What are Parrot Tulips?

Parrot tulips (Tulipa gesnerana dracontia) are like regular tulips, but boast bold, serrated petal edges which give them a ruffled appearance.  This ruffled look along with their brilliant, variegated colors, and their beak-shaped buds resemble their showy, tropical namesake, the parrot.

parrot tulips

The most often asked question about these attention-grabbing tulips is “How do they do that?” How do the petals gain the fringe, the curly edges, and the wavy texture that makes them so unique?

 Apricot Parrot

Apricot Parrot

The very first parrot tulips were accidental mutants of various classic tulip varieties, which made their first documented appearance during the 17th century in France. Due to their weak stems, they did not catch on as popular cut flowers until a couple centuries later.

 Roccoco Parrot

Roccoco Parrot

 In the early 1900s, breeders were able to reproduce the desired genetic abnormalities of fringed, curly petals AND strong stems, which led to a parrot tulip renaissance.  Now there are several varieties, each with their own unique coloration and performance.  They look amazing on their own, and their extravagant shape makes them excellent focal pieces in mixed bouquets.

parrot tulip mixed bouquets

Parrot tulip bouquet design and tutorial by Dress This Nest.

parrot tulip bouquet