13. Red Tulips
Tulips grown from seeds can take up to eight years before the plants are large
enough to flower. Little wonder tulip growers take special care when handling the
plants and bulbs. The biggest red tulips (a favourite color for many) is called the
The Red Dynasty tulip is said to be the largest and strongest red tulip ever
developed. Big 5″ bright red blooms are lofted atop extra-tall, sturdy stems during
the middle part of the spring season. This disease-resistant Darwin Hybrid makes
a spectacular showing not only in beds and borders, but also in cut-flower
Subject to availability, this extra large tulip is an excellent choice for a center
piece or main flower in a vase of tulips. Red tulips come in a variety of shades
from pale pink to blaze orange. And in a similar fashion, the petal shapes are
equally as interesting too, with star, cupped and fluted to name a few.
Tulip growers have mastered the red tulip and with careful cultivation you’ll see
feathered, flamed and variegated coloring. In some cases this delicate patterning
is caused by a flower infection called the tulip breaking potyvirus. Broken tulips
(as they are called after exposure) sometimes revert to solid color when infected
by the virus. Carried by the green aphid, this none lethal tulip virus is more of a
curiosity as it affects the coloring rather than the true plant health.
Today the virus is almost completely eradicated from growers’ fields. And red
tulips, regardless of shape or shade are always a favorite Dutch symbol.