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Tulipa tarda

Tulip tarda Bulb of the Year for 2022
  • Common Name: Tarda Tulip
  • Height: 10–15 cm
  • Spread: 10–15
  • Exposure: Full Sun, Part Shade
  • Colour: yellow with white tips
  • Bloom Time: Spring
  • Plant Type: Bulb
  • Soil Moisture: Average, Dry
  • Plant Uses: Alpine and Rock, Attracts Bees, Border, drought-tolerant, Ground Cover, Rabbit Resistant, Water-wise
  • Zone: 3A
  • Recommended: Grow in rock gardens; readily naturalizes if allowed to go to seed
  • Description:

    Tulipa tarda (tarda tulip or late tulip) is a very showy, low-growing species tulip, native to the sub-alpine meadows of central Asia. It usually blooms in May in Calgary. The clumps of narrow, bright green leaves grow about 10–15 cm high, and are topped with flowering stems bearing clusters of three to six star-shaped, bright yellow flowers with white tips. It is hardy, drought tolerant, and truly perennial in Calgary. The bulbs of the tarda tulip should be planted in the fall, 10–15 cm deep, in full sun and average well-drained soil. Plant in groups of 15 or more, 5 cm apart, for an impressive show. After the flowers have bloomed, allow the foliage to die back naturally; if you want the tulips to naturalize, leave the flowers as well. The seed pods are quite attractive and, if you let the pods dry on the plant, you can collect seeds and direct sow outdoors in fall.

  • Other: Just a few little packets will guarantee a bit of starry sunshine in your garden come spring. Plant among later perennials to hide the foliage when it starts to die back. In 1997, Tulipa tarda was named Flower Bulb of the Year in the Netherlands, and it has also been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

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