Of all the Parrot tulips, the Black Parrot is the sine qua non. Awarded the RHS AGM, it is the perfect parrot tulip with its shiny, as near as dammit black petals which exude inky maroon or purple depending on the light. The infamous crinkled petals are as exaggerated on this tulip as anywhere culminating in a truly feathered edge. And the inner petals are an even deeper shade so it looks like you are looking into a deep chasm when you come up close. What is more, Black Parrot is a super-strong, vigorous plant that never disappoints.
Not many plants can outshine this tulip for sheer drama. An urn full of Black Parrots centre stage on your terrace is almost all you would need. If you wanted to add to the theatre of these plants, have a look at some of the other exotic tulips like the contrasting Spring Green viridiflora tulip or the red-wine Burgundy Lace. Be bold with the colour of your pots and you will relish this plant for weeks. If you incorporate Black Parrots into your borders - and it would be tempting to do so - place them in front of pale or silvery foliage so that they can create the impact for which they were bred. Wherever you choose to grow these special tulips, make sure it is reasonably sheltered because with those enormous flowers it does not flourish in windy or very wet conditions. For slightly more subdued and elegant tulips, take a look at the lily tulips for sinuous silhouette and pure colours.
These tulips were developed from crossing some of the late flowering and some of the Triumph tulips. As a result they can flower at different times and vary a little in height.
Parrots feature in many cultures and societies, but perhaps the one to bring to mind so that you will always smile when you see your parrot tulip is that ridiculous Monty Python Dead Parrot sketch!