Tulip
Overview
The tulip is a perennial
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

, bulb
Bulb
A bulb is a short stem with fleshy leaves or leaf bases. The leaves often function as food storage organs during dormancy.A bulb's leaf bases, known as scales, generally do not support leaves, but contain food reserves to enable the plant to survive adverse conditions. At the center of the bulb is...

ous plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 with showy flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s in the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Tulipa, which comprises 109 species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 and belongs to the family Liliaceae
Liliaceae
The Liliaceae, or the lily family, is a family of monocotyledons in the order Liliales. Plants in this family have linear leaves, mostly with parallel veins but with several having net venation , and flower arranged in threes. Several have bulbs, while others have rhizomes...

. The genus's native range extends from as far west as Southern Europe
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

, North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 to the Northwest of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The tulip's centre of diversity is in the Pamir
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

, Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

, and Tien Shan mountains. A number of species and many hybrid cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s are grown in gardens, as potted plants, or to display as fresh-cut flowers.
Encyclopedia
The tulip is a perennial
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

, bulb
Bulb
A bulb is a short stem with fleshy leaves or leaf bases. The leaves often function as food storage organs during dormancy.A bulb's leaf bases, known as scales, generally do not support leaves, but contain food reserves to enable the plant to survive adverse conditions. At the center of the bulb is...

ous plant
Plant
Plants are living organisms belonging to the kingdom Plantae. Precise definitions of the kingdom vary, but as the term is used here, plants include familiar organisms such as trees, flowers, herbs, bushes, grasses, vines, ferns, mosses, and green algae. The group is also called green plants or...

 with showy flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s in the genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

 Tulipa, which comprises 109 species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 and belongs to the family Liliaceae
Liliaceae
The Liliaceae, or the lily family, is a family of monocotyledons in the order Liliales. Plants in this family have linear leaves, mostly with parallel veins but with several having net venation , and flower arranged in threes. Several have bulbs, while others have rhizomes...

. The genus's native range extends from as far west as Southern Europe
Southern Europe
The term Southern Europe, at its most general definition, is used to mean "all countries in the south of Europe". However, the concept, at different times, has had different meanings, providing additional political, linguistic and cultural context to the definition in addition to the typical...

, North Africa
North Africa
North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes eight countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, South Sudan, Sudan, Tunisia, and...

, Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

, and Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 to the Northwest of China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The tulip's centre of diversity is in the Pamir
Pamir Mountains
The Pamir Mountains are a mountain range in Central Asia formed by the junction or knot of the Himalayas, Tian Shan, Karakoram, Kunlun, and Hindu Kush ranges. They are among the world’s highest mountains and since Victorian times they have been known as the "Roof of the World" a probable...

, Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

, and Tien Shan mountains. A number of species and many hybrid cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

s are grown in gardens, as potted plants, or to display as fresh-cut flowers. Most cultivars of tulip are derived from Tulipa gesneriana
Tulipa gesneriana
Tulipa gesneriana L. or "Didier's tulip" is a plant belonging to the family of Liliaceae. This species has uncertain origins, possibly from Asia, and has become naturalised in south-west Europe...

.

Description

Tulips are spring-blooming perennial
Perennial plant
A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant that lives for more than two years. The term is often used to differentiate a plant from shorter lived annuals and biennials. The term is sometimes misused by commercial gardeners or horticulturalists to describe only herbaceous perennials...

s that grow from bulb
Bulb
A bulb is a short stem with fleshy leaves or leaf bases. The leaves often function as food storage organs during dormancy.A bulb's leaf bases, known as scales, generally do not support leaves, but contain food reserves to enable the plant to survive adverse conditions. At the center of the bulb is...

s. Depending on the species, tulip plants can grow as short as 4 inches (10.2 cm) or as high as 28 inches (71.1 cm). The tulip's large flower
Flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...

s usually bloom on scape
Scape (botany)
In botany, scapes are leafless flowering stems that rise from the ground. Scapes can have a single flower or many flowers, depending on the species....

s or subscapose stems that lack bract
Bract
In botany, a bract is a modified or specialized leaf, especially one associated with a reproductive structure such as a flower, inflorescence axis, or cone scale. Bracts are often different from foliage leaves. They may be smaller, larger, or of a different color, shape, or texture...

s. Most tulips produce only one flower per stem, but a few species bear multiple flowers on their scapes (e.g. Tulipa turkestanica
Tulipa turkestanica
Tulipa turkestanica is a species of tulip native to central Asia, notably Iran and Turkestan.It is a herbaceous perennial from a bulb, growing 10 cm to 15 cm tall, with 2–4 glaucous-green leaves up to 15 cm long on each stem...

