• Bloomtime: Early Spring
  • Height: 6 – 16”
  • Petal Shape/Habit: Somewhat pointed, often flaired
  • Planting Depth: 6 – 8” below soil surface
  • Planting Spacing: 4 – 6” or in bouquets of 5 – 7 bulbs each
  • Light Requirements: Full Sun for best blooms
  • Hardy in Zones: 3 – 8

The short habit of Kaufmanniana and Greigii tulips made them excellent choices for rock gardens, borders and potted plantings. The leaves are often mottled or striped, adding even more interest to the extremely bright blooms. The flower heads appear quite large in proportion to the overall size of the plant and often flair out, earning them the name “water lily tulips” by some – the Mariani Landscape blog has some wonderful photos of several different varieties. As if all of these desirable attributes weren’t enough, these darlings also perennialize and naturalize extremely well!

The Tango Greigii Tulip is by far my favorite. It blooms in an amazing orange/red hue which I have yet to find a match for in any other bulb. The dark base of the petals adds to the striking appearance and the leaves are also patterned with deeply colored stripes and spots. I love using this one with other shades of orange!

Being the only short tulip variety with full-sized blooms, the Kaufmanniana and Greigiis are ones you definitely do not want to leave out of your early spring garden — even if you don’t have much space!


With hands in the dirt and head in the clouds,