Tulips are among the world’s favorite flowers, whether to grow, gift, receive, photograph, paint or display. And one of the most recognized. The classic egg shaped blooms add elegance and sophistication to the garden or the vase. But tulips offer so much more than this, with extraordinary flower forms, unfolding stars, ruffles, peony forms, lily forms, fringes, bunches and fragrance! Tulip Beautiful Flowers!
Tulip Beautiful Flowers!
Tulips provide a finishing touch that brings the spring garden to life. Hundreds of years of hybridizing and selection have produced great improvements—larger Tulip flowers and variation in color and form unrivaled in horticulture.
Plant Tulip bulbs in the fall and they will reward you with a supply of fresh flowers close at hand in your own spring garden. Please note that all bulbs are shipped for fall planting!
Symbolism of the Tulip Flower
The Tulip is a classic flower of love! Although it was considered more of a symbol for charity by the Victorians. The Turkish people who originally bred the flower considered it a symbol of paradise on earth, making it a part of many religious and secular poems and art pieces.
While the Ottoman empire planted the bulbs to remind them of heaven and eternal life, the Dutch that popularized the flower considered it a reminder of how brief life can be instead. The link to love and passion developed primarily in the 20th and 21st centuries, but that doesn’t detract from the strength of the symbolism behind this flower.
History of tulips in Holland
Originally cultivated in the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey), tulips were imported into Holland in the sixteenth century. When Carolus Clusius wrote the first major book on tulips in 1592, they became so popular that his garden was raided and bulbs stolen on a regular basis. As the Dutch Golden Age grew, so did this curvaceous and colorful flower.
They became popular in paintings and festivals. In the mid-seventeenth century, tulips were so popular that they created the first economic bubble, known as “Tulip Mania” (tulipomania). As people bought up bulbs they became so expensive that they were used as money until the market in them crashed.
Facts Every Tulip Lover Should Know
There are over 150 species of tulips with over 3,000 different varieties. Tulips are part of the lily family. You can find tulips in almost any color. Tulips are also said to signal the arrival of spring. The Netherlands is the world’s largest commercial producer of tulips, with around three billion exported each year. Tulips will bend and twist to grow towards light (even in a vase!).
Double Tulips, aka Peony Tulips
When the Dutch started breeding tulips, they found them remarkably amenable to changing the flower form. In addition to the classic egg shaped bloom we all know and love, there are many different forms that are equally fabulous!
This is the double tulip, with instead of a single layer of 6 petals, these flowers feature 3 or more layers of petals giving a very full flower form that is often referred to as peony tulips. It is interesting that most peony tulips are in fact, fragrant, furthering the resemblance. The image above is of Tulip Black Hero – my very favorite for the black tulip varieties.
Zurel is a mid season single flowered tulip with gorgeous beetroot and ivory colored blooms, which gives it a distinctive flamed pattern. The flower is conical at first and then opens to a round shape.
It provides a much needed splash of color and would look amazing in garden decoration. Its scientific name is Tulipa ‘Zurel’ and it blooms in mid to late spring. The flower has strong, sturdy stem and beautiful foliage.
Tulip Menton is a classic variety of tulips with pinkish red flowers and orange undertones, apricot interior. The flower has a lovely goblet shape and is almost 10 inches in height. It offers large flowers for cutting purpose.
Meaningful Botanical Characteristics of the Tulip Flower
As a member of the Lily family, Tulips are edible but not particularly medicinal. There hasn’t been much research on the potential medicinal value of the humble Tulip, even in the Middle Ages.
The same flowers that were valued so highly by the Dutch in the 1600s became emergency food rations for the country during World War II because the starchy bulb provides a surprising amount of calories. The petals are also edible, leading to dishes with stuffed Tulip blossoms.
Tulips are such gorgeous flowers and so easy to grow! Any beginner can get spectacular results the first time they plant a tulip bulb! Just remember that wildlife enjoys tulips almost as much as we gardeners do! If you live where deer or raccoons, squirrels or rabbits are a problem, take that into consideration.
Tulips flower in even more forms than those detailed above! What are your favorite tulip styles? Will you be planting tulips this year? I would love to know! Please take a moment to leave a comment and let me know your tulip plans for this spring!