). The showy, generally cup- or star-shaped tulip flower has three petal
Petal
Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They often are brightly colored or unusually shaped to attract pollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals lying...

s and three sepals, which are often termed tepal
Tepal
Tepals are elements of the perianth, or outer part of a flower, which include the petals or sepals. The term tepal is more often applied specifically when all segments of the perianth are of similar shape and color, or undifferentiated, which is called perigone...

s because they are nearly identical. These six tepals are often marked near the bases with darker colorings. Tulip flowers come in a wide variety of colors, except pure blue (several tulips with "blue" in the name have a faint violet hue).

The flowers have six distinct, basifixed stamen
Stamen
The stamen is the pollen producing reproductive organ of a flower...

s with filaments shorter than the tepals. Each stigma
Stigma (botany)
The stigma is the receptive tip of a carpel, or of several fused carpels, in the gynoecium of a flower. The stigma receives pollen at pollination and it is on the stigma that the pollen grain germinates. The stigma is adapted to catch and trap pollen with various hairs, flaps, or sculpturings...

 of the flower has three distinct lobes, and the ovaries
Ovary (plants)
In the flowering plants, an ovary is a part of the female reproductive organ of the flower or gynoecium. Specifically, it is the part of the pistil which holds the ovule and is located above or below or at the point of connection with the base of the petals and sepals...

 are superior, with three chambers. The tulip's fruit
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 is a capsule
Capsule (fruit)
In botany a capsule is a type of simple, dry fruit produced by many species of flowering plants. A capsule is a structure composed of two or more carpels that in most cases is dehiscent, i.e. at maturity, it splits apart to release the seeds within. A few capsules are indehiscent, for example...

 with a leathery covering and an ellipsoid to subglobose shape. Each capsule contains numerous flat, disc-shaped seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s in two rows per chamber. These light to dark brown seeds have very thin seed coats and endosperm
Endosperm
Endosperm is the tissue produced inside the seeds of most flowering plants around the time of fertilization. It surrounds the embryo and provides nutrition in the form of starch, though it can also contain oils and protein. This makes endosperm an important source of nutrition in human diet...

 that does not normally fill the entire seed.

Tulip stems have few leaves, with larger species tending to have multiple leaves. Plants typically have 2 to 6 leaves, with some species having up to 12. The tulip's leaf is strap-shaped, with a waxy coating, and leaves are alternately arranged on the stem. These fleshy blades are often bluish green in color.

Origin of the name

Although tulips are often associated with The Netherlands, commercial cultivation of the flower began in the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. The tulip, or lale (from Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 لاله, lâleh) as it is also called in Iran and Turkey, is a flower indigenous to a vast area encompassing arid parts of Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, Asia
Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...

, and Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

.
The word tulip, which earlier appeared in English in forms such as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan or by way of Modern Latin tulīpa, from Ottoman Turkish
Ottoman Turkish language
The Ottoman Turkish language or Ottoman language is the variety of the Turkish language that was used for administrative and literary purposes in the Ottoman Empire. It borrows extensively from Arabic and Persian, and was written in a variant of the Perso-Arabic script...

 tülbend ("muslin
Muslin
Muslin |sewing patterns]], such as for clothing, curtains, or upholstery. Because air moves easily through muslin, muslin clothing is suitable for hot, dry climates.- Etymology and history :...

" or "gauze
Gauze
Gauze is a thin, translucent fabric with a loose open weave.-Uses and types:Gauze was originally made of silk and was used for clothing. It is now used for many different things, including gauze sponges for medical purposes. When used as a medical dressing, gauze is generally made of cotton...

"), and is ultimately derived from Persian dulband ("round
Ellipse
In geometry, an ellipse is a plane curve that results from the intersection of a cone by a plane in a way that produces a closed curve. Circles are special cases of ellipses, obtained when the cutting plane is orthogonal to the cone's axis...

").

Cultivation

Tulips are indigenous to mountainous areas with temperate climates and need a period of cool dormancy, known as vernalization
Vernalization
Vernalization is the acquisition of a plant's ability to flower or germinate in the spring by exposure to the prolonged cold of winter...

. They thrive in climates with long, cool springs and dry summers. Although perennials, tulip bulbs are often imported to warm-winter areas of the world from cold-winter areas, and are planted in the fall to be treated as annuals.

Tulip bulbs are typically planted around late summer and fall, in well-drained soils, normally from 4 inches (10.2 cm) to 8 inches (20.3 cm) deep, depending on the type planted. In parts of the world that do not have long cool springs and dry summers, the bulbs are often planted up to 12 inches (30.5 cm) deep. This provides some insulation from the heat of summer, and tends to encourage the plants to regenerate one large, floriferous bulb each year, instead of many smaller, non-blooming ones. This can extend the life of a tulip plant in warmer-winter areas by a few years, but it does not stave off degradation in bulb size and the eventual death of the plant due to the lack of vernalization
Vernalization
Vernalization is the acquisition of a plant's ability to flower or germinate in the spring by exposure to the prolonged cold of winter...

.

Propagation

Tulips can be propagated through bulb offsets
Offsets
In botany and horticulture Offset is a term used to describe a small virtually complete daughter plant that has been naturally asexually produced on the mother plant. They are clones , meaning that they are genetically identical to the mother plant. In the plant nursery business and gardens they...

, seed
Seed
A seed is a small embryonic plant enclosed in a covering called the seed coat, usually with some stored food. It is the product of the ripened ovule of gymnosperm and angiosperm plants which occurs after fertilization and some growth within the mother plant...

s or micropropagation
Micropropagation
Micropropagation is the practice of rapidly multiplying stock plant material to produce a large number of progeny plants, using modern plant tissue culture methods....

. Offsets and tissue culture
Plant tissue culture
Plant tissue culture is a collection of techniques used to maintain or grow plant cells, tissues or organs under sterile conditions on a nutrient culture medium of known composition. Plant tissue culture is widely used to produce clones of a plant in a method known as micropropagation...

 methods are means of asexual
Asexual reproduction
Asexual reproduction is a mode of reproduction by which offspring arise from a single parent, and inherit the genes of that parent only, it is reproduction which does not involve meiosis, ploidy reduction, or fertilization. A more stringent definition is agamogenesis which is reproduction without...

 propagation for producing gene
Gene
A gene is a molecular unit of heredity of a living organism. It is a name given to some stretches of DNA and RNA that code for a type of protein or for an RNA chain that has a function in the organism. Living beings depend on genes, as they specify all proteins and functional RNA chains...

tic clone
Cloning
Cloning in biology is the process of producing similar populations of genetically identical individuals that occurs in nature when organisms such as bacteria, insects or plants reproduce asexually. Cloning in biotechnology refers to processes used to create copies of DNA fragments , cells , or...

s of the parent plant, which maintains cultivar
Cultivar
A cultivar'Cultivar has two meanings as explained under Formal definition. When used in reference to a taxon, the word does not apply to an individual plant but to all those plants sharing the unique characteristics that define the cultivar. is a plant or group of plants selected for desirable...

 genetic integrity. Seed-raised plants show greater genetic variation, and seeds are most often used to propagate species
Species
In biology, a species is one of the basic units of biological classification and a taxonomic rank. A species is often defined as a group of organisms capable of interbreeding and producing fertile offspring. While in many cases this definition is adequate, more precise or differing measures are...

 and subspecies
Subspecies
Subspecies in biological classification, is either a taxonomic rank subordinate to species, ora taxonomic unit in that rank . A subspecies cannot be recognized in isolation: a species will either be recognized as having no subspecies at all or two or more, never just one...

 or to create new hybrids. Many tulip species can cross-pollinate with each other, and when wild tulip populations overlap geographically with other tulip species or subspecies, they often hybridize and create genetically mixed populations. On the other hand, most commercial tulip cultivars are complex hybrids, and actually sterile
Sterility (physiology)
Sterility is the physiological inability to effect sexual reproduction in a living thing, members of whose kind have been produced sexually. The term may be used in reference to* types of organism, such as the mule, a sterile hybrid;...

. Those hybrid plants that do produce seeds most often have offspring dissimilar to the parents.

Growing salable tulips from offsets requires a year or more of growth before plants are large enough to flower. Tulips grown from seeds often need five to eight years of growth before plants are flowering size. Commercial growers usually harvest the tulip bulbs in late summer and grade them into sizes; bulbs large enough to flower are sorted and sold, while smaller bulbs are sorted into sizes and replanted, for sale in the future. Holland is the world's main producer of commercially sold tulip plants, producing as many as 3 billion bulbs annually, the majority for export.

Introduction to Western Europe

Although it is unknown who first brought the tulip to Northwestern Europe, the most widely accepted story is that it was Oghier Ghislain de Busbecq, an ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

 for Ferdinand I of Germany to Suleyman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

. He remarked in a letter that he saw "an abundance of flowers everywhere; Narcissus, hyacinths and those in Turkish called Lale, much to our astonishment because it was almost midwinter, a season unfriendly to flowers." However, in 1559, an account by Conrad Gessner
Conrad Gessner
Conrad Gessner was a Swiss naturalist and bibliographer. His five-volume Historiae animalium is considered the beginning of modern zoology, and the flowering plant genus Gesneria is named after him...

 described tulips flowering in Augsburg
Augsburg
Augsburg is a city in the south-west of Bavaria, Germany. It is a university town and home of the Regierungsbezirk Schwaben and the Bezirk Schwaben. Augsburg is an urban district and home to the institutions of the Landkreis Augsburg. It is, as of 2008, the third-largest city in Bavaria with a...

, Bavaria
Bavaria
Bavaria, formally the Free State of Bavaria is a state of Germany, located in the southeast of Germany. With an area of , it is the largest state by area, forming almost 20% of the total land area of Germany...

 in the garden of Councillor Herwart. Due to the nature of the tulip's growing cycle, tulip bulbs are generally removed from the ground in June and must be replanted by September to endure the winter. While possible, it is doubtful that Busbecq could successfully have had the tulip bulbs harvested, shipped to Germany, and replanted between his first sighting of them in March 1558 and Gessner's description the following year. As a result, Busbecq's account of the supposed first sighting of tulips by a European is possibly spurious.

Carolus Clusius planted tulips at the Imperial Botanical Gardens of Vienna in 1573 and later at the Leiden University
Leiden University
Leiden University , located in the city of Leiden, is the oldest university in the Netherlands. The university was founded in 1575 by William, Prince of Orange, leader of the Dutch Revolt in the Eighty Years' War. The royal Dutch House of Orange-Nassau and Leiden University still have a close...

's newly established Hortus Botanicus
Hortus Botanicus Leiden
The Hortus botanicus of Leiden is the oldest botanical garden of the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in the world. It is located in the southwestern part of the historical centre of the city, between the Academy building and the Leiden Observatory....

, where he was appointed director. There he planted some of his tulip bulbs in late 1593. As a result, 1594 is considered the official date of the tulip's first flowering in The Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, despite reports of the flowers being cultivated in private gardens in Antwerp and Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 two or three decades earlier. These tulips at Leiden would eventually lead to both Tulip mania
Tulip mania
Tulip mania or tulipomania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed...

 and the commercial tulip industry in Holland.

Another account of the origin of the tulip in Western Europe is of Lopo Vaz de Sampaio
Lopo Vaz de Sampaio
Lopo Vaz de Sampaio was an administrator of the Portuguese Empire. He was also the captain of Vasco da Gama, a famous Portuguese explorer. During 1528-29, Lopo Vaz de Sampaio seized the fort of Mahim from the Gujarat Sultanate, when the King was at war with Nizam-ul-mulk, the emperor of Chaul, a...

, governor of the Portuguese
Portuguese Empire
The Portuguese Empire , also known as the Portuguese Overseas Empire or the Portuguese Colonial Empire , was the first global empire in history...

 possessions in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. After attempting to usurp power from the rightful governor, Sampaio was forced to return to Portugal in disgrace. Supposedly, he took tulip bulbs back to Portugal with him from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. This story does not hold up to scrutiny though because tulips do not occur in Sri Lanka and the island itself is far from the route Sampaio's ships would have likely taken.

Regardless of how the flower originally arrived in Europe, its popularity soared quickly. Carolus Clusius is largely responsible for the spread of tulip bulbs in the final years of the sixteenth century. He finished writing the first major work on tulips in 1592, and he made note of the variations in colour that help make the tulip so admired. While occupying a chair as a faculty member in the school of medicine at the University of Leiden, Clusius planted both a teaching garden and private plot of his ownwith tulip bulbs. In 1596 and 1598, Clusius suffered thefts from his garden, with over a hundred bulbs stolen in a single raid.

Between 1634 and 1637, the early enthusiasm for the new flowers triggered a speculative
Speculation
In finance, speculation is a financial action that does not promise safety of the initial investment along with the return on the principal sum...

 frenzy now known as the tulip mania
Tulip mania
Tulip mania or tulipomania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed...

. Tulips would become so expensive that they were treated as a form of currency. Around this time, the ceramic
Ceramic
A ceramic is an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by the action of heat and subsequent cooling. Ceramic materials may have a crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or may be amorphous...

 tulipiere
Tulipiere
A tulipiere or tulip-holder is an ornate flower-holder that is usually made of hand-crafted pottery, classically delftware. They are typically constructed to accommodate one single flower stem per spout with a larger water reservoir base.- History :...

 was devised for the display of cut flowers stem by stem (bouquet
Flower bouquet
A flower bouquet is a collection of flowers in a creative arrangement. There are different kinds including nosegay, crescent, and cascading bouquets. Flower bouquets are often given for special occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries. They are also used extensively in weddings. Traditionally...

s displayed in vase
Vase
The vase is an open container, often used to hold cut flowers. It can be made from a number of materials including ceramics and glass. The vase is often decorated and thus used to extend the beauty of its contents....

s were rare until the 19th century, although such vases and bouquets, usually including tulips, often appeared in Dutch still-life painting). To this day, tulips are associated with The Netherlands, and the cultivated forms of the tulip are often called "Dutch tulips." In addition to the tulip industry and tulip festival
Tulip Festival
Tulip Festivals are held in several cities around the world, including a number in North America — most often cities with Dutch heritage — such as Albany ; Ottawa ; Gatineau ; Montreal ; Holland ; Lehi ; Orange City ; Pella ; Mount Vernon ; and Woodburn , and in other countries such as Australia and...

s, The Netherlands has the world's largest permanent display of tulips at Keukenhof
Keukenhof
Keukenhof , also known as the Garden of Europe, is situated near Lisse, Netherlands, and is the world's largest flower garden...

, although the display is only open to the public seasonally.

Introduction to the United States

It is believed the first tulips in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 were grown near Spring Pond
Spring Pond
'Spring Pond, United States abuts the three cities of Lynn, Peabody and Salem. In the center of these townships "is a beautiful pond". It is a secluded lake known by residents of the three cities and visitors who come to enjoy the camps, trails and natural environment of the woods...

 at the Fay Estate in Lynn
Lynn, Massachusetts
Lynn is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 89,050 at the 2000 census. An old industrial center, Lynn is home to Lynn Beach and Lynn Heritage State Park and is about north of downtown Boston.-17th century:...

 and Salem
Salem, Massachusetts
Salem is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 40,407 at the 2000 census. It and Lawrence are the county seats of Essex County...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

. From 1847 to 1865, a historic land owner named Richard Sullivan Fay, Esq., one of Lynn's wealthiest men, would settle on 500 acres (2 km²) located partly in present-day Lynn and partly in present-day Salem. While there, Mr. Fay imported many different trees and plants from all parts of the world and planted them among the meadows of the Fay Estate.

Diseases

Botrytis tulipae is a major fungal disease affecting tulips, causing cell death and eventually the rotting of the plant. Other pathogens include anthracnose, bacterial soft rot, blight
Blight
Blight refers to a specific symptom affecting plants in response to infection by a pathogenic organism. It is simply a rapid and complete chlorosis, browning, then death of plant tissues such as leaves, branches, twigs, or floral organs. Accordingly, many diseases that primarily exhibit this...

 caused by Sclerotium rolfsii, bulb nematode
Nematode
The nematodes or roundworms are the most diverse phylum of pseudocoelomates, and one of the most diverse of all animals. Nematode species are very difficult to distinguish; over 28,000 have been described, of which over 16,000 are parasitic. It has been estimated that the total number of nematode...

s, other rots
Decomposition
Decomposition is the process by which organic material is broken down into simpler forms of matter. The process is essential for recycling the finite matter that occupies physical space in the biome. Bodies of living organisms begin to decompose shortly after death...

 including blue mold
Blue mold
Blue mold is a downy mildew disease of tobacco that is caused by Peronospora tabacina, a fungus-like protist in the family Peronosporaceae. Blue mold can cause severe damage to susceptible tobacco plants in many parts of the world...

s, black molds and mushy rot.

Variegated
Variegation
Variegation is the appearance of differently coloured zones in the leaves, and sometimes the stems, of plants. This may be due to a number of causes...

 varieties admired during the Dutch tulipomania
Tulip mania
Tulip mania or tulipomania was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for bulbs of the recently introduced tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed...

 gained their delicately feathered patterns from an infection with the tulip breaking virus
Tulip breaking virus
The Tulip breaking virus, also known as the "Tulip break virus", "Tulip breaking potyvirus", "Lily streak virus", "Tulip mosaic virus", "Lily mottle virus", "Lily mosaic virus", or simply "TBV" is a plant virus that is most famous for its infection of tulips...

