White flowers are a boon to garden designers, as they’ll work well in any colour scheme. They tend to look best at dawn and dusk, when they practically glow in the half-light. Fortunately, there are plenty of white tulip varieties to grow, ranging from ‘pure’ whites to those tinged with yellow, green or pink.
Most spring-flowering bulbs can be planted in early autumn, but with tulips, it’s best to wait until late in autumn or even December, after the first frosts have hit. This blast of cold reduces the risk of diseases like tulip fire infecting the bulbs.
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It’s well worth finding pace for the delicate white tulip varieties, below.
‘Purissima’ is a heavenly early-flowering tulip with large, creamy-white blooms. The bulbs tend to last better year-to-year, rather than vanishing after one year of flowering like many tulip cultivars.
‘Mondial’ is a luxuriant variety with white double flowers, each revealing a pleasing golden-yellow centre as the petals unfurl. The flowers have a gentle scent so are great for cutting.
As is typical for Viridiflora tulips, ‘Spring Green’ flowers in late spring and has cup-shaped blooms with prominent green ‘flames’ on each petal. It looks beautiful growing with darkly-coloured tulips and dotted in spring borders.
This striking bicoloured tulip has white, fringed blooms with prominent purple markings. ‘Flaming Baltic’ combines well with lots of colours, including contrasting orange tulips and deep purple tulips that pick up on the purple markings.
‘Danceline’ is a gorgeous peony-flowered tulip with white flowers bearing pink flecks. The blooms open slowly, meaning they last well outdoors or indoors as cut flowers. Flowers mid- to late spring.
‘Flaming Spring Green’
A relation of ‘Spring Green’, ‘Flaming Spring Green’ is a late-flowering variety, except the blooms of this variety have fiery red streaks, too. Beautiful planted alongside camassias and late-flowering daffodils.
‘Verona’ is a lovely, peony-flowered tulip that straddles the line between white and yellow. It flowers from early to mid-spring and looks delightful underplanted with spring blooms such as forget-me-nots.
A tall, classically-shaped tulip, ‘Maureen’ has lovely off-white flowers that open in May. The stems are strong and sturdy, so are great for cutting or growing in slightly more exposed conditions.
White species tulips to grow
- Tulipa turkestanica
- Tulipa clusiana
- Tulipa bifloriformis
- Tulipa buhseana