Tulips are a popular and elegant reminder of spring. These flowers that are synonymous with the Netherlands actually originated in Turkey, or the Ottoman Empire, and made their way to Europe in the seventeenth century. There are hundreds of varieties of this distinctive cup-shaped flower, and one of the most impressive of these is the giant tulip.
The giant tulip is a varietal in the genus Tulipa, a large group in the lily family. The giant tulip was introduced to America in 1951 by John Scheepers.
Giants of the Tulip Family
As its name implies, the giant tulip is the largest in the tulip family, with flowers reaching up to 6 inches in length. In addition to its large flower size, the giant tulip is one of the tallest species, reaching up to 2 feet in height.
As are most tulips, the giant tulip is a spring flower, and grows best when its bulbs are planted in late winter and exposed to light frost. It generally blooms in mid-April through May.
The giant tulip prefers sunlight and well-drained soil, and while most tulips flourish in slightly cooler climates, the giant tulip can withstand the warmer spring weather of the southern states.
Tulips are, strictly speaking, annual flowers, which means they must be planted every year anew. However, many growers have reported that, with ideal conditions, the giant tulip is capable of reseeding for up to 5 years.