, a mosaic virus that was carried by the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae. These aphids were common in European gardens of the seventeenth century. While the virus produces fantastically colourful flowers, it also causes weakened plants prone to decline.

Today the virus is almost eradicated from tulip growers' fields. Tulips that are affected by mosaic virus are called "broken tulips"; while such tulips can occasionally revert to a plain or solid colouring, they will remain infected with the virus. While some modern varieties also display multicoloured patterns, the patterns result from breeding selection for a genetic mutation. In these tulips, natural variation in the upper and lower layers of pigment
Pigment
A pigment is a material that changes the color of reflected or transmitted light as the result of wavelength-selective absorption. This physical process differs from fluorescence, phosphorescence, and other forms of luminescence, in which a material emits light.Many materials selectively absorb...

 in the flower are responsible for the patterns.

In art and culture

During the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
The Ottoman EmpireIt was usually referred to as the "Ottoman Empire", the "Turkish Empire", the "Ottoman Caliphate" or more commonly "Turkey" by its contemporaries...

, the tulip became very popular in Ottoman territories and was seen as a symbol of abundance and indulgence. In fact, the era during which the Ottoman Empire was wealthiest is often called the Tulip era or Lale Devri in Turkish
Turkish language
Turkish is a language spoken as a native language by over 83 million people worldwide, making it the most commonly spoken of the Turkic languages. Its speakers are located predominantly in Turkey and Northern Cyprus with smaller groups in Iraq, Greece, Bulgaria, the Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo,...

.

In classic and modern Persian literature
Persian literature
Persian literature spans two-and-a-half millennia, though much of the pre-Islamic material has been lost. Its sources have been within historical Persia including present-day Iran as well as regions of Central Asia where the Persian language has historically been the national language...

, special attention has been given to these beautiful flowers, and in recent times, tulips have featured in the poems of Simin Behbahani
Simin Behbahani
Simin Beh'bahāni is one of the most prominent figures of the modern Persian literature and one of the most outstanding amongst the contemporary Persian poets. She is Iran's national poet and an icon of the Iranian intelligentsia and literati who affectionately refer to her as the lioness of Iran...

. However, the tulip was a topic for Persian poets as far back as the thirteenth century. Musharrifu'd-din Saadi
Saadi (poet)
Abū-Muḥammad Muṣliḥ al-Dīn bin Abdallāh Shīrāzī better known by his pen-name as Saʿdī or, simply, Saadi, was one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. He is not only famous in Persian-speaking countries, but he has also been quoted in western sources...

, in his poem Gulistan
Gulistan of Sa'di
The Gulistan is a landmark literary work in Persian literature, perhaps its single most influential work of prose. Written in 1259 CE, it is one of two major works of the Persian poet Sa'di, considered one of the greatest medieval Persian poets. It is also one of his most popular books, and...

, described a visionary, garden paradise with 'The murmur of a cool stream / bird song, ripe fruit in plenty / bright multicoloured tulips and fragrant roses...'

The Black Tulip
The Black Tulip
The Black Tulip is a historical novel written by Alexandre Dumas, père.-Plot:The story begins with a historical event — the 1672 lynching of the Dutch Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and his brother Cornelis, by a wild mob of their own countrymen — considered by many as one of the most painful...

is the title of a historical romance by the French author Alexandre Dumas, père
Alexandre Dumas, père
Alexandre Dumas, , born Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie was a French writer, best known for his historical novels of high adventure which have made him one of the most widely read French authors in the world...

. The story takes place in the Dutch city of Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

, where a reward is offered to the first grower who can produce a truly black tulip.

Today, Tulip festival
Tulip Festival
Tulip Festivals are held in several cities around the world, including a number in North America — most often cities with Dutch heritage — such as Albany ; Ottawa ; Gatineau ; Montreal ; Holland ; Lehi ; Orange City ; Pella ; Mount Vernon ; and Woodburn , and in other countries such as Australia and...

s are held around the world, including in The Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, Spalding
Spalding, Lincolnshire
Spalding is a market town with a population of 30,000 on the River Welland in the South Holland district of Lincolnshire, England. Little London is a hamlet directly south of Spalding on the B1172 road....

