Hybrid tulips such as Rosy Delight, shown above in our trial gardens last spring, are outstanding performers and a great choice for any spring flower garden. What makes hybrid tulips so special?
Hybrids are nature’s way of increasing genetic diversity and giving plants an extra measure of vigor. Nature creates hybrids when wind or insects move pollen from one type of flower to another. Plant breeders can also create hybrids by intentionally fertilizing a flower with the pollen from a different type of flower.
Pink Impression Tulips
Not all natural or human-assisted hybrids are successful, but those that are combine the best qualities from each parent. And, because the resulting offspring are more genetically diverse, the plants are usually stronger and more vigorous than either parent.
The Impression series of Darwin hybrid tulips has been around for years. Pink Impression, Red Impression and Apricot Impression are top sellers because the flowers are extremely large, the stems are strong and the plants are robust. Recently, we have been trialing a number of newer hybrids and they are proving to be equally impressive. Two of our favorites are the Leyster series and the Delight series.
A blend of Cherry and Rosy Delight
It can take many years to produce a hybrid tulip variety that’s stable enough to bring to market, so breeders will often focus their efforts on a limited amount of genetic material. This means their new introductions are typically part of a family of hybrids that have the same genetics.
If you plant several varieties from the same series in a single planting, you’ll get a beautiful range of colors, with flowers that open at the same time and are the same size, shape and height. We’ve experimented with this in our trial gardens and the results have been fantastic.
Leyster Series tulips in our gardens last spring.
Here are some of the midseason hybrid tulips that have performed particularly well in our trial gardens: