Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Tarda Tulip
Tulipa tarda

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tulipa (TOO-li-pa) (Info)
Species: tarda (TAR-duh) (Info)

Synonym:Tulipa dasystemon

» View all varieties of Tulips

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

9 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Division 15 - Species

under 6 in. (15 cm)

3-6 in. (7-15 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

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By saya
Thumbnail #1 of Tulipa tarda by saya

By Evert
Thumbnail #2 of Tulipa tarda by Evert

By Mitjo
Thumbnail #3 of Tulipa tarda by Mitjo

By naturepatch
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By Mitjo
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By LisaCT
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By poppysue
Thumbnail #7 of Tulipa tarda by poppysue

There are a total of 23 photos.
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6 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive JuniorMintKiss On Mar 19, 2012, JuniorMintKiss from Tremonton, UT (Zone 6a) wrote:

Tarda tulips make an excellent ground cover, if only for a few weeks. They sport a vibrant yellow/white flower, with slender green leaves. Mine are already 2"-3" above the ground, showing that they are hardy flowers with a high tolerance to the cold (especially the roller coaster weather here in Utah). I only wish the blooms lasted longer, as I get many compliments when they are in full bloom. I dug up a whole gallon Ziploc bag full of them last year and planted them in other areas in my flower bed, especially near the borders. I love how they look, bordering my grass.

Neutral Gabrielle On May 3, 2011, Gabrielle from (Zone 5a) wrote:

A nice little species tulip. Self seeds freely. Blooms in April in my garden.

Neutral grits74571 On Dec 1, 2008, grits74571 from Talihina, OK wrote:

Just got some freebies in an order from Blooming bulbs .com so will check in with y'all come spring

Positive Malus2006 On Mar 14, 2006, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is one of the few tough tulips for me in my yard. It self seed at a moderate rate, with new plants more like grasses. It have seed pods that in some years last well into summer, other years tend to be short living. It seem to thrive in light shade in sandy soil and I am watching it and see if it is part shade tolerable but this may take three to five years before it spreads this far.

Edit update: So far the sources I have read so far says that they will grow in mostly sandy soils (very well drained soil) and maybe struggle to grow in clay soil.

Neutral HSoones On Jul 4, 2005, HSoones from Brockton, MA wrote:

This is my first time plantingTulip Tarda (Tulipanes Tarda). I planted them just after Memorial Day, May 30th and by July 1st they had bloomed and died. This was a very short lifespan. I did gather the seeds. I have some questions; will they come back this year or next year. What shall I do with the seeds? plant now or next year? How far apart? Etc.?

Positive llebpmac_bob On Jun 17, 2005, llebpmac_bob from Zephyr
Canada wrote:

Mine are growing in a mix of about 50% topsoil (whatever that means when the guy who does your interlocking paving brings in a truckload) and limestone screenings on the east side of the house where they get a lot of sun. They do beautifully and the clumps are gradually increasing. Like all tulips they are a bit of a pain when the foliage starts to brown and die back.
It doesn't appear to need the baking that the large hybrids need -the beds it is in contain roses and fern-leaf peony that I water heavily all summer.

Positive hallowsend On Jun 17, 2004, hallowsend from Rawdon, QC (Zone 4a) wrote:

Performed very well in my Rawdon, Quebec garden. Showy and inexpensive - good bang for the buck.

Positive Howard_C On May 11, 2004, Howard_C from St John's, NL wrote:

I gather that the Tulipa tarda sold in the trade is generally a close relative, Tulipa dasystemon. Whatever it really is, it self seeds abundantly in our St John's, Newfoundland garden and can become a bit of a weed! Hybridises with other related tulips too - like T. urumiensis and T. turkestanica so we get many mongrels. It's clearly a species that doesn't need a summer baking if it does well here!

Positive saya On Apr 12, 2004, saya from Heerlen
Netherlands (Zone 8b) wrote:

I love this little tulip with a 6 weeks long blooming's so cheerfull and reliable. It 's blooming now (starts end of march in my zone).

Neutral poppysue On Oct 31, 2001, poppysue from Westbrook, ME (Zone 5a) wrote:

A species tulip blooming early and only 4-6 inches tall. Flowers open to a star shape, white with a wide yellow center.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Juneau, Alaska
Clifton, Colorado
Clinton, Connecticut
New Haven, Connecticut
Bloomington, Illinois
Chicago, Illinois
Mount Prospect, Illinois
Washington, Illinois
Macy, Indiana
Hebron, Kentucky
Frederick, Maryland
Billerica, Massachusetts
Sandwich, Massachusetts
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Royal Oak, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota (2 reports)
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Belfield, North Dakota
, Ontario
Bath, Pennsylvania
Pottstown, Pennsylvania
Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
Wakefield, Rhode Island
Tremonton, Utah
Kalama, Washington
Madison, Wisconsin
Sheboygan, Wisconsin

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