Tulipa 'Red Riding Hood'
Common Name: greigii tulip 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Scarlet red with black basal inside blotch
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Tolerate: Black Walnut

Culture

Grow in organically rich, fertile, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun. Best with cool, moist winters and warm dry summers. Plant bulbs 4-6” deep (three times the depth of the bulb) in fall. In heavy clay soils, a slightly shallower depth is best. Space bulbs 2-5” apart depending on plant size. Tulips may be grown as perennials or as annuals. Species tulips often perform better than hybrid plants as perennials. When growing tulips as perennials, promptly remove spent flower stems after bloom (prevents seeding), but do not remove foliage until it yellows. In most cases, tulip performance declines substantially starting with the second year. Many growers prefer growing tulips, particularly hybrids, as annuals.

'Red Riding Hood' is a hybrid tulip that will establish itself in the garden and perform well over a longer period of years than many of the hybrid tulips sold in commerce today.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tulipa is a genus of about 100 species of perennial bulbs found from sea level to alpine areas in Europe, The Middle East and Asia where they are the most diverse in Central Asia. They are popular spring flowers that come in nearly all colors except true blue. Shape is often a cup with a teardrop form. Bowl, goblet and star shapes also exist. Some flowers are double. Each flower has six petal-like tepals.

Tulips are generally organized into 15 divisions based upon flower shape and origin. Bloom time varies. See Tulipa (group) for more information.

Genus name comes the Latinized version of the Turkish name tulbend meaning a turban.

‘Red Riding Hood’ is a hybrid greigii tulip (Division 14) that features bright scarlet red flowers with a black basal blotch inside, and 3-5 leaves that are heavily streaked with brown-purple. Flowers bloom on 6-10” stems in April.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Bulb and root rots may occur, particularly in wet, poorly drained soils. Gray mold. Mosaic virus may also occur. Animal pests include aphids, slugs and snails. Mice and voles are attracted to the bulbs. Squirrels may dig up newly planted bulbs.

Garden Uses

Rock gardens. Also effective in beds, border fronts or around trees or shrubs. This small tulip is effective in small groupings of at least 12-15 bulbs or massed into large drifts. Striped foliage provides continuing interest after bloom.