sarah's favourite tulip groups
- Written by:
- Sarah Raven
- Last updated:
In this video Sarah explains her favourite tulip groups and which varieties she loves.
The tulip family have fifteen different groups in them and I used to get really hung up on which tulip was in which group and actually now I don't bother so much with them. I concentrate more on what flowers early, what flowers midseason and what flowers late.
Now, the ones that I do think are quite important to recognize: this is a Darwin hybrid and look at how incredible that is. This one is called ‘Salmon Impression’ and its massive. Darwin hybrid tulips are always huge, some people don't like them for that reason but I love them in a pot. They're very long-lived, so you plant them in the garden and they may well be flowering ten or even fifteen years later. They're one of the most long-lived and that's worth recognizing I think, so that's a Darwin hybrid.
The next group that I really love are the lily flowered group, now these are very recognizable because they have this beautiful elegant shape. I always think they're like the catwalk model of the tulip family. Very slim, tall and with a pointy petal tip. This one is ‘Ballerina’, it’s scented, and it's a cracking tulip.
Now this is the other group that I want to recognize and that's the viridiflora group, the green flash group. This is a variety called ‘Green Star’ and you can see that it's had some breeding of the lily flowered group because it has the pointy petal mixed with the green flashed group. The viridifloras are again like the Darwin hybrids, very long lasting in the garden, and I think that's maybe because they're almost, with the greenness, like a calyx rather than a petal so they're much more durable. They're very good in bad weather and they're really good for shade, so that's the viridiflora group.
The final group that I’m really obsessed by are the late double tulips which are called the peony flowered group. This is ‘Antraciet’ which is one of my absolute favourites and these are wonderful for pots. They're also very long lived in the garden and the vase because they're actually sterile, which of course isn't great for the pollinators, but what the sterility means is that they go on flowering for a very long time. Fantastic as a cut flower in the garden and fantastic in pots.
Peony flowered or double late, the green flashed or viridiflora, the lily flowered with the pointy tip and the Darwin hybrids (early and whoppers) and those I think are the four it's really worth recognising.