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10 fascinating facts about tulips

1)    They originate from Turkey NOT Holland
We all think we know where the tulip comes from. Tulips are one of the iconic symbols of Holland and although Holland are the largest producer of tulip bulbs and flowers, the flower actually originated in Turkey, where they grow in the wild. Tulips were brought to Holland, via Great Britain, in the late 1500s.

2) The name means turban
Tulipa is the Latin word for tulip which is derived from Tulipan, meaning “turban”. They are called this because of the shape the tulip flower has.

3)    There was tulip mania in Holland
During the Dutch Golden Age, prices for some tulip bulbs reached unbelievable heights because they were a fashion item and were the most expensive flower of all time. A few years later, the cost came dramatically down, bankrupting some merchants.

4)    There are many different varieties
Normally the standard tulip shape may automatically come to mind but you can also get fringed or double varieties, to name just a few. In fact, there are over 3,000 different varieties of tulip.

5)    They come in a range of colours
These amazing flowers come in a spectrum of colours which is one of the reasons they are so popular. Although the red varieties remain the most popular, they range from white and pale yellow to a deep mahogany and violet.

6)    They are easy to plant in the garden
Tulips are eager to grow and are best planted in the Autumn so that the roots can form before the frost kicks in. Planting them this late in the year helps to wipe out any fungal diseases in the soil which may infect the bulb. If planted deeply, tulips are more likely to flower year after year but less likely to reproduce. Some varieties, including the dwarf tulip, also work well in containers.

7)    They are amazing as cut flowers
They actually continue to grow after they are cut and they do not need cut flower food. They will grow about an extra inch after they have been cut. They will also bend and twist to grow towards the light (even when they are in a vase!). If you keep them well watered and away from heat sources like radiators, they should last around seven days.

8)    They have a lovely meaning
Because they are both elegant and simple, tulips have become symbols for a range of things. These include enduring love between partners or family, royalty, and neglected love. They are also the flower for the 11th wedding anniversary.

9)    You can use tulips in cooking
Not only are they beautiful in your garden, but you can eat them as well! Adding tulip petals can brighten up mundane salads, can decorate deserts and cocktails or you can stuff tulip flower heads for a tasty appetiser. Only use petals that have not been treated with chemicals and stay away from the bulbs which can be poisonous.

10)    They are part of the Lily family
Tulips are related to the equally beautiful lily. They are also distant relatives to onions and garlic.

For more details on tulips and how to plant them please see our Tulip Care page. If you need more help or information on bulbs in general, then please contact us. Boston Bulbs Wholesale is a privately-owned business with over 35 years’ experience of importing only the finest quality horticultural products throughout Europe and from farmers and growers all over the UK. Whether you’re a landscaper, nursery, local authority, wholesaler, retailer, private business or individual gardener, just give us a call on 01775 769 333 or visit for help with flower bulbs, grass seeds and more.

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