Q. Can you help me find information on colors of some old tulip varieties?

I’m looking for descriptions and colors of the following list of Darwin Tulips that were in gardens during the Country House era: Glory of Leiden, Le Notre, Massenet, Yolanda, La Fiances, Mme. Barrois; and early tulips: Moonbeam, Ilias,Twilight, Lady Godiva, Princess Juliana, President Lincoln, Katherine Spurrell Do you have any older sources with this information?


I asked supersleuth Elinor Goff to help with this and she hit paydirt:

Royal Horticultural Society (Great Britain). Tulip Nomenclature Committee. rcp13
  A classified list of tulip names. --    London, The Royal Horticultural Society, 1939.
   119, [1] p. 26 cm.  Stacks   |  SB413 .T9 R6c

Darwin Tulips

Massenet - pale rose (syn. The Dove)
Yolanda - deep rose pink, heavily flushed with salmon (as Yolande) (syn. Dutchess of Westminster)
La Fiances - rose with pale edge (as La Fiancee) (syn. The Bride)
Mme. Barrois - rose with pale edge

Early tulips
Moonbeam = Yellow Queeen - yellow
Ilias - purple
Twilight - purple, streaked with deeper purple and white
Lady Godiva - yellow
Princess Juliana - white, flushed pink
President Lincoln - purple (syns. Queen of the Violets, Violet Queen)
Katherine Spurrell not in 1939 Tulip Names book but a Narsissus White Chalice, with yellow cup according to Walter Page Wright's Popular Garden Flowers (see link below) 

 Many of the above tulip names are also in the RHS Tulip Nomenclature report for 1914-1915:

Royal Horticultural Society (Great Britain). Tulip Nomenclature Committee. rcp13
  Report of the Tulip Nomenclature Committee, 1914-1915. --    London, Printed for the Royal Horticultural Society by Spottiswoode, Ballantyne & Co. Ltd., 1917.
   2 p. ., 164 p. 22 pl. on 10 . 25 cm.
  Stacks   |  SB413 .T9 R6

which is harder to use since it does not list the names alphabetically.  Fortunately it is in the Internet archive, and can be searched there. See the link below.

Do you know about the Internet Archive? Many libraries are scanning books in the public domain (as we are) and putting them up in the Internet Archive (link below)   If a book is dated prior to 1923 there is a chance that it has been digitized and uploaded to The Internet archive.

If you go to our own catalog -- see link below --and type the words digital version available in the search box (then hit "go") you will get all of the books and journals in our library that have digital versions. For items dated before 1923, click on the web link and it will take you to the Internet archive which has the digital copy. This is a great tool for people researching printed material dated before 1923. And if you know of specific gardening books, that's even better. -- Elinor Goff

  • Last Updated Jan 08, 2019
  • Views 57
  • Answered By Janet Evans

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Comments (1)

  1. Many, many thanks to you and Elinor for the tulip colors and the excellent references!! I love the digital archive-what a treat to look at these older articles and just the time period that's most interesting for my research.

    Don't know if I mentioned this earlier but I'm trying to color in a bulb plan drawing of Ellen Biddle Shipman. I hope to have this done for a small presentation.

    Thanks again for all your help. What a super library you have!
    by anon. on Apr 17, 2011.
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