Tulips are one of the most essential spring flowers in the gardening and floral industry. They’re seen often in flower beds, fields and gardens, as well as in table arrangements and bouquets. In fact, the vibrantly colored blossoms are so symbolic of spring that they’re one of the most popular flowers for spring wedding arrangements!
Tulips are my favorite flower, always have been. I love all the different colors and the unique varieties. Some of our favorite varieties are the frilled and parrots. We want to share some fun & interesting facts about tulips.
1. At this moment there are about 150 species of tulip bulbs with in total 3000 different varieties. The 3000 varieties are naturally occurring and genetically cultivated varieties in the flower industry worldwide. New varieties of tulips are regularly created, but it takes each one at least 20 years to go from the beginning stages of cultivation to your local market.
2. The beautiful flowers are actually related to another popular spring flower: the lily. Tulips are a part of the Liliaceae family, which also contains lilies, onions, garlic and asparagus.
3. Tulips have a wide variety of meanings, with each color symbolizing something different. In general, tulips are said to symbolize love and signal spring’s arrival. Tulips are the symbol for love, passion, perfect lovers and romance. Red tulips represent true love, white tulips say “I’m sorry,” and purple tulips symbolize royalty. Interestingly, a multi-colored bouquet of the blossoms is said to be a compliment of the recipient’s eyes.
4. At one point in history, tulips were the most expensive flower. In fact, in the 1600s the flowers were more valuable than most people’s homes, and cost almost 10 times what an average working-class man earned in a year.
5. Tulips are known for their bold colors and beautiful shape, and most varieties are indeed almost perfectly symmetrical. The blooms have three petals and three sepals, but since the sepals are almost the same size and shape as the petals, tulips appear to have six petals to a bulb. Most tulips have one flower per stem. There are some species that have up to 4 flowers per stem but it is rare to see & find this.
6. Like many other flowers, tulips are edible! The flowers can be used to replace onions in many recipes and are even used to make wine.
7. Tulips originate from the Himalaya area, they were brought to Turkey from there. Around 1560 they were brought from Turkey to the Netherlands. The Netherlands are the largest producer and exporter of tulips worldwide, growing and exporting nearly three billlion bulbs each year.
8. Tulips’ shapes are what originally gave them their name. The name originated from the Persian word “delband,” meaning turban. Tulips are available in many different colors. The blue tulip is however only available by paining or Photoshop.
9. During the 1600s when tulips were extremely valuable they caused what’s now known as “Tulip Mania.” People in the Netherlands traded tulips for their value, and the flowers actually ended up causing what some say is the first economic crash, likely due to the bubonic plague. During the tulip mania one bulb was worth just as much as a canal house in Amsterdam.
10. Tulips are known for their bright and sunny colors, and they have actually been cultivated in every color except for classic blue (slight blue tulips do exist, but they have a purplish tint). One of the most interesting colors of a tulip variety is the deep purple of the Queen of the Night tulip. The flower is so dark it appears black in some lights and is quickly gaining popularity for its unique hue.
11. Tulips are clearly an intriguing flower with a rich history. Tulips still grow or extend towards light after they are cut and continue to bloom 3-7 days in a vase. They also have varieties in which the edges look like a parrot or are cut over and over again. They are simply amazing!
12. For Valentine’s Day, tulips are the second most popular flower to send (after the all time favorite roses).
13. Tulip color breaking: when you look at tulips and see a break in their color or a variegated look this is caused by a virus. The virus starts in the bulbs and is not visible. It is a strain of virus that at one point took out the tulip crops in history.
14. Tulips are phototropic, meaning they grow towards the light. If you have a vase of tulips and they are pointing down- just wait! They will grow up towards a sky window.
These are just 14 facts about tulips- there are so many more.
We love tulips and right now are putting them in all our bouquets going out. March will be delivered right around the 1st day of Spring- the perfect way to brighten someone’s day!
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