Herb: Tulip

Latin name: Tulipa gesneriana

Synonyms: Tulipa didieri, Tulipa suaveolens

Family: Liliaceae (Lily Family)

Edible parts of Tulip:

Bulb - cooked. It can be dried and ground into a powder and then mixed with cereals when making bread etc. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

to May


Habitat of the herb:

In and around cultivated land.

Other uses of Tulip:

Plants have been grown indoors in pots in order to help remove toxins from the atmosphere. It has been shown to help remove formaldehyde, xylene and ammonia.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - best sown in a shady part of the cold frame as soon as it is ripe in early summer, or in the early autumn. A spring sowing of stored seed in the greenhouse also succeeds. Sow the seed thinly so that the seedlings can be grown on without disturbance for their first growing season - apply liquid feeds to the pot if necessary. Divide the bulbs once the plants have become dormant, putting 3 - 4 bulbs in each pot. Grow the on in the greenhouse for at least the next year, planting them out when dormant. Division of offsets in July. Larger bulbs can be planted out straight into their permanent positions, or can be stored in a cool place and then be planted out in late autumn. It is best to pot up smaller bulbs and grow them on in a cold frame for a year before planting them out when they are dormant in late summer to the middle of autumn.

Cultivation of Tulip:

In and around cultivated land.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Tulipa gesneriana:

The bulb and the flowers have been known to cause dermatitis in sensitive people, though up to 5 bulbs a day can be eaten without ill-effect.

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.