≡ Menu

Plant Profile: Fire Flame Tulip (Tulipa acuminata)

This tulip is so strange that I am tempted to call it bizarre. The bright orange color streaked with yellow is only part of its appeal; the petals are long, thin, and twisted and resemble attenuated claws. Although the plants are 12-18” tall they are somewhat delicate in appearance probably due to the unobtrusive nature of the leaves. You will probably find this tulip listed with the species tulips for lack of a better place to put it as it is probably a hybrid that was bred hundreds of years ago in Turkey. It was introduced into the gardening world by 1813 and so is considered a heirloom tulip. It naturalizes well in an environment that suits it.

Type: Bulb

Bloom: Four inch orange and yellow flower with twisted petals in mid spring

Foliage: Two to seven linear gray-green leaves about 12” long.

Size: 12-18” tall

Light: Full sun

Soil: Fertile, well-drained.

Hardiness: Zones 3-8 (best in 4-6 and where summers are hot and dry and winters are cold)

Care: Remove faded flowers and allow foliage to die naturally.

Pests and Diseases: Susceptible slugs, snails, aphids, nematodes, gray mold, bulbs may rots in wet or poorly drained soil.

Propagation: Plant offsets in summer; seeds possible but take several year to produce flowering bulbs.

Companion plants: Plants tend to be lanky and profit from companion plants that can give them some support.

Plant profiles pointer