Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Fosteriana Tulip
Tulipa 'Red Emperor'

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tulipa (TOO-li-pa) (Info)
Cultivar: Red Emperor
Additional cultivar information: (aka Madame Lefeber)

» View all varieties of Tulips

4 vendors have this plant for sale.

4 members have or want this plant for trade.

Division 13 - Fosteriana

12-18 in. (30-45 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

Bloom Color:

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Flowers are fragrant
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
Flowers are good for cutting

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:
Unknown - Tell us

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

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Todd_Boland
Thumbnail #1 of Tulipa  by Todd_Boland

By kdjoergensen
Thumbnail #2 of Tulipa  by kdjoergensen

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #3 of Tulipa  by Xenomorf

By Xenomorf
Thumbnail #4 of Tulipa  by Xenomorf

By kdjoergensen
Thumbnail #5 of Tulipa  by kdjoergensen

By kdjoergensen
Thumbnail #6 of Tulipa  by kdjoergensen

Thumbnail #7 of Tulipa  by TBGDN

There are a total of 16 photos.
Click here to view them all!


8 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive 1xanadu On Apr 16, 2011, 1xanadu from Imperial, NE wrote:

These were my father's favorite tulip. I remember them growing up in Denver, CO. That was in the 1950s-60s. Whenever I them I am reminded of my father who so loved them.

Positive sbarr On Apr 10, 2010, sbarr from Albany (again), NY (Zone 5b) wrote:

Zone 5 - Albany, NY - long winters.


Come early April - these come screaming out of the ground, bright red. No, they're not the precise well behaved tulips that grace elegant beds. They're gaudy and I love 'em.

I live in a city where there are quite a few tulips, but few grow the red emperor, for whatever reason. With my clusters of bright red, we look like the painted whore in the neighborhood. *ha!* - 2 years running, I've had colleagues at work comment: OMG, I saw your tulips - they look wonderful.

If you want to put the first cheerful welcome to spring in the neighborhood, highly recommend.

Positive jlant On May 27, 2009, jlant from Saskatoon
Canada wrote:

I live in Warman Saskatchewan and have had great results. Our Zone is a 2a to 2b and these come faithfully every year.

Neutral Leehallfae On Apr 9, 2009, Leehallfae from Seattle, WA wrote:

They bloom. What they are not is red. They are a sort of bubble gum pink.

If there is nothing else in the garden, these will do but if you want the glory of a true red, stick with roses.

Positive mcintoshcd On Apr 8, 2007, mcintoshcd from Accokeek, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I live in Accokeek Maryland (just south of Washington DC, USA). I planted 30 red emperors last fall (2006) and they were amazing in spring 2007. When the sun hits them they glow and shimmer. The blooms lasted about three weeks. I planted them in an area that gets about 3 to 4 hours of progressive afternoon sun. I prepped the bed with my Mantis tiller and added a few bags of top soil and miracle grow soil to amend the clay.

Positive TBGDN On Apr 21, 2006, TBGDN from (Zone 5a) wrote:

This is the oldest tulip I grow. It was planted many years (at least twenty+) ago in a group of twelve bulbs along the front sidewalk. After a major foundation renovation and remodeling project, I discovered these dormant bulbs had been destroyed in the construction process. A year later to my surprise I found three tulips poking through the soil where the excavation had taken place. They have bloomed without fail to this day. A large shrub next to them has grown into their space. So they will be moved for the first time in 20+ years to a new location with more sun and less crowded conditions. I am amazed at their tenacity to survive and flower so freely. They are strikingly beautiful with vibrant red petals and black stamens. A yellow band circles the black center.

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

One of the earliest and at the same time most beautiful tulips with really large flower heads. A real stunner. Highly recommended. One of my all time favorites. A very good perennializer in my area.

Positive Todd_Boland On Dec 16, 2004, Todd_Boland from St. John's, NL (Zone 5b) wrote:

This was one of the earliest fosteriana hybrids developed and it is still very popular today. Many of the new varieties that have been developed have had 'Red Emperor' as the parent. The flowers are huge; among the largest of any tulip. The colour is blazing red with a black center and yellow ring. Long-lived and highly recommended.

Positive smiln32 On Nov 15, 2004, smiln32 from Oklahoma City, OK (Zone 7a) wrote:

Bright fiery-red tulip. Fantastic when planted in large groups. Reaches a height of 16" and puts on a stunning display. Naturalizes well, too.


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

Niles, Illinois
Macy, Indiana
Accokeek, Maryland
Ijamsville, Maryland
Franklin, Michigan
Minneapolis, Minnesota
South Plainfield, New Jersey
Albany, New York
Croton On Hudson, New York
Portland, Oregon
Havertown, Pennsylvania
Vernal, Utah
Seattle, Washington
Vancouver, Washington

We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2015 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.

Hope for America