An unintended consequence from an attempt to create a patriotic flower for our country’s sesquicentennial is causing a few raised eyebrows.

Last year, Home Hardware announced that they were selling tulips designed to pay tribute to the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation.

Canada 150 tulips

The tulips were designed to be white with red markings that, once the perennial bloomed, appeared to resemble the Canadian flag. Four million bulbs were sold.

As they started to bloom this spring, some gardeners noticed some unusual things happening with their flowers.

Some people took to social media to post pictures of what appeared to be orange tulips.

Kitchener resident Dave Leonard’s Canada 150 tulips were a little later to bloom. They weren’t orange – but nor were they the colour he was expecting.

“They’ve finally just come out recently – and they’re not red and white … they’re yellow,” he said Thursday.

“I’m not upset. I just think it’s funny.”

Yellow tulips

Leonard says he plans to place miniature Canadian flags in his tulips, to keep the patriotic theme alive.

A Home Hardware spokesperson tells CTV News the company has received a small number of complaints about orange and yellow tulips.

“We are investigating exactly what happened with the Canada 150 tulips,” public relations manager Jessica Kuepfer said in an interview.

“If tulips do come up incorrectly, we want to know about that.”

The tulips were sourced from a grower in the Netherlands. Kuepfer says some of them have turned out just fine – with a little patience.

“We’ve had reports where they come up yellow and red – and then, a number of weeks later, customers will email us back and say ‘Well, they’ve turned white and red,’” she said.

Kuepfer says the company has given refunds for tulips that have bloomed in the wrong colours.

“Our main focus here is customer satisfaction,” she said.

Anyone seeking a refund should provide the company with a picture of their flowers.

With reporting by Marc Venema