Long live the tulip! We can buy tulip bulbs in virtually all colors, including a purple so deep that it looks black. And by planting a selection of varieties of this perennial, we can enjoy their beauty from early spring through early summer.
Tulips do best in areas with dry summers and cold winters. The brightly colored, upright flowers may be single or double, and vary in shape from simple cups, bowls, and goblets to more complex forms. They are excellent in beds and borders; many types are good for forcing into bloom indoors, and most are excellent for cut flowers.
Although tulips are a perennial, many gardeners treat them as annuals, to be planted anew each year. The North American climate and soil can’t replicate the ancient Anatolian and southern Russian conditions of their birth. Gardeners in our western mountain regions come closest to this climate.