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

. Every spring, there are several tulip festivals in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, including the Tulip Time Festival
Tulip Time Festival
Tulip Time Festival is an annual festival held in Holland, Michigan. Tulip festivals are held in many cities around the United States of America that were founded or largely inhabited by Dutch settlers. It has been held every year in mid-May since 1929 and is currently the largest tulip festival in...

 in Holland
Holland, Michigan
Holland is a city in the western region of the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is situated near the eastern shore of Lake Michigan on Lake Macatawa, which is fed by the Macatawa River ....

, Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

, the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a spring Tulip Festival in the Skagit Valley of Washington State. It is held annually, April 1 to April 30.-Attendance:...

 in Skagit Valley
Skagit Valley
The Skagit Valley lies in the northwestern corner of the state of Washington, USA. Its defining feature is the Skagit River, which snakes through local communities which include the seat of Skagit County, Mount Vernon, as well as Sedro-Woolley, Concrete, Lyman-Hamilton, and Burlington.The local...

, Washington, the Tulip Time Festival in Orange City
Orange City, Iowa
As of the census of 2000, there were 5,582 people, 1,719 households, and 1,285 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,808.5 people per square mile . There were 1,805 housing units at an average density of 584.8 per square mile...

 and Pella
Pella, Iowa
Pella is a city in Marion County, Iowa, United States. The population was 9,832 at the 2000 census. Pella is the home of Central College as well as several manufacturing companies, including Pella Corporation and Vermeer Manufacturing Company.- History :...

, Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

, and the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa
Ottawa
Ottawa is the capital of Canada, the second largest city in the Province of Ontario, and the fourth largest city in the country. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

. Tulips are now also popular in Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and several festivals are held in September and October, during the Southern Hemisphere
Southern Hemisphere
The Southern Hemisphere is the part of Earth that lies south of the equator. The word hemisphere literally means 'half ball' or "half sphere"...

's spring
Spring (season)
Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and broadly to ideas of rebirth, renewal and regrowth. The specific definition of the exact timing of "spring" varies according to local climate, cultures and...

.

Classification

In horticulture, tulips are divided up into fifteen groups (Divisions) mostly based on flower morphology and plant size.

  • Div. 1: Single early – with cup-shaped single flowers, no larger than 8 cm across (3 inches). They bloom early to mid season. Growing 15 to 45 cm tall.
  • Div. 2: Double early – with fully double flowers, bowl shaped to 8 cm across. Plants typically grow from 30–40 cm tall.
  • Div. 3: Triumph – single, cup shaped flowers up to 6 cm wide. Plants grow 35–60 cm tall and bloom mid to late season.
  • Div. 4: Darwin hybrid – single flowers are ovoid in shape and up to 8 cm wide. Plants grow 50–70 cm tall and bloom mid to late season. This group should not be confused with older Darwin tulips, which belong in the Single Late Group below.
  • Div. 5: Single late – cup or goblet-shaded flowers up to 8 cm wide, some plants produce multi-flowering stems. Plants grow 45–75 cm tall and bloom late season.
  • Div. 6: Lily-flowered
  • Div. 7: Fringed (Crispa)
  • Div. 8: Viridiflora
  • Div. 9: Rembrandt
  • Div. 10: Parrot
  • Div. 11: Double late
  • Div. 12: Kaufmanniana
  • Div. 13: Fosteriana (Emperor)
  • Div. 14: Griegii
  • Div. 15: Species (Botanical)
  • Div. 16: Multiflowering – not an official division, these tulips belong in the first 15 divisions but are often listed separately because they have multiple blooms per bulb.


They may also be classified by their flowering season:

  • Early flowering: Single Early Tulips, Double Early Tulips, Greigii Tulips, Kaufmanniana Tulips, Fosteriana Tulips, Species Tulips
    Species Tulips
    Species Tulips are different from the hybridized garden tulips, seen in gardens world wide, in that they are less widely grown—and known—than the garden hybrids, and are unlikely to ever outsell or even approach their level of popularity...

  • Mid-season flowering: Darwin Hybrid Tulips, Triumph Tulips, Parrot Tulips
  • Late season flowering: Single Late Tulips, Double Late Tulips, Viridiflora Tulips, Lily-flowering Tulips, Fringed Tulips, Rembrandt Tulips

Selected species

  • Tulipa acuminata (Horned Tulip)
  • Tulipa agenensis (Eyed Tulip)
  • Tulipa aleppensis (Aleppo Tulip)
  • Tulipa armena
  • Tulipa aucheriana
  • Tulipa batalinii
    Tulipa batalinii
    Tulipa batalinii is a species of tulip native to Iran and Turkestan. The plant is about 15 cm in height. It flowers in spring, usually around mid-April.-Cultivation:...

