Tulips signify the long awaited start of spring and because of this, they have become a celebrated perennial.
Asides from their beauty, these particular flowers also boast a somewhat bizarre history…
1. Where did Tulips come from?
Native to Central Asia, where they were discovered hundreds of years ago, the Tulip was later introduced to Turkey, where it became an important part of the local culture.
2. The word ‘Tulip’ doesn’t mean what you think it means…
The word “tulip” means turban in Turkish and is thought to signify the plants turban-like shape. Another reason for its association with Turkey is because locals would often decorate their turbans with a tulip stem.
3. The Tulip wasn’t always available in Europe
It wasn’t until the mid 16th century that Tulips migrated to Europe. By the 17th century they were seen as a phenomenon in the Netherlands.
4. ‘Tulip Mania’ is an actual thing
Tulip Mania, which took place during the Dutch Golden Age, caused the tulip market to rise to extortionate proportions, it later crashed. It was one of the first-ever unpredictable market bubbles to take place in history.
5. A tulip was once worth more than a precious diamond
At the height of Tulip Mania, between 1634-1637, a single bulb was said to be valued at an astounding price – a massive ten times the annual income of wealthy skilled craftsman.
6. Those from the Netherlands are big fans of Tulips
Today, the Netherlands remain the largest producer and exporter of tulips the world over.
7. There are more species available than you may think…
To date, an impressive 75 recognised species of tulips and over 3000 varieties have been discovered.
8. Tulips are trending
The aesthetically pleasing streaking that embellishes tulip petals was originally the result of a viral infection. Today, this unusual colouring is the deliberate result of breeding.
9. They’re self-sufficient
Tulips begin their lives as bulbs, rather than seeds alone. Tulip bulbs differ to other species in that they are living plants, housing self-contained nutrients.
10. But they’re also high maintenance
In order for bulbs to blossom in the springtime, they must be planted in the summer months. This is because this particular specie requires a lengthy, dormant period in cooler temperatures in order for the biochemistry to take place.
11. You can trick a Tulip into blooming early
Storing Tulips in a very cold place, such as a refrigerator for up to 12 weeks can “force” this flower into blooming early.
12. They have many sisters and brothers in the plant world
Although very different in style, Tulips share the same roots as the Lily family and are classified as herbaceous perennials.
13. Don’t be fooled by their looks
Their petals, although edible, are said to taste extremely unpleasant. Despite this, they are often used to decorate dishes in high-end restaurants and eateries because of their colour alone.
14. One of today’s Tulip species goes by the name of ‘The Queen of the Night’
Tulips are available in a variety of rich colours, the most famous being the ‘Queen of the Night’ – a deep, dramatic purple that almost appears glossy black.
15. They’re almost perfect
Most species of Tulip are perfectly symmetrical, which makes them a great centrepiece for the home or office environment. They’re also extremely vibrant in colour, which makes them an even better choice if you wish to make a statement.