Posted On: April 30, 2015

Tulip Displays

Spring is in the air and our tulip display is finally knocking us out of the park. Around the Reflecting Pool on the northern end of the Park, our display of Giant Darwin Hybrid tulips are perfectly set in front of a backdrop of Kwanzan cherries. These tulips were first introduced to the US by John Scheepers in 1951. Their huge, vibrant flowers on strong stems are known to return for multiple years when planted in a nice sunny spot with good drainage, fertilized regularly, and not cut for bouquets. Their tall heights make these tulips popular in gardens worldwide.


The fountain is on fire with mixes of red, purple, and yellow double, single and lily flowering tulips. The colors are just spectacular.

Bridget’s Garden has two different tulip mixes, just starting to show color. We expect that these areas, as well as the Seward monument, will be in bloom early next week. These two displays show combinations of yellow, pink and purple tulips along with a yellow and orange lily flowering display.


Worth Square is really blowing us always with a collection of Triumph Tulips. These tulips are the result of a cross between Darwin Tulips and Early Tulips. The breeding work on this collection has led to easy to bloom flowers in a wide range of dainty pastels. Our show stopper in this collection is Tulip Rembrandt’s Favorite’ which has a striking display of purple and white veining. The remainder of the collection includes light pink and purple varieties such as T. Silverstone,’ T. Rosalie,’ T. Synaeda Amore,’ and T. Synaeda Blue.’

Our Veterans Monument has a patriotic display of red, white, and horticultural blue. While tulips come in almost every color under the sun, blue has continued to elude plant breeders. The best we can hope for at this moment is a dark indigo. Blue is incredibly infrequent in flowers. There is no true blue pigment in plants, so plants don’t have a direct way of making a blue color. To create the few blue flowers found across the plant order, plants need to modify the red anthocyanin pigments through the absorption of different molecules and ions. The complex process in this modification is often highly affected by pH which is why Hydrangeas are prone to different colors when grown in different soil pH. While many tulips have names suggesting a blue color, true blue tulips are a feat still unattained by plant scientists.