Fosteriana Tulip Tulipa 'Purissima' (13)

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


Tulipa 'Purissima', commonly known as the Fosteriana tulip, is recognized for its elegant, classic tulip shape and enchanting floral display. It typically begins to bloom in the early spring, heralding the arrival of the new season with a burst of beauty. The flowers are large and cup-shaped, with petals that evoke a sense of delicate softness. This variety is distinguished by its coloration, which varies from creamy white to a soft buttery yellow, and may even exhibit a faint blushing of light pink as it matures. The petals possess a satiny sheen that captures and reflects the sunlight, giving the blooms an almost luminous quality on sunny days. The flowers are borne individually atop sturdy, slender stems that erectly hold them aloft amid the green foliage. The leaves of the Fosteriana tulip are broad and strappy, with a lush green color that serves as a fresh, contrasting backdrop to the striking flowers. Their waxy coating helps to repel water, and a slightly ribbed texture can be observed upon closer inspection. Overall, the appearance of Tulipa 'Purissima' is one of understated elegance and classic tulip beauty. It's a highly sought-after choice for gardeners looking to add a touch of early spring charm to their landscapes.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      White Emperor Tulip, Fosteriana Tulip, Tulip 'Purissima'.

    • Common names

      Tulipa 'Purissima'

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The plant commonly known as the tulip, specifically Tulipa 'Purissima', is considered to have a low level of toxicity to humans. In general, tulip bulbs are more toxic than the leaves or flowers. If ingested, the plant parts can cause symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and irritation of the mouth and throat. In rare cases, allergic reactions might also occur. The primary toxic component in tulips are allergenic lactones and other glycosides, which can lead to the aforementioned symptoms if consumed in significant quantities.

    • To pets

      The plant commonly referred to as the tulip, specifically Tulipa 'Purissima', is toxic to pets, including cats and dogs. The bulb of the tulip is the most toxic part and can cause symptoms such as gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions, and cardiac abnormalities. Ingestion of any part of the plant, particularly the bulbs, can lead to these symptoms. Pet owners should prevent their animals from having access to tulips, especially the bulbs, to avoid possible poisoning.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 foot 6 inches [45-60 cm]

    • Spread

      6 inches [15 cm]

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Central Asia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ease of Cultivation: Tulipa 'Purissima', commonly known as the 'Purissima' Tulip, is generally easy to grow, requiring minimal maintenance once the bulbs are planted in appropriate conditions.
    • Spring Bloom: It provides early-spring blossoms, which can bring an early splash of color to gardens after the winter season.
    • Landscape Aesthetics: With its attractive white to creamy-yellow flowers, the 'Purissima' Tulip can enhance the overall beauty and design of garden landscapes.
    • Pollinator Attraction: The flowers can attract pollinators such as bees, which are beneficial for the pollination of surrounding plants.
    • Varied Uses: These tulips are versatile and can be used for border plantings, container gardening, and as cut flowers, making them a valuable addition to any garden.
    • Cultural Significance: Tulips, including the 'Purissima' variety, have a long history of cultural significance and can be used to add traditional or historical context to gardens.
    • Resilience to Cold: As a bulbous plant, the 'Purissima' Tulip is capable of withstanding colder temperatures and can emerge reliably year after year in appropriate climates.

  • 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

    • Photography Prop: Tulip 'Purissima' can be used as a stunning subject for photographers, particularly in macro photography due to its delicate textures and colors.
    • Art Inspiration: The elegant form and color of the Tulip 'Purissima' often inspire artists to capture its beauty in paintings, drawings, and textile designs.
    • Educational Tool: Educators can use Tulip 'Purissima' to teach students about plant biology, hybridization, and the life cycle of bulbous plants.
    • Culinary Garnish: While not a common practice, the petals of the Tulip 'Purissima' can be used as an edible garnish for fancy dishes, after ensuring they are free of pesticides.
    • Eco-friendly Confetti: Dried petals of Tulip 'Purissima' can be used as biodegradable confetti for outdoor celebrations, minimizing environmental impact.
    • Color Pigment: The petals of Tulip 'Purissima' can potentially be used to extract natural color pigments for dyes in art and fabric.
    • Event Decor: Tulips are commonly used for event decoration, providing a fresh and elegant ambience to weddings, parties, and corporate occasions.
    • Perfumery: Though not commonly known for its scent, Tulip 'Purissima' can be a component in creating subtle, floral fragrances.
    • Mood Enhancer: The bright, cheerful appearance of the Tulip 'Purissima' can be used in color therapy and interior design to create uplifting and positive spaces.
    • Fashion Inspiration: The distinct look of Tulip 'Purissima' can influence fashion designers to create clothing and accessories with similar color schemes and shapes.

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: The tulip often embodies perfect, deep, or true love, making it a frequent choice for romantic occasions.
    • Renewal and Rebirth: Tulips are one of the first flowers to bloom in spring, symbolizing the renewal and rebirth that comes with the season.
    • Charity: The Tulipa 'Purissima', being pure white, is associated with charity and compassion, as white often represents purity of intent.
    • Forgiveness: Tulips, in general, can convey a message of forgiveness, offering a way to apologize and start anew.
    • Royalty: With its majestic shape and stature, the tulip is often connected with royalty and regal presence.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 1-2 years
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Foster White Tulips by watering them deeply when the soil feels dry to the touch, which is typically once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions. In general, aim to provide about 1 inch of water weekly. During the active growth period in spring, it's crucial to maintain consistent moisture. However, once the foliage starts to yellow after blooming, reduce watering as the bulbs enter dormancy. Use a watering can or a gentle spray to evenly moisten the soil without over-saturating it, and always avoid wetting the foliage.

  • sunLight

    White Tulips thrive best in full sun to partial shade. The ideal spot is where they can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. However, in hotter regions, a location that offers some afternoon shade will help protect them from the intense heat.

  • thermometerTemperature

    White Tulips prefer a moderate temperature range and require a period of cold dormancy. They can survive winter temperatures as low as 35°F and are comfortable in the spring when the temperature ranges between 60°F and 70°F. The bulbs should not be exposed to temperatures above 70°F after they sprout, as this can lead to weak or stunted growth.

  • scissorsPruning

    White Tulips do not require pruning in the traditional sense. However, deadheading the spent blooms after they fade can prevent the plant from wasting energy on seed production. Leave the foliage intact until it yellows and dies back naturally at the end of the season, usually by late spring or early summer.

  • broomCleaning

    Not needed

  • bambooSoil

    For the best soil mix for the Fosteriana Tulip, use well-draining soil with a balanced mix of sand, silt, and clay. This tulip prefers a neutral to slightly acidic pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Incorporating organic matter like compost can improve soil structure and fertility.

  • plantRepotting

    Fosteriana Tulips, commonly known as Tulip 'Purissima', typically do not require repotting as they are perennials grown from bulbs. Bulbs should be lifted and divided every 3-5 years to avoid overcrowding and to maintain vigor.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Fosteriana Tulip 'Purissima' does not require specific humidity conditions and can flourish in the ambient outdoor humidity. It is generally adaptable to the humidity levels found in most temperate climates.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Fosteriana Tulip in bright, indirect light inside.

    • Outdoor

      Plant bulb in fall; provide full sun and well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Tulipa 'Purissima', also known as the Fosteriana Tulip, starts its life as a bulb planted in the fall before the first frost. During winter, the bulb undergoes a period of dormancy which is crucial for the development of the flower. In early to mid-spring, the bulb breaks dormancy and sends up leaves and a flower stem as temperatures rise. The Fosteriana Tulip blooms with creamy white to yellow flowers, which are followed by seed pod formation if pollination occurs. Once the flowering is over, the foliage dies back, and the plant goes into dormancy through the summer months. The cycle begins anew when the bulb is prompted to grow again by the cooling temperatures of the next fall, continuing this yearly cycle of growth and dormancy.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method for propagating the 'Purissima' tulip, a variant of Tulipa, is by dividing its bulbs. Ideally, bulb division should take place in the fall when the plant is dormant. Gardeners can gently lift the dormant bulbs from the soil using a garden fork, ensuring minimal damage to the bulbs. They then separate the smaller bulbs, which have formed around the base of the mother bulb, as these will become the new plants. The separated bulbs should be planted immediately at a depth approximately three times their height in well-drained soil to ensure they're established before the winter. This ensures a healthy growth cycle for the 'Purissima' tulip come spring.