by plant breeders in Holland, there are now thousands of varieties of Tulip bulbs available in autumn to fill your outdoor space for a riot of colour in the spring.

If you want to see an eye-popping display of Tulip colours,  visit Keukenhof to see the thousands of flowering bulbs each year and become acquainted with the town's long history and fascination with Tulips. 


The curious story of Tulip cultivation

Tulipomania spread throughout Holland in the 17th century, sparked by what was, in fact, the outbreak of a Tulip virus.

The virus affected the petals and foliage, creating unusual colours and variations with white blocks and in different patterns. Horticulturists and gardeners considered these high-valued collectables, resulting in Tulips selling for record sums.

However, the virus also affected the bulbs resulting in poor stunted growth. But enthusiasts weren't perturbed, and the popular alien-like blooms filled stately homes, complementing the collections with designer vases to show off their pride to visitors.

Ironically, these 17th-century delftware porcelain tulip vases started an entire craft industry of hand-painted Objet D'art with blue and white patterns. The ornate vases had individual placeholders for a single tulip, now collectables worth thousands of pounds.

Today we are lucky to have plant breeders producing a wide array of healthy, disease-resistant Tulip varieties in a cornucopia of colours.

Moreover, you don't have to travel abroad and can enjoy these astounding colours at home. Garden centres, such as Boma, offer an enormous colour variety of Tulips that, with some planning, can thrill garden visitors with mesmerising kaleidoscopic displays.  


Some of the bulbs available at Boma with tasteful Tulip colours


White Tulips

Tulip 'Calgary' bulbs at Boma Garden Centre London

Tulip' Calgary' has short stems flowering throughout April and May with its pure snow-white blooms. It is ideal for planting in a slightly shaded area as the white flowers reflect the light, adding brightness to your garden. With prominent yellow stamens, Calgary has shorter, sturdier stems making it ideal for planting in planter containers and baskets, looking superb on a patio, and an inviting welcome in spring.


An alternative is the Tulip' White Triumphator' with its pointed pure white flowers on tall stems of up to 65cm. Triumphator is an excellent variety for planting in beds and borders and is extremely elegant.

With a hint of colour, Tulip' Angels Wish' is a tall variety with soft creamy lemon blooms sitting upon stems up to 70cm high, having the added benefit of a pronounced fruity scent.

Another popular gardener's choice is Tulip' Spring green', a cottage garden favourite. Its Ivory white flowers have a lime green flare, flowering to a height of 50cm in full bloom.


Yellow Tulips

Tulip 'Friendship' bulbs at Boma Garden Centre London

With its striking appeal and vibrant colours, Tulip' Friendship' is a soft lemon-yellow flower with pointed petal tips. Its flowers reach a height of 50cm with sturdy stems in full bloom and are ideal for beds, borders or even containers.


Orange Tulips

Tulip 'Orange Marmalade' bulbs at Boma Garden Centre London

Lime flame orange flowers feature in Tulip' Orange Marmalade' that reach heights of 40cm. The size of the blooms makes them ideal for containers near a doorway. You'll enjoy and enhance their striking colour by combining maroon and red varieties. Moreover, Orange Marmalade is a late flowering viridiflora type with flowers lasting throughout May.

Tulip 'Orca' is a bright retina-burning orange variety with a frilly appearance due to its layered flower petals. It is a highly perfumed variety of Tulip with flowers lasting throughout April and May.

Tulip' Orange Brilliant's an eye-catching orange, ideal for planting amongst perennials in a mixed-planted border. The flowers are so vibrant in colour that they are visible from a great distance and are the perfect choice for making an impact in a more extensive setting. Flower stems reach 40cm in height.

Tulip 'Amazing parrot' has beautiful frilly petals, a real attention seeker, with flowers starting bright orange before changing to a mix of lucid pink and orange. It is a late flowering variety with flowering lasting throughout May and is a popular combination for the garden, with flowers reaching up to 40cm.

Tulip' Daydream' is apricot yellow with orange flares. It is a single-petalled variety ideal for planting in mixed-planted borders in the garden. When in bloom, Daydream will reach 55cm.  


Pink Tulips

Tulip 'Angelique' bulbs at Boma Garden Centre London

Tulip 'Angelique' is a trendy variety with double peony-like blooms that are highly fragrant and reach a height of 45cm in full colour. As a superb variety for cut flowers having robust stems, this late flowering cultivar lasts throughout May.


Tulip 'Cabanna' is a large flowering parrot-like variety with frilly white blooms with a pink blushed edge. The flowers also have a lime green flare throughout the petals, contrasting perfectly with their pink and white shades. It is one of the lengthiest flowering varieties with large blooms and has proved incredibly popular.


Red Tulips

Tulip 'Red Riding Hood' bulbs at Boma Garden Centre London

Tulip Red Riding Hood is a dwarf tulip ideal for containers reaching 30cm in full bloom. The flowers are vivid red with yellow stamens and are one of the few Tulips with attractive foliage with dark purple venation.  

Tulip 'Shining Parrot' has large luscious deep red blooms with dark maroon veins throughout the petals. It is a prevalent variety and highly visual when the flowers reach  50cm in full colour.

Tulip 'Red Impression' is a classic single bright red Tulip with a golden halo inside the centre of the flower. In full bloom, the stems will reach 55cm.

Tulip 'Estella Rijnveld' is an entertaining Tulip with bright red frilly blooms with a white edge. This variety will reach 50cm in full colour. It is a frilly variety of parrot Tulip that is hard to overlook with its attention-seeking colours that make a dramatic statement in any garden.


Maroon Tulips

Tulip 'National Velvet' bulbs at Boma Garden Centre London

Tulip 'National Velvet' is a striking variety with its maroon-coloured crisp petals and silky-sheen when backlit by the sun.    This variety will reach 40cm in full bloom. Its flowers last throughout April and May. Furthermore, National Velvet offers a rich, decadent colour that shows well when planted with orange-coloured flowers.


Tulip Muvota has a burgundy base colour with a burnt orange edge. This Tulip will reach a height of 50cm when in full bloom and is ideal for beds and borders.


Dark Purple

Tulip 'Black Parrot' bulbs at Boma Garden Centre London

Tulip 'Black Parrot' is a tall, handsome Tulip with a dark purple colour that is almost black in appearance, hence its name. Add a touch of the exotic to the garden and plant alongside orange blooms for the perfect combination. This variety will reach a total height of 50 cm once in full flower.

Tulip 'Labrador' has dark purple blooms with an attractive frilly edge. This variety is an eye-catcher and is hard to overlook. Try planting Labrador with pure white colours for an impressive contrasting display. This variety will reach a total height of 50 cm once in full flower.

Tulip 'Queen of Night’ has an almost gothic appearance with dark maroon blooms. Plant it with yellow flowers for a brilliant spring display. This variety will reach a total height of 60 cm once in full flower. Tulip lovers highly desire this variety as it is the closest Tulip to the colour black. This variety sowed the seed for plant breeders to keep interbreeding to produce more black-coloured Tulips.

To find out more about planting Tulip bulbs in your garden and containers for a stunning display in spring, visit the horticulture team at Boma.


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