  • Tulipa bakeri
  • Tulipa biflora
  • Tulipa borszczowii
  • Tulipa botschantzevae (Botschantzeva's tulip)
  • Tulipa butkovii
  • Tulipa carinata
  • Tulipa celsiana
  • Tulipa clusiana
    Tulipa clusiana
    The Lady Tulip is a species of tulip. The plant grows to a height of 6 to 12 in . It flowers during the spring season....

    (Lady Tulip)
  • Tulipa cretica
  • Tulipa cypria
  • Tulipa dasystemon
  • Tulipa didieri
  • Tulipa dubia
  • Tulipa edulis
    Tulipa edulis
    Tulipa edulis is a flowering bulb that is native to China, Japan, and Korea. It is edible and some cases can be used medicinally.-External links:***...

  • Tulipa ferganica
  • Tulipa gesneriana
    Tulipa gesneriana
    Tulipa gesneriana L. or "Didier's tulip" is a plant belonging to the family of Liliaceae. This species has uncertain origins, possibly from Asia, and has become naturalised in south-west Europe...

  • Tulipa goulimyi
  • Tulipa greigii
  • Tulipa grengiolensis
  • Tulipa heterophylla
  • Tulipa hoogiana
  • Tulipa humilis
  • Tulipa hungarica
  • Tulipa iliensis
  • Tulipa ingens
  • Tulipa julia
  • Tulipa kaufmanniana (Waterlily Tulip)
  • Tulipa kolpakowskiana
  • Tulipa korolkowii Regel
  • Tulipa kurdica
  • Tulipa kuschkensis
  • Tulipa lanata
  • Tulipa latifolia
  • Tulipa lehmanniana
  • Tulipa linifolia (Bokhara Tulip)
  • Tulipa marjolettii
  • Tulipa mauritania
  • Tulipa micheliana
  • Tulipa mongolica
  • Tulipa montana
  • Tulipa orphanidea (Orange Wild Tulip)
  • Tulipa ostrowskiana
  • Tulipa platystigma
  • Tulipa polychroma
  • Tulipa praecox
  • Tulipa praestans
  • Tulipa primulina
  • Tulipa pulchella
    Tulipa pulchella
    Tulipa pulchella is a dwarf tulip native to Iran and Turkey. It has a bulb 1–2 cm diameter, which produces a flowering stem up to 20 cm tall. The leaves are glaucous-green, 10–15 cm long...

  • Tulipa retroflexa
  • Tulipa rhodopea
  • Tulipa saxatilis
  • Tulipa sharonensis
  • Tulipa splendens
  • Tulipa sprengeri Baker
  • Tulipa stapfii
  • Tulipa subpraestans
  • Tulipa sylvestris (Wild Tulip)
  • Tulipa systola
  • Tulipa taihangshanica
  • Tulipa tarda
    Tulipa tarda
    Tulipa tarda is a perennial growing from a bulb. It is cultivated for its flowers with a yellow center and white tips, blooming in spring.-External links:***...

  • Tulipa tetraphylla
  • Tulipa tschimganica
  • Tulipa tubergeniana
  • Tulipa turkestanica
    Tulipa turkestanica
    Tulipa turkestanica is a species of tulip native to central Asia, notably Iran and Turkestan.It is a herbaceous perennial from a bulb, growing 10 cm to 15 cm tall, with 2–4 glaucous-green leaves up to 15 cm long on each stem...

  • Tulipa undulatifolia
  • Tulipa urumiensis
  • Tulipa urumoffii
  • Tulipa violacea
  • Tulipa whittalli
  • Tulipa zenaidae (Zenaida's tulip)


Further reading

  • Blunt, Wilfrid. Tulipomania
  • Clusius, Carolus. A Treatise on Tulips
  • Dash, Mike. Tulipomania
  • King, Michael. Gardening with Tulips
  • Pavord, Anna. The Tulip
  • Pollan, Michael
    Michael Pollan
    Michael Pollan is an American author, journalist, activist, and professor of journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. A 2006 New York Times book review describes him as a "liberal foodie intellectual."...

    . The Botany of Desire
    The Botany of Desire
    The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World is a 2001 nonfiction book by journalist Michael Pollan. This work explores the nature of domesticated plants from the dual perspective of humans and the plants themselves...


External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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