Friday 6 June 2014
Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) joins forces with breeders and growers to celebrate the ultimate spring flower
More than 2,000 visitors to RHS Garden Wisley voted in a poll to name their favourite garden tulip as part of the Society’s largest-ever People’s Choice competition.
With more than 340 cultivars of tulip on display between April and May 2014, some dating back to 1569, the astonishing floral spectacle heralded the arrival of spring and generated a passionate response from visitors.
After the votes were counted three tulips emerged as the public’s favourite, with Tulipa ‘Timeless’ topping the poll, followed in second place by ‘Tender Whisper’ and ‘Apricot Perfection’ in third place.
Tulipa ‘Timeless’ has the classic tulip flower shape, classified as a Triumph Group tulip that when mature boasts beautiful lipstick-red petals with a defined white margin. Its sturdy, strong stems can withstand many a spring wind. Tulipa ‘Timeless’ makes an ideal cut flower due to its long vase life, and it is responsive to forcing.
Tulipa ‘Tender Whisper’ has an unusual shape flower with narrow petals in the middle that taper to a point at their tip. This selection looks similar to a Lily-flowered Group tulip, but is classified within the Triumph Group. As the flower matures the rosy red colour at the top of the petals intensifies. During sunny days the flower opens and looks like a star while in the evening, as sunlight fades, the tulip closes again.
Tulipa 'Apricot Perfection’ is a soft apricot-coloured Triumph Group tulip that has a large, traditional tulip flower shape and is sturdy (it can withstand strong spring storms), straight and long lasting. The result of crossing single early tulips and later-flowering cultivars, ‘Apricot Perfection’ makes an excellent, long-lasting cut flower and responds well to forcing.
Speaking about the People’s Choice initiative, RHS Trials Development Manager Mark Heath said: “Tulips are among the nation’s favourite spring-flowering plants and the RHS thought it would be great to celebrate the sheer variety of this wonderful plant.
“It’s only when visitors to RHS Garden Wisley saw the amazing spectacle of more than 300 different tulips in bloom that they really began to appreciate the work breeders have undertaken over hundreds of years to create the many forms and colours of tulip we enjoy today.”
Notes to editors
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About the RHS
The Royal Horticultural Society was founded in 1804 by Sir Joseph Banks and John Wedgwood for the encouragement and improvement of the science, art and practice of horticulture. We held our first flower shows in 1820, were granted a Royal Charter in 1861 and acquired RHS Garden Wisley, our flagship garden, in 1903. From our first meetings in a small room off London’s Piccadilly, we have grown to become the world’s largest gardening charity.
Today the RHS is committed to providing a voice for all gardeners. We are driven by a simple love of plants and a belief that gardeners make the world a better place. 210 years on we continue to safeguard and advance the science, art and practice of horticulture, creating displays that inspire people to garden. In all aspects of our work we help gardeners develop by sharing our knowledge of plants, gardens and the environment.
RHS Registered Charity No. 222879/SC038262