Tulips Topped With Ice Cream?
This specific variety of tulips has a soft and fluffy white center that very much looks like a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Despite its appetizing look, this isn’t actually edible!
Ice Cream tulip (Tulipa ‘Ice Cream’) is an ornamental flowering plant much like regular tulips. This variety resulted from crossing double white tulips with double red ones.
With its double-bowled shape blossoms, the Ice Cream tulips look like an immaculate pink-and-green cone of buttery white vanilla ice cream.
Some also have a brighter yellow center, resembling sweet and fruity mango or banana ice cream!
It grows with an upright habit much like any other tulip variety.
You can grow it in pots and different garden styles. Add Ice Cream tulips to border gardens, cottage gardens, cut flower gardens, gravel gardens, or what have you!
How to Grow Ice Cream Tulip
If you want to cultivate your very own Ice Cream tulips at home, caring for them is rather simple.
Plant Ice Cream tulip bulbs about 6 inches (15 cm) deep into the soil. Do this late in the summer or early in the fall before any sign of frost.
They require moist loam, sand, and/or clay soils that drain well. Never let them get waterlogged. Make sure to protect them from strong winds as well as they can easily break.
Let the tulip enjoy full sun exposure after the cold winter months so that it flowers when the time comes. They will thrive in south, east, and west-facing gardens.
When Does the Ice Cream Tulip Bloom?
Ice Cream tulips are part of the Double Late Group, meaning they put out large double flowers by mid to late spring–typically around April to May.
When left to bloom until they are fully open, the compact white and yellow tops of Ice Cream tulips spread out and more closely resemble peonies.
Once spent, deadhead all the faded Ice Cream tulips to allow the foliage to die back completely by the end of summer.
Can You Eat Ice Cream Tulip?
Although it looks incredibly appetizing, I would strongly advise against eating this gorgeous bloom.
I mean, sure—people have safely eaten tulip petals over the years in salads with soft cheeses for added flavor. They say tulips taste kind of like cucumbers, lettuce, and peas.
However, the flowers, leaves, stems, and roots of tulips contain allergens, glycoproteins, and tulipalin—all of which are mildly toxic. It’s also worth noting that the bulb has the highest amount of toxins and should never be eaten.
Eating tulips can result in salivation, sweating, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pains, and depression. Direct contact with the plant can also cause dermatitis, among other things.
Safe to say, it’s better not to eat Ice Cream tulips no matter how sweet they look. They’ve also been reported to cause problems for cats, dogs, and even horses.
Do you know any other edible-looking flowers that people should never eat? Share them with us!
- “Tulipa ‘Ice Cream’ (11)” by n/a in The Royal Horticultural Society
- “Tulipa” by n/a in the NC State Extension