Tulipa tarda
Common Name: late tulip 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Native Range: Central Asia
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: White with yellow eye
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Black Walnut


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun. Although most tulips do best in somewhat gritty soils, this species seems to prefer a humusy-well drained soil. Plant bulbs 4-5” deep in fall. Leave foliage in place until it yellows. Perennializes well in proper growing conditions.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Tulipa tarda is native to rocky subalpine meadows in central Asia. It is a low-growing species tulip (Division 15). Each flowering stem typically produces a cluster of 3-6 upward-facing flowers (2.5” across) that are white with a yellow eye. Flowers appear on 4-6” stems in spring (March-April in St. Louis). Fully open flowers have a broad star-like appearance. Glossy green leaves (to 5” long).

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

Specific epithet means late.


No serious insect or disease problems. Gray mold, stem rot and basal rot are occasional problems.


Rock gardens. Also effective in beds, border fronts or naturalized around trees or shrubs.