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Floriography Friday: Tulips

Tulip: Perfect Love

When people think tulips they often think of the Netherlands. No surprise there. The images of Holland's tulip fields are hard to forget. But interestingly enough, tulips did not originate in those western farmlands of Europe.

Photo via

Tulips are actually native to central Asia, close to the Himalayas, but they became popular souvenirs to grow among royalty and wealthy lords of Turkey. Istanbul in particular. In fact, the name tulip stems from a relation to the word "turban", as it both was shaped like a turban and they would sometimes wear cut tulips in their turbans.

Wealthy Europeans encountered these uniquely shaped flowers in Turkey, and went crazy for them. Particularly the Dutch. So those who could afford them began to have tulip bulbs brought over to Holland and thus began Tulipmania. Tulipmania is a legitimate period of history where the tulip was so popular and so desired that the price of tulip bulbs straight-up crashed the economy of the Netherlands.

So what was once a flower of royalty became a flower of the people. Netherlands may not have introduced the tulip to the world, but through its mass production of the flower it certainly earned the right to call the tulip its national flower.

Photo via

If you'd like to watch a fun video on the history of the tulip, the Tulip Museum of Amsterdam has shared this video.

Besides the standard tulip, as seen above in the windmill picture, you have...

The fringe tulip.

Photo via Seattle Wholesale Growers

The lily-flowering tulip.

Photo via Flirty Fleurs

The double tulip, or peony-tulip, with two layers of petals.

Photo via Flirty Fleurs

The parrot tulip.

Photo via Seattle Wholesale Growers

I don't know anyone who doesn't like tulips. There are enough varieties, colors and shapes to suit everyone's taste. They don't put off too strong of a scent to upset anyone with a sensitive nose and they last quite a long time in a vase if you keep their water clean.

Now is the time to enjoy these fancier varieties of tulips as they are in full swing at the markets and shops right now-- aka, best pricing of the year. So be sure to order some from your local designer or shop so you can enjoy these beauties in person.

Which shape and color is your favorite?

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