Tulips are so beautiful that one bulb was once worth one hundred times the annual wage of many of Holland’s residents. At the height of Tulip Mania in the mid-1600s, these highly coveted bulbs were exchanged for large quantities of food and livestock. Once only available to the wealthiest people, we can now enjoy affordable tulips year round thanks to modern growing techniques.
Having already been cultivated in Asia for nearly one thousand years, tulips made their way to Europe via Turkey in the sixteenth century. Prized for their symmetry and their wide variety of colors, tulips were soon hybridized to develop a multicolored or broken pattern that remains popular to this day.
Grown in nearly every color of the rainbow, tulips are abundantly available in late winter and throughout the spring. They are a brilliant burst of color after a long dormant season. Tulips are often given as a gift of love with the meanings of each color being similar to that of roses. Red represents passion while white stands for forgiveness. Yellow brings cheerful sentiments and orange evