Species Tulip 'Unicum'

Tulipa praestans

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tulipa (TOO-li-pa) (Info)
Species: praestans (PRAY-stans) (Info)
Cultivar: Unicum
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Division 15 - Species


under 6 in. (15 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:


Bloom Time:

Mid Spring





Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

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)

Seed Collecting:

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


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

South Plainfield, New Jersey

Sidney, Ohio

Toledo, Ohio

Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 2, 2012, 1alh1 from Sidney, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This tulip is one of the best spring bulbs I've ever planted. I started with a group of 12 bulbs surrounding a newly planted tree, and the plants have increased in number and beauty. They are so low-growing, heavy spring rains and winds don't knock them down. I get 3-5 blooms per bulb, and although the blooms are rather short-lived (7-12 days), the variegated leaves continue to provide color and interest...similar to small hostas. We have multitudes of squirrels that tend to dig up and move (or eat) other bulbs, but they've left these alone. I've just ordered more for fall delivery. Brent and Becky's Bulbs is a good source. If ordering from Breck's, Spring Hill, or Michigan Bulb Company, they are called "Variegated Firespray" tulips.


On Apr 26, 2005, kdjoergensen from Waxhaw (Charlotte), NC (Zone 7b) wrote:

Great little tulip where the foliage is one of the key assets, too. Normally tulip foliage is not something we care about, but this plant compete with the best variegated hosta for attention. It is just as great out of bloom as in bloom. Very early and outstanding perennializers (even after deer sheared it to the ground last year). Great.


On May 10, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

Tulipa praestans 'Unicum' is a great plant. Not only for its bright ornage-red flowers but the variegated leaves are very striking. Only a handful of variegated tulips exist and this one is one of the best!