This morning my good lady and I went to do the weekly shop. It’s a tiresome and mundane business but it was livened up when we saw some beautiful, colourful flowers which we added to our basket. What were they? Tulips.
Tulips are synonymous with spring and decorate many a garden, flowerbed and wedding bouquet. Here are some fascinating facts you may not know about possibly the most favoured flower:
- You’ve probably heard the song Tulips from Amsterdam. It’s appropriately named, as the Netherlands produces more tulips than any other country – around 3 billion per year
- Tulips are associated not only with the Netherlands. They are the national flower of both Afghanistan and Turkey
- The name ‘tulip’ comes to us from Turkey. It is a variation of the Turkish word ‘tulbent’ which means ‘turban’. It’s probably from the flower’s resemblance to this eastern headwear
- There are around 150 different species of tulip, which come in over 3,000 distinct varieties. Their flowers can be almost any colour – except blue
- During the 17th Century tulips were so sought after that a flower would cost about the same as a house! This period is known as ‘Tulip Mania’
- Tulips are related to another ornamental flower, the lily. They’re also in the same family as asparagus, garlic and onions
- During World War II, the shortage of food meant that tulip petals were used as a substitute for onions in some recipes. Though they have a similar taste to onions, some parts of the tulip are poisonous, so I don’t recommend trying this!
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit about the tulip. If you like flowers then you might be interested in our gardening quizzes. There are 40 in total which are all free-to-play. Why not give them a try and see how green your fingers are?