Black tulips are widely known throughout the world, though their name is a bit misleading. Black tulips are never actually black, but more of a wine red or a deep purple.
In this post, we'll be looking at the black tulip, discuss the popular types, and look through a beautiful photo gallery of black tulips.
What Are Black Tulips?
Black tulips are of the Tulipa genus and are a member of the lily family, Liliaceae. Tulips were originally a wildflower in Central Asia and the Turks were the first to cultivate them in 1000 A.D.
In the 17th century they were introduced to the Netherlands and Western Europe by biologist Carolus Clusius after they started gaining popularity as a garden accent.
In the 1630s, the Dutch had a strong love affair with tulips. A tulip bubble was created when tulip bulb prices skyrocketed due to speculators before collapsing and sending the Dutch economy into a crisis that lasted many years.
This, in turn, inspired the book "The Black Tulip" in which a competition takes place to see who can create a perfect black tulip.
There has yet to be a truly black tulip produced, though the Black Parrot tulip, introduced in 1937, is among the first to be considered black. Black tulips fall into two categories, garden, and species tulips, and there are more than 100 species.
Types of Black Tulips
There are over 100 species of black tulips, and we have found the most popular ones and placed them below.
Black Parrot Tulip
Black Parrot tulips range from a dark purple to an almost crimson red, with nearly black edges. Their name comes from the odd shape of their leaves, which vaguely resembles the feathers of a parrot.
Queen of Night Tulip
In the shadows, this type of tulip can appear pitch black and is considered the blackest tulip ever bred.
The Black Hero tulip is a deep purple with impressive bowl-shaped blossoms and multiple layers of petals.
The Black Jack tulip resembles the queen of night tulip when budding, but it blooms beautifully with a double layer of petals.
In some blooms, the Paul Scherer tulip is considered to be even darker than the Queen of Night of tulip.
Introduced in 1995, the Black Horse tulip appears a deep wine red in the sunlight and almost pitch black in the shade.
Black diamond tulips feature thick double-layered
petals in a deep, velvety purple.
Black Tulip Care Tips
Black tulips don't have any special needs; they require the same amount of attention as other types of tulips. They look great contrasted against lighter flowers.
Here are a few care tips -
1. Purchase tulip bulbs in late summer to early fall and wait to plant them until mid-Autumn. Tulips are eager to grow and will begin sprouting right away, which will only freeze them in the winter.
2. Store tulip bulbs in a paper bag in a cool place, preferably the drawer of a fridge. Don't store it with fruit, as they give off ethylene gas that kills flower buds in bulbs. If you don't have space in the fridge, any cool place will do.
3. Tulips need a sunny place to grow with well-draining soil, as they will rot in wet soil.
4. Space bulbs approximately 5 inches apart from one another and cover with approximately 7 inches of earth. Tulips need plenty of room to grow.
5. It's okay if you plant tulip bulbs upside down. They will still grow, it will just take them a bit longer.
6. Tulips do not need to be watered if it rains weekly. Otherwise, they only need to be watered weekly when not in bloom.
7. Remove dead blooms but do not remove the leaves. Allow the leaves to remain on the plants for about 6 weeks after flowering. After the foliage turns yellow and dies back, it can be pruned off.
Black Tulip Image Gallery
Black tulips are incredibly beautiful, but the bulbs contain alkaloid and glycoside compounds that are toxic and can cause dizziness, nausea, abdominal pain and, rarely, convulsions and death when ingested.
Layers of Petals
Some types of black tulips have two layers of petal, while others may have three layers. The thickness of their petals can differ too; some black tulip petals are thin and delicate, like the black parrot, while others are thicker and durable.
Tulips like sites with full or afternoon sun. In zones 7 and 8, where the sunlight is harsher, tulips should be placed in a shady spot with morning sun only.
Most black tulips have curved petals, some with their petals cupped into a bowl shape. Not many black tulips have flat petals.
Tulips are classified as perennials, though their ability to come back year after year has weakened due to centuries of hybridizing. Many gardeners treat them as annuals and plant new bulbs every Autumn.
Unfortunately, irrigation systems, rainy summers, and wet soil are death to tulips, as wet soil can lead to fungus, disease, and the eventual rotting of bulbs. Add shredded pine bark, sand, or another rough material to help with swift drainage.
Most tulips sprout only one flower bud, but some varieties can grow up to four on a single stem.
For the longest vase life, cut tulip stems diagonally. Wrap the upper two-thirds of the flowers in a funnel of newspaper and stand them in cool water for an hour or two. Then, cut the stems again and the tulips will last at least a week.
In 17th-century Holland, the new tulip was such the rage and fashion that a handful of bulbs was worth about $44,000.