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Madame Lefeber / Red Emperor Tulip Bulbs

Tulipa fosteriana 'Madame Lefeber' / 'Red Emperor'Feefo logo

The details

  • Group: Fosteriana
  • Colour: Red and yellow
  • Height: 35-45cm
  • Scent: None
  • Flowering: March/April
  • Foliage: Green
  • Naturalises: Yes
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Pack of 25
4 +
£ 8.94


Madame Lefeber or Red Emperor?

Madame Lefeber is either a queen among tulips, or a Red Emperor: take your pick. Confusing. Either way, this is one of the first and best of the early spring flowering fosteriana tulips; a little shorter than that some others at 35-45 cm tall, Madame Lefeber makes up for a lack of height with an attention-grabbing display of larger-than-life, brilliant red flowers. If lots of red, early in spring is not your thing, we have dozens more varieties of tulip bulbs for sale to fill your garden with flowers right through spring!

Called the Red Emperor tulip because so many fosteriana tulips are "Something" Emperor, Madame Lefeber bulbs self-seed readily, so they'll spread over time to make a right royal carpet of huge, sizzling scarlet flowers from late March through April.

Looking good in the garden

This tulip is a real head-turner in the early spring garden with flowers of the kind of retina-popping scarlet the Coldstream Guards made famous. It's impossible to ignore it in full flower: the large, goblet-shaped flowers positively glow when back-lit by low early spring sunshine, each petal dipped delicately in egg-yolk yellow at the base. On sunny days they open wide to reveal a dark, velvety heart picked out in a halo of gold. They also make fabulous cut flowers.

Madame Lefeber looks wonderful partnered with sunshine yellow 'Tete-a-tete' daffodils, or you can really set your garden on fire by planting in mixed drifts of other vividly colourful fosteriana tulips like tangerine Orange Brilliant.

Red Emperor Tulips in Brief

  • Colour: Fiery red, with a velvety dark heart edged in yellow
  • Height: 35-45cm
  • Scent: None
  • Flowering: March/April
  • Foliage: Sage green with paler stripes
  • Naturalises: Yes
  • Group: Fosteriana (very early)

Naturalising Tulip Trivia

Many tulips are bred to flower spectacularly, but only once. But several species of tulip, including the fosteriana group, are true perennials and return every year. Often known as 'species' or 'wild' tulips, they usually flower earlier than other tulips, and have slightly shorter stems; the leaves are also often striped or mottled. They're fantastic value: plant just a few bulbs, and they'll gradually spread into carpets of jewel-like flowers.

Planting Instructions

Planting instructions

Tulips are best planted in late autumn, usually in November, ideally in free-draining soil in a sunny spot (if you canbt provide this, they are ideal for containers).

Madame Lefeber tulips will be in the ground a long time, so plant them deep b about 20-25cm, or four times the height of the bulb. When youbre planting in the garden, leave about 8-10cms between bulbs (in containers you can pack them in a bit tighter b perhaps 5cm between bulbs). If youbve got heavy soil, throw a handful of horticultural grit into the bottom of each hole before planting to help with drainage.

A handful of slow-release fertiliser like pelleted poultry manure scattered around the plants during the growing season helps keeps your bulbs healthy. Once they finish flowering, let the foliage die down naturally to return nutrients to the bulbs for an even better display next year.

What to expect

Bareroot plants


Bareroot plants have no soil around the roots. They are light, easy to carry and plant.

Perfect for Winter

The ground tends to be wet in winter, ideal for planting bareroot plants.

Value for money

You pay less for the same size bareroot plants, compared to potted.


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