Species Tulip, Florentine Tulip, Wild Tulip, Woodland Tulip

Tulipa sylvestris

Family: Liliaceae (lil-ee-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tulipa (TOO-li-pa) (Info)
Species: sylvestris (sil-VESS-triss) (Info)
» View all varieties of Tulips


Division 15 - Species


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)


3-6 in. (7-15 cm)


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)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Handling plant may cause skin irritation or allergic reaction

Bloom Color:

Bright Yellow

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring




Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

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:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the bulb's scales

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us

Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for cutting

Flowers are fragrant

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:

Sparks, Nevada

Brookline, New Hampshire

Panama, New York

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 10, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

An aggressive naturalizer, this tulip is said to thrive on disturbance. It can perennialize under woodland conditions, but flowering is said to decline quickly there. Some find that it grows well but does not flower. Performs best in full sun.

Tulips require a dry summer rest, and this is one that doesn't mind our summer rainfall. Summer irrigation can cause tulips to rot.

Many sources say this is hardy to Z4.

All tulips are prime fodder for deer, voles, and other critters.


On Sep 21, 2014, AmyInNH from Brookline, NH wrote:

Nice looking flower, lovely nodding blooms. Gone swiftly, too swiftly, like most spring bulbs.


On Mar 18, 2013, david3payne from Lubbock, TX wrote:

While some may view sylvestris as an invasive, here on the South Plains of West Texas, elevation 3,200 feet, I welcome it. Planted for the first time in November 2012, it bloomed in mid-March, days before Tulipa bakeri, and before yellow daffodils.


On Apr 9, 2010, chydi from Wilmette, IL wrote:

I consider Tulipa sylvestris a garden thug. Pretty as it is, once it is in your garden, you will never be rid of it. I garden in the Chicago area, in clay soil in partial shade. This plant came to me with a Japanese Iris from a friend's garden. After 10 years it is everywhere in my garden. Sadly, even the Chipmunks or other rodents don't go after them, preferring my crocus and choicer things instead. This may be because the T. sylvestris grows so deep--about 10" in my garden.

It has an unusual and very effective way of propagating itself. As soon as it leafs out in the spring a long, thick, white, root-like structure shoots out horizontally from the base of the bulb to about 6" to 8" away to form a new bulb. The process is very fast. By the time the leaves die back the new b... read more


On Apr 12, 2009, Zone6aPA from Central, PA (Zone 6a) wrote:

These "came with the house," and it's fortunate that I like them because they are impossible to remove. The bulbs are very very deep. I've had to dig nearly 2 feet just to unearth some to transplant. (the don't spread as quickly as other naturalizing bulbs). They seem to spread out fairly evenly.

Each bulb puts up only a 2 or 3 leggy leaves and the leaves disappear quickly. The flowers bloom mid spring and in warm weather have a wonderful fragrance. Bees love them.

I think these would be disappointing unless there were lots of them, or lots of other flowers surrounding them.


On May 9, 2007, Redkarnelian from Newmarket, ON (Zone 5a) wrote:

Dated to 1597.


On Mar 8, 2007, berrygirl from Braselton, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

These are my very first ever tulip blossoms! I am so excited as I have never grown tulips before, as they don't do well in the South. I was told these do and so I am anxious to see if they return next year. I have several kinds of tulips planted but these are the first to bloom. Cheery bright yellow and they smell good, too!

Will update next year and change my rating to pos. if they return!


On Mar 24, 2005, nevadagdn from Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) wrote:

This tulip is a very early bloomer, and it does well in shade.


On Mar 17, 2005, Kathleen from Panama, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

I can't yet speak for their perserverance, as 2004 was the first year that I grew this particular tulip, but they were lovely, and sweet scented. They made a wonderfully bright spot in the garden and the blooms lasted a very long time.