Tulips are beautiful flowers. The word "tulip" comes from the Ottoman Turkish word for turban. Even though most people associate tulips with Holland, the flowers originally come from the Middle East. The first tulips arrived in Holland in the late 1500s. The tulip started out as a luxury item in Europe. Its wide popularity led to "tulipmania" in Holland - a very small flower bubble in the 1600s. Today in Holland (and all over the world), tulips remain popular. In fact, Keukenhof Garden in Lisse, Netherlands, features thousands of tulips and millions of flowers each spring. It is the world's largest flower garden. This year the gardens open on March 20th and close on May 18th -so plan your trip now! :)
In addition to color, the petal shapes vary. Below is a list of the some of the different varieties of tulips.
- Single tulips - classic shape
- Double tulips - full heads that resemble peonies
- Fringed tulips - edges of the tulip's petals appear to have been finely cut
- Lily-flowered tulips - pointed petals
- Parrot tulips - feathered and scalloped petals
- French tulips - long stems and elegant shape
They continue to grow in water and tend to curve toward the light, so don't be shocked when your flowers stretch to the sun. If you buy closed tulips, you can put them in warm water to encourage the flower to bloom. If the flower has already opened up, use cold water in the vase.
[image from amishah]
Check out this great video about making flower arrangements with tulips. In the video, Kevin Sharkey of Martha Stewart Living suggests pushing a small pin into the stem, right below the head, to stop the tulip from reaching and growing to the sun. And click here for more information on the flower.