There’s just something about the elegant shape of the tulip – long stem standing tall, topped by a cup-shaped flower – that pleases the eye, and has made tulips immediately recognizable as well as one of the world’s most popular and best-loved flowers. The good news for tulip fans everywhere is that this flower is almost always appropriate; it’s a sure-fire success, whatever the occasion, and with a careful choice of color you’ll be sure to send just the right message.
Native to the mountainous, yet temperate, areas of Turkey and Persia, cultivation of the tulip began during the Ottoman Empire, where it was a sign of plenty and indulgence (indeed, the height of the Ottoman Empire is called the Tulip Era.) It is thought the the tulip was introduced to Europe in the middle of the 16th Century, and it didn’t take too long before its popularity blossomed (sorry!) Tulips became so highly sought-after that for a while (a period of “irrational exuberance” called Tulip Mania, between 1634 and 1637) they were used as a form of currency. Cultivation became centered in the Netherlands, and even today, many cultivated forms are known as Dutch Tulips.
So what do tulip colors symbolize?
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- Red tulips represent a declaration of love that is true, perfect and undying. You can’t go wrong giving these to your most special loved one, at any time of the year.
- Purple tulips symbolize royalty, mystery and passion.
- The meaning of yellow tulips has changed over the years. They used to be a symbol of hopeless love, but have become now a simple and delightful way of saying “there’s sunshine in your smile.” You can give a gift of yellow tulips to anyone without fear; they’re a wonderful compliment, showing cheerful thoughts and a sunny disposition.
- White tulips express forgiveness, and claim worthiness, so if you’ve got reason to forgive someone or to discretely ask that they take your attentions seriously, white is the color you need.
- Variegated tulips have come to mean “you have beautiful eyes”, with some extending the meaning to “you have a beautiful soul.” A lovely way to pay someone a heart-felt compliment would be to present them with a bouquet of variegated tulips.
Whatever the occasion, consider tulips as a gift. They’re sure to enchant and delight, and with a careful selection of color you’ll raise them from being a thoughtful and well-received gift to a symbol of your heart-felt message.
Our recommended online florist sells many beautiful bouquets that feature of tulips. I really like these bold and bright tulips, in primary colors. With same day delivery in the US and Canada, you can order them before noon and be enjoying them by dinner time.