Late Tulip Tulipa tarda (15)

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
late tulip


Tulipa tarda, commonly known as the late tulip, is a bright and attractive plant notable for its distinct spring bloom. The flower of the late tulip is characterized by a star-like shape when fully opened. Each bloom typically carries a combination of white and yellow colors, with the base of the petals being bright yellow and the rest of the petal white. This coloration gives a sunny, cheerful look to the plant and makes it stand out in a garden setting. The leaves of the late tulip are broad and somewhat squat, with a greyish-green hue that provides a subtle background to the vivid blooms. The foliage tends to spread around the base of the flower, creating a contrast between the green of the leaves and the bright hues of the flowers. The overall impression is one of a small, delicate, and joyful plant that heralds the arrival of warmer spring weather, inviting admiration and offering a pleasant accent in plantings, borders, or as a featured element in a rock garden.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Late Tulip, Tarda Tulip, Botanical Tulip

    • Common names

      Tulipa dasystemon, Tulipa dasystemon subsp. tarda, Tulipa urumoffii, Orithyia tarda, Didymon tarda.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Star tulip is generally not considered highly toxic to humans. However, as with many plants in the Tulipa genus, it contains compounds that can be irritating and may cause discomfort if ingested in large quantities. Symptoms of poisoning may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Handling the bulbs may also cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Consuming any part of the star tulip could potentially lead to gastrointestinal distress, so it is advisable to avoid ingestion.

    • To pets

      Star tulip can be toxic to pets, especially cats and dogs if they ingest parts of the plant, particularly the bulbs. These plants contain allergenic lactones and other compounds that can cause symptoms such as drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, and in severe cases, increased heart rate and changes in respiration. If a pet ingests star tulip, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian promptly.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Spread

      6 inches (15 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Central Asia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Aesthetic Appeal: Tulipa tarda, commonly known as the Late Tulip, has bright, star-shaped flowers that add beauty to gardens and landscapes.
    • Low Maintenance: Once established, Late Tulips require minimal care, making them ideal for gardeners of all skill levels.
    • Drought Resistance: Late Tulips are relatively drought-tolerant, meaning they can survive periods without water once they're mature.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The vibrant flowers of the Late Tulip attract bees and other pollinators, supporting local ecosystems.
    • Seasonal Interest: Blooming in spring, Late Tulips offer seasonal interest after the winter months, signaling the arrival of warmer weather.
    • Cold Tolerance: Tulipa tarda is capable of withstanding cold temperatures, making it suitable for cooler climates.
    • Propagates Easily: Late Tulips can propagate themselves by producing offsets, which enables gardeners to increase their plant stock without additional cost.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • The Star Tulip (Tulipa tarda) can be used in rock gardens for its hardy and compact nature, easily filling gaps between stones with its star-shaped blooms.
    • The bulbs of Star Tulip are sometimes used in floral crafts such as dry flower arrangements once the blooms have gone, for a touch of natural texture.
    • Due to their low height, Star Tulips are suitable for creating intricate patterns and designs in carpet bedding schemes in formal gardens.
    • Star Tulip petals may be used in natural dye production, providing a variety of colors when processed.
    • The plant's ability to thrive in full sun makes it an excellent choice for sunny borders and edging in garden designs.
    • Star Tulips are used in container gardening to add early spring color on balconies and patios before summer plants start to bloom.
    • Children sometimes gently play with the sturdy flowers, learning about nature without causing harm to more delicate species.
    • Photographers often use Star Tulips as subjects due to their unique beauty, adding texture and color to nature photography.
    • Ecologically, planting Star Tulips can support local pollinators by providing an early source of nectar and pollen in springtime gardens.
    • Star Tulips have been used in symbolism and art, often representing perfect love or being used as a motif in textiles and decorative arts.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Tulip is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Tulip is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Perfect Love: Similar to other tulips, Tulipa tarda, commonly known as the "Wild Tulip," often symbolizes perfect or true love, reflecting its classic shape and enduring beauty.
    • Forgiveness: The Wild Tulip, with its soft appearance, may also represent a sense of understanding and forgiveness in relationships.
    • Hope: The fact that tulips bloom in the spring after a long winter associates them with the concept of hope and the anticipation of better things to come.
    • Charity: Wild Tulips can occasionally symbolize charitable feelings and the sharing of joys with others.
    • Rebirth: As a spring bloom, Wild Tulip embodies the idea of rebirth and the cycle of life, reflecting the rejuvenation of nature during the spring season.

Every 1-2 weeks
10000 - 20000 Lux
Every year
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Star Tulip should be watered thoroughly during the growing season, ensuring the soil is moist but not waterlogged. During the spring and fall, water them once a week with about half a gallon for each plant to promote healthy growth. However, reduce watering after the blooming period as the foliage begins to die back, and during the dormant period in summer, watering may only be necessary if the season is particularly dry. Over-watering, especially when the bulbs are dormant, can lead to bulb rot and should be avoided to maintain plant health.

  • sunLight

    Star Tulips thrive best in full sun to partial shade conditions. They should be planted in a spot that receives at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight daily. These tulips can tolerate a bit of light afternoon shade, especially in areas with very hot climates, but too much shade can lead to weak stems and fewer blooms. A location that offers morning sunlight with some afternoon protection is ideal in warmer regions.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Star Tulips are hardy in zones 3 through 8 and can survive winter temperatures as low as -35°F. They prefer cooler climates and bloom best when they experience a winter chill. The ideal temperature for growing Star Tulips during the growing season is between 60°F and 70°F. Extended exposure to temperatures above 80°F may stress the plants and affect flowering.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning is not typically required for Star Tulips, but spent flowers can be deadheaded to maintain a tidy appearance and direct the plant's energy away from seed production. However, leave the foliage in place until it turns yellow and dies back naturally, which usually occurs by late spring or early summer. This allows the plant to gather energy for the next blooming season.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    Star Tulip requires well-draining soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH of 6.0 to 7.0. A mix of loamy or sandy soil amended with compost or well-rotted manure provides the best environment for bulb growth and flowering. In pots, a combination of potting soil, perlite, and coarse sand can be used to improve drainage and mimic natural conditions.

  • plantRepotting

    Star Tulips typically do not need frequent repotting as they are perennial bulbs planted outdoors. They can remain in the same spot for several years but should be lifted and divided if the bulbs become overcrowded or the flowering diminishes, usually every 3-5 years.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Star Tulip does not have specific humidity requirements. Being a hardy plant, it tends to do well in the varying humidity levels found in outdoor garden environments, adjusting well to the local climate without the need for additional humidity control.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Ensure bright light, cool environment, and plant in well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Choose a sunny spot, plant in well-drained soil, and water moderately.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Tulipa tarda, commonly known as late tulip or tarda tulip, begins its life cycle as a bulb that is planted in the ground during the fall. After a period of winter chilling, the bulb breaks dormancy in the spring, sprouting green leaves and a stem that leads to the flowering stage, which is characterized by star-shaped white and yellow flowers. Once pollination occurs, the plant enters the seed development phase; the flowers fade and seed pods begin to form. As the seeds mature, the aerial parts of the plant start to die back, and the plant goes into a period of dormancy during the summer months. Below ground, the bulb will produce offsets, or smaller bulbs, which can be separated and planted to propagate the plant. With the arrival of the next fall, these new bulbs will enter the cycle, starting with dormancy followed by sprouting in the subsequent spring.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method for propagating Tulipa tarda, commonly known as tarda tulip, is through bulb division. This is typically done in the late summer or fall, after the leaves have died back and the plant is dormant. To propagate, carefully dig up the bulbs and gently separate any small offset bulbs that have formed attached to the main bulb. These offsets, or daughter bulbs, should be replanted immediately at a depth of about 6 inches (15 cm) and spaced approximately 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) apart, ensuring they are placed with the pointed end facing up. After planting, water the area well to help settle the soil around the bulbs. The new bulbs will root and establish in the cooler weather of fall, ready to bloom the following spring.