Parrot tulips

Family: Liliaceae

Flowering period: mid-season to late

Average plant height: 35 – 50 cm

Spacing between bulbs: 7.5 cm

Type of bulb: bulb

Landscape uses: beds, borders and as cut flowers

These whimsically-shaped, unusually-coloured tulips have been developed from mutations of certain Late-flowering tulips, and from tulips in the Triumph group. The petals of these tulips are serrated or “fringed”. As the large flowers are exposed to the sun over time, they open so widely that they almost flatten out. The flowers are green as buds, and as they grow it may seem as if the tulips will remain entirely green forever. But as the flower matures and opens, the brilliant colours are revealed. This is when their black, star-shaped centre and their bright yellow stamens become apparent. Some varieties are known as ‘bicoloured’, but are actually ‘tricoloured’ because of their ever-present green colour. Although the stems of Parrot tulips are fairly strong, the great size of their flowers prompts one to plant them in sheltered spots in the garden. The flowers are somewhat sensitive to the effects of long-lasting cold, wet weather.

Most significant cultivars

  • ‘Apricot Parrot’: bright apricot-coloured, pink striped
  • ‘Black Parrot’: violet-black
  • ‘Blue Parrot’: mauve-blue
  • ‘Erna Lindgreen”: brilliant red
  • ‘Estella Rijnveld’: red and creamy white
  • ‘Fantasy’: bright pink
  • ‘Flaming Parrot’: yellow and red
  • ‘Orange Favourite’: bright orange
  • ‘Rococo’: fire red
  • ‘Salmon Parrot’: salmon, yellow striped
  • ‘Texas Flame’: yellow and red
  • ‘Texas Gold’: bright yellow
  • ‘Topparrot’: cardinal red
  • ‘Weber’s Parrot’: ivory-white, purple towards the edges

As is the case with most other tulip classes, these are also offered as mixed colours.