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TULIPA 'Ancilla'

Image of Tulipa 'Ancilla'

Jesse Saylor



Botanical Name

TULIPA 'Ancilla'

Plant Common Name

Ancilla Tulip, Kaufmanniana Tulip

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

One of the best tulips to multiply year after year in the garden (even in warmer summer climates), 'Ancilla' produces bicolor, starry or "waterlily-shaped" flowers rather early in the season. Its early flowering season and ability to perennialize are because of genes from parent species Tulipa kaufmanniana. Borne singly on calf-high stems, pale yellow "petals" (actually tepals) are stained outside with dark magenta-red wedges. Open flowers reveal a central yellow eye, and are often fragrant. The gray-green, lance-shaped, often wavy-edged leaves are usually held close to the base of the stem. Although longer lived than many other tulips, Ancilla tulips are nevertheless sometimes treated as annuals.

Tulip bulbs are a favorite food of small mammals including voles, and their succulent leaves and buds are favored by deer. Deep planting (at a depth of four to five times the bulbs' width) and underground barriers (such as buried hardware cloth) can discourage bulb predation. Interplanting with daffodils or other pest-resistant bulbs may deter both below-ground and above-ground pest damage.

Despite these problems, tulips are generally easy to grow. A tulip plant requires full sun, fertile but porous soil, and protection from excessive summer moisture and heat. 'Ancilla' manages to thrive in full sun to light shade and either gritty to average, well-drained soils. Leave the lower foliage of these tulips after they bloom, so they can collect and store energy for next spring’s display. Once the leaves start to yellow, cut plants to the ground. These tulips require winter chill - at least eight weeks - to bloom each early spring.

Tulips are unsurpassed for bringing spring color to containers or sunny gardens. Be sure to consider height and bloom time when designing with them as these vary greatly from cultivar to cultivar. It is also wise to plant extra for cutting as they make superb long-lasting cut flowers. 'Ancilla' is good for winter forcing in containers.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Bulb or Corm or Tuber

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    5"-10" / 12.7cm - 25.4cm

  • Width

    10"-15" / 25.4cm - 38.1cm

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring

  • Native To

    Hybrid Origin

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH


  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate


  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest


Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    Red, Light Yellow, Magenta

  • Flower Color Modifier


  • Fruit Color

    Green, Tan

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Gray Green

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Flower Petal Number


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Bedding Plant, Container, Cutflower, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing