Tuesday 15 November 2016

Tulip, That's Me!

Don’t mistake me for being ungrateful.  I’m not Dutch nor am I from Holland*.   My origins was faraway in Central Asia – around the Black Sea, Crimea and Northern Steppes of the Caucasus.  These lands were part of the Ottoman Empire then.  Yes, the Turks!  Those were grand days, especially during the time of Suleiman the Magnificent, I was celebrated, courted and became a symbol of wealth & power.  Today I am the national flower of Turkey – what more can a flower ask!  Pssst…I am also very famous at Holland, since late 16th century, and today, droves of people flock to Keukenhof Gardens just to pay me homage!

Let’s talk about now.  My current appearance is not exactly the same as my time during the Ottoman Empire days.  I have been told countless times that I look more beautiful now!  So, here’s the secret…

About me
I was a free spirit - wild and carefree.  No worries about being beautiful.  Ever since I became very popular in Holland back in the 16th century, admirers constantly demand to see a more beautiful me.  So hybridisers worked very hard to do that.  Now there’s so many versions of gorgeous me!  Yes I’m a hybrid, no more the wild tulip.  It doesn’t matter – at least I changed & improved with time!  

Common name :Tulip
Botanical name: Tulipa
Group                 :Bulbous perennial
Flowering time: Usually March to May
Planting time   : October-November
Height               : Varies, from 15cm to 75cm; spread: 15cm
Aspect               : Full sun
Hardiness        : Fully hardy
Difficulty          : Easy

The Hybridisers
What is a hybrid flower?  It’s basically the offspring of two species bred by human manipulation.  This human, aka hybridiser, will manually pollinate the flower to achieve specific results. This will result in flowers bred for certain colours or other desired characteristics.

Humans have their personal groomers or stylists, while flowers have hybridizers to make us look good.  That’s my secret for looking good!  Humans or flowers, don’t we want to look gorgeous?

The official name of the country is the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Holland actually only means the two provinces of Noord-Holland and Zuid-Holland. However, the name Holland is often used when all of the Netherlands is meant.

** Keukenhof Gardens
A park of more than 7 million flower bulbs that are planted annually. The gardens & four pavilions show a collection of: tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and many other flowers. 

Tulips Videos:

Shared by Azni Zainal Abidin
Guest Blogger

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