Color-Changing Tulips: New Varieties for Fall 2015
Holland’s flower bulb breeders are always working on something new. One development we’ve been watching closely is a range of new tulip varieties with built-in color variations. In some cases these tulips change color over time and in others, a single variety produces flowers in several different colors.
This year, we are excited to be introducing two of these color-changing tulips. The first is ‘Sundowner’, a double late tulip with gorgeous, peony-like flowers.
The blossoms are soft, buttery yellow when they first open, and display just a few splashes of cherry red. Each day Sundowner’s flowers get larger and deeper in color until they are almost entirely red with just a few yellow highlights. In the photo below you can see the difference between a newly opened blossom on the right and a more mature one on the left.
Another new tulip variety for Fall 2015 is ‘Montevideo’, a midseason Triumph tulip. The photo below was taken in Holland this spring and shows a bed of Montevideo tulips at the Keukenhof gardens. You can see why we were so eager to offer it!
Though the planting looks like it’s a mix of several different types of tulips, it’s actually a single variety. Montevideo’s flowers range from solid yellow to solid red, with most being a painterly blend of the two. At first the dominant color is lemon yellow. As the blossoms mature, the colors get warmer and brighter until most of the flowers are rosy red.
It can take several years before a new tulip variety is ready to be introduced to the market. Growers need time to build up a good supply of bulbs. This means new varieties are often in short supply, so if you’d like to watch these color-changing tulips bloom in your own garden next spring, get your order in early!