Tulips are the most attractive flowers belonging to family Liliaceae and genus Tulipa and native to southern Europe, North Africa, Iran, Israel and North West of China. The bulbs were originated in Asia and introduced to Netherlands in 16th centuries. These flowers occupy an important position in our lives with their enchanting beauty with variety of colors. A wide range of flowers are seen and it is known that about 109 species and about 3000 cultivated varieties are available now due to hybridization. They bloom in spring. The plants grow to a height from 4-28 inches and perennial and annual varieties are available. The plants are adapted to temperate climates grown in mountainous regions. Tulips are cultivated on commercial lines by several countries although Netherlands is a prominent country for cultivation and export of the flowers. Tulips are a perfect choice to express love towards anybody. In Persia offering a red tulip signify love the black center of the flower represents the lover’s heart. Yellow Tulips considered expressing hopeless love and white colored flowers to express forgiveness.
Tulips are said to be the symbol of Netherlands like the wooden shoes and the wind mills. It is grown as a commercial crop and exported to several countries and as such they are considered as a symbol of that country.
Varieties of Tulips:
There are several varieties of Tulips and some of them are given below.
Tulipa Tarda: Plant that gives yellow flowers with white tips
Tulipa infolia: Gives bright red flowers
Tulipa Polychroma: Fragrant flowers with white colour with yellow in the center.
Tulipa Crusiana: Beautiful white and red flowers. In addition there are several varieties of plants to choose.
Interestingly the flowers close at night and on cloudy days and open when bright sunlight comes.
Cultivation of Tulips:
The plant can be grown by bulbs, seeds, small plants grown from the sides of the parent plants and by tissue culture method. Several varieties have been evolved by hybridization. The bulbs are planted in late summer in well drained soils in 4-12 inches deep depending on the climatic conditions. Tulips grown from the seeds take a longer time of about 5-8 years to flower.
Export of Tulips:
Billions of Tulips are being exported from Holland to different countries. Not only cut flowers but also bulbs for cultivating the Tulip plants are also exported. New varieties like lily, gladioli, tulip and iris are exported from Holland. Bulbs for cultivation are also exported after thorough testing for quality.
Photography: Kaushik Chitrapu
More Information of Tulip Festival at TulipFestival.org