1304 facts about tulips
Photo: Insider.

Tulips are amongst the most popular of bulbs, valued for their brilliant flower colours and shapes. Plant in autumn for a show of spring flowers. Here are the top 13 amazing facts about tulips you probably never know.

#1. There are over 150 species of tulips, with over 3,000 naturally occurring and genetically cultivated varieties. New varieties are still being created, but it takes at least 20 years of cultivation before you will find them in your local florist’s shop.

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Photo: Tulips.com

#2. Tulips are native to central Asia. It wasn’t until 1594 that the first tulip ‘officially’ bloomed in Holland after the Flemish botanist, Carolus Clusius, director of Leiden University’s new Hortus Botanicus, planted some of his own tulip bulbs, as cited by International Connect.

#3. The name ‘Tulip’ originated from the Persian word ‘delband’ meaning turban, given the flowers turban shape. Another reason for its association with Turkey is because locals would often decorate their turbans with tulip stems.

#4. Tulips are related to another popular spring flower, the lily. They are part of the Liliaceae family, as are lilies, onions, garlic and asparagus (another Dutch favourite).

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Photo: White Flower Farm.

#5. At one point in history, tulips were the most expensive flower in the world. Between 1634 and 1637 it is said tulips cost almost 10 times what an average working-class man earned in a year; this time period was known as “Tulip Mania”.

#6. One of the most interesting colours of a tulip variety is the deep purple of the Queen of the Night tulip, according to Just Fun Facts.

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Photo: Amazon.

#7. Currently, tulips are the third most popular flower in the world, with roses coming in first and chrysanthemums coming in second. On Valentine’s Day, the tulip is the second most gifted flower (after of course the rose).

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Photo: Freepik.

#8. Tulips will only bloom naturally for 3-7 days in spring. If you trim the stems of your freshly cut tulips, they will continue to grow in your vase for at least another inch.

#9. Most tulips have one flower per stem. However, there are some species that have up to 4 flowers per stem.

#10. The tulip is the national flower or Turkey and Afghanistan.

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Photo: Destinations Expert.

#11. Tulips have a wide variety of meanings, with each colour symbolizing something different. In general, tulips are said to symbolize love and signal spring’s arrival. Red tulips represent true love, white tulips say “I’m sorry,” and purple tulips symbolize royalty.

#12. Tulips are edible! During World War II, tulips were often eaten by those who couldn’t afford other foods. The flowers can be used to replace onions in many recipes, and they can even be made into wine.

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Photo: Montreal Times.

#13. Tulips are usually sweetly scented and, depending on the variety, they can grow from a few inches to over two feet tall. They are also available in every colour of the rainbow with the exception that there are no pure blue varieties.

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