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12 Extraordinary Facts About Tulips

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12 Extraordinary Facts About Tulips

Yasmin Wall
Peaches Cream Tulip

Is your garden screaming out for a splash of colour? 

Well, look no further, as we have the answer! 

Envision this. 

Swaying graciously in the gentle wind, an orchestra of bobbing blooms kindly nods at you, inviting you outside. Red, yellow, orange. Petals delicately spiral into one. Forming a canvas of colourful flowerheads, tulips offer a fresh and breathtaking palette within any outdoor space. Held up by a strong, emerald stem, these tantalizing flowers are a noble garden aesthetic. Abstract yet classic, tulips never fail to frame the most beautifully bespoke garden scenes. 

Here at The Oxfordshire Gardener, we will forever be in awe of the tulip. In awe of its aesthetic qualities, elegant structure and its beautiful variations. We have also been fortunate enough to experience the tulip’s ability to bring annual radiance within many of our garden projects. However, most importantly we are inspired by its popularity, history and its fascinating facts. So, we thought we would share some enticing details about our dear tulip, with you. We wanted to exclusively show you the true beauty and charisma behind the tulip, so enjoy! (And get to know our dear friend). 

1)  Three Billion Tulips 

Tulips are an extremely popular variety of flower and the demand for them is exceptionally high. It has been reported by The New York Times that the duration between March-May is the busiest period for the Dutch flower industry, due to events such as Mother’s Day and Easter. The Netherlands are the world’s greatest tulip producer, with evidence suggesting that around three billion tulips are exported from The Netherlands every year! 

Majority of our very own tremendous tulip bulbs are dutch cultivated, such as our breathtaking Peaches & Cream tulip bulbs. 

2) Tulip petals are edible? 

Yes, that’s right, The petals from a tulip really are edible! They have previously been used to garnish certain dishes and cocktail rims. And believe it or not, but tulips can be used within certain meals as a substitute for onions and have also been used to make wine! However the bulbs from these blooms are definitely not edible and their petals are not either if they have been chemically treated. So before you take an adventurous bite, bear those two details in mind! 

3) Tulips were once one of the most expensive flowers 

‘Tulip Mania’ was a period between 1636-1637, that occurred due to the high demand for different coloured tulips. This caused the price of tulips to dramatically increase, and led to a tulip costing between 3,000-4,200 guilders. 

Discover more about the ‘Tulip Mania’ period and the history of tulips in another story. 

4) Different coloured tulips have different meanings 

Throughout history different coloured tulips have been assigned different meanings. For example, Queen Elizabeth I only allowed members of the royal family to wear the colour purple. Therefore, purple tulips are said to resemble grace and refinement. Orange tulips are another example, as they have been known to highlight the spiritual connection between two people. Projecting a display of tangerine petals, our Apricot Foxx Tulip Bulbs   flourish into a romantic orange bloom, perfect for your cutting garden. 

Apricot Tulip Bulb

5) The flower bud of a tulip is almost exactly symmetrical!

Yes you read that correctly! Tulip buds are almost always exactly symmetrical. This is due to their precise oval and “turban-shaped” structure. (Find out below how this fact enabled the tulip to claim its name). 

6) The Tulip’s original home is Central Asia 

First discovered as a wondrous wild flower, tulips were first found and harvested by The Turks in 1000 AD. After this discovery, the sultan instructed that the flowers were to be grown for his own enjoyment, thus catalysing the title ‘tulip’ to be derived from the turkish vocabulary for turban. 

7) Different shapes and sizes

Tulips are perennial plants that can range between a couple of inches to just over 60 centimetres. Normally tulips are found with one flowerhead per stem however some varieties can be found with over 4 flowerheads per stem! 

8) Tulip’s belong to the Lily family

As well as belonging to the Lily family, at this moment in time, there are 150 different species of tulips and there are 3000 variations. 

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9) On Valentine’s Day, Tulips are the second most popular floral gift

As the Rose currently still holds the title of the most gifted flower on Valentine’s Day, our lovely tulips roll in at second place. Red tulips make remarkable gifts, but why not give an arrangement that stands out from the crowd with our Striped Flag Tulips. Engraved with detailed lilac stripes our Striped Flag Tulips are perfect for cutting and creating your very own thoughtful arrangement. 

Striped Tulip Bulb 

10) Tulips can be tricked 

If you are desperate to see your tulip bulb bloom then we have the answer! It has been said that if you store a tulip bulb within a refrigerator for around 12 weeks it will begin to sprout. Then you should plant them into pots and put them back into the fridge. This tricks the bulbs that they have survived the winter and then they will be ready for planting. 

11) Symbolic blooms

Due to their captivating colourings and radiant nature, tulips have been known to resemble the arrival of springtime. They are also an extremely prominent flower within relationships as they have been known throughout history to represent love and have been given as apology gifts. 

12) Strange Streaks

The ‘Tulip Mania’ period and the historic high demand for tulips was mainly caused by tulips possessing unique and vivid streaks that seemed to be engraved on their petals. In the beginning of the twentieth century it was discovered that these streaks were in fact catalysed by a virus called the ‘Tulip Breaking Virus’. 

As we can see, there is a lot more to tulips than meets the eye. Colourful and captivating, tulips have a fascinating past and are still an extremely popular flower to this day, due to their timeless radiance. 

Discover more varieties of vivid tulips today within our beautiful bulb store. 

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