Tulipa 'Little Beauty'
Common Name: miscellaneous tulip 
Type: Bulb
Family: Liliaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Red petals with a blue and white center
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, 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.

'Little Beauty' bulbs are cold hardy but may be sensitive to heat, so despite their small size, the bulbs should be planted 8 inches deep to protect them from hot dry soil in summer.

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.

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

'Little Beauty' is a Division 15 tulip that was developed by W. Van Lierop & Sons and introduced in 1991. (Division 15 includes all species tulips plus hybrids not included in other groups.) Its fragrant flowers have red to reddish pink petals with a blue center that is edged in white. Each bulb produces two to five pink buds. The flowers will close up at night and may not open on cloudy days. It has pale green, narrow, linear leaves. 'Little Beauty' is a dwarf tulip growing only 1/4 to 1/2 ft. tall and wide. It received the Award of Garden Merit for tulips from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1997. It may also be sold as Tulipa hageri 'Little Beauty'.

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.

Uses

Tulips come in a wide variety of colors, sizes and flower types. In general, they are best planted in large groups or massed.