Tulip(Tulipa), is a genus of single seed-lobe plants from the Lilium family (Liliaceae). Originally, the flower  comes from Hungary.  By conquests of Süleyman I this area came under Ottoman influence.  This was the reason that the flower ended up in Turkey.

Later it was spotted in Turkey itself, where it became a popular spring flower, for the Turks a symbol of life and fertility.  In 1562 the tulip entered Europe via Antwerp.  Around 1593, the first flowers turned up in the Netherlands.  The first documented specimen were planted by Carolus Clusius in the Botanical garden of Leiden, founded and lead by him since 1593.  The forest tulip (Tulipa sylvestris) is the only specimen to be found as wild plants and has become established since the 19th century.

Ottoman sultans wore a tulip on their turban as a symbol. The name tulip stems from the Persian word ‘tulipan’ which means turban.

Cultivated tulips

Tulips cannot be cultivated in a warm climate because they need colds nights and a cold winter to be able to grow.

Tulip bulbs are usually planted in October and November.  The period of flowering  runs from mid April till the end of May.  Apart from the cultivated tulip one also knows the ‘botanical tulip’, which is very well suitable for the garden, because  the bulbs can stay in the ground and will come out again the next year.

Cultivating new bulbs happens by planting tulip bulbs in the autumn (October and November). The buds between the tunics of the bulb grow out to new bulbs where the old bulb is used for nutrition.  The bud next to the grow point …

The Tulip in the Netherlands

The Netherlands are famous for their cultivated tulips and is one of the most dominating countries in export of tulips and tulip bulbs. Traditionally, in spring, the Keukenhof in Lisse organises an exhibition of millions of tulips.  This is visited very well by mainly tourists...     

Common name: Tulip

Of all the bulbous plants, the tulip is without a doubt the most popular. Tulips are grown on an extremely large scale, especially in the Netherlands where their history goes back to the end of the sixteenth century. That was when the first tulips were noticed growing in the vicinity of Leiden. Now, more than 400 years later, billions of tulips are being cultivated, the vast majority of them being exported from Holland. This goes not only for dry bulb sales but also for the cut flowers produced from the tulip bulbs. These cut flowers, available year-round in principle, are most in demand from November to May. The 'garden tulips' are the result of hybridization in which the species Tulipa gesneriana played an important role. Now there are more than 3,000 cultivated varieties registered, more being added each year to replace older varieties.

Tulip FieldTulips


In 1996, the Royal General Bulbgrowers Association of the Netherlands adopted the following classification system for the different species and cultivars of tulips:

Single early tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, mainly short-stemmed and early-flowering.

Double early tulips:
Double-flowered cultivars, mainly short-stemmed and early-flowering.

Triumph tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, stem of medium height, flowering in mid-season. Originally the result of hybridization between cultivars of the Single early group and the Single late group.

Single late tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, mainly long-stemmed and late-flowering. This group includes such tulips as those from the former Darwin and Cottage groups.

Darwin hybrid tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, long-stemmed, flowering in mid-season. Originally the result of hybridization between cultivars of the Darwin group with Tulipa fosteriana, and the result of hybridization between other cultivars and botanical tulips have habits similar to that of the T. fosteriana, but which lack the other characteristics of the wild species.

Lily-flowered tulips:
Single-flowered cultivar, flowering mid-season or late, displaying flowers with pointed, curled-back petals. Stem length varies.

Parrot tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars with fringed, curled and twisted petals. Mainly late-flowering. Stem of variable length. - Double late (Peony-flowered) tulips: Double-flowered cultivars which flower late. Mainly long-stemmed.

Rembrandt tulips:
Cultivars with broken flower colors: striped or marked with brown, bronze, black, red, pink or purple, on a red, white or yellow background. Cause of markings is a virus infection. Long-stemmed. (Not commercially available; displayed only in historical collections).

Multiflowered tulips

Fringed tulips:
Single-flowered cultivars, petals edged with crystalline fringes, flowering mid-season or late. Stem of variable length.

Kaufmanniana (botanical) tulips:
Tulipa kaufmanniana, has cultivars, subspecies, varieties and hybrids, all of which resemble T. kaufmanniana. Very early-flowering, sometimes displaying mottled foliage. This has a flower with a multicolored base that opens completely. Exterior usually has a bright carmine blush. Height up to 8 inches (20 cm.).

Fosteriana (botanical) tulips:
Tulipa fosteriana has cultivars, subspecies, varieties and hybrids, all of which resemble T. fosteriana. Early-flowering, very broad leaves which can be green or gray-green, sometimes mottled or striped. Stem medium to long. Large elongated flower, base variable.

Greigii (botanical) tulips:
Tulipa greigii includes its cultivars, subspecies, varieties and hybrids, all of which resemble T. greigii. Usually mottled or striped foliage, flowering later than those in the Kaufmanniana group. Leaves usually spread out and bend down toward the ground. Flower shape variable.  Tulips are by far one of America’s favorite imported flowers from Holland. They come in a rainbow of colors, shapes, sizes and with a wide range of blooming seasons. If you plan ahead properly, you can have a garden full of blooming tulips from March all the way into May.

Although Holland is most famous for its tulips, the flowers actually originated in the middle east and there aren’t any tulips that are native to Holland. The name tulip (tulipa) is derived from a Persian word meaning turban.

There are approximately 100 naturally occurring varieties or types of tulips with thousands of hybrid variations. Tulips are probably the most recognizable of all the spring flowering bulbs. They have six petals. To be more accurate tulips have three inner petals and three outer sepals that resemble petals. They flower on a long straight stem with large floppy leaves. You can find tulips in virtually every color under the sun except for blue.

Tulip bulbs should be planted in the fall for a spring bloom. If you live in a warm climate they should be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks prior to planting outdoors, and then planted in the garden as late into the fall as possible.

Tulips love a sunny location but the ideal location would be to plant them where they will receive plenty of morning sun, with a bit of afternoon shade, to help keep them blooming longer.

Tulip bulbs must be planted fairly deep. Depending on the variety you are planting, they could be planted anywhere from 6 inches down to about 9 inches with three to six inches of space between them. Check your bulb package for the correct planting depth for your particular tulips.

All tulips look best when planted en mass, the more the better. Before choosing a location for your tulips, remember they will need to be left alone to die back after they have bloomed. You can plant tulips amongst other perennials to hide the declining foliage.

Full-grown tulips will reach varying heights that reach from 8 to 28 inches tall depending on type and variety.

Fertilize your tulips every year when the foliage begins to appear in the spring.

Tulips should be watered thoroughly anytime rainfall is less than 1 inch per week during their growing season. Using a top layer of mulch will help to keep your tulip bulbs moist while maintaining a cooler temperature and preventing weeds.

When your tulip flowers are gone, be sure to remove whatever is left behind completely away with a sharp pair of pruning shears. Leave the rest of the foliage intact. Cutting the flowers away will prevent the formation of seed which can weaken your bulbs and prevent them from returning the following year. The declining foliage provides nourishment to the bulb which is necessary for your future tulips good looks and health.

An interesting fact to know about tulips is that the striped tulips, the ones with multicolored streaks were brought about back in the early 1600′s and was actually the result of a disease called the Mosaic virus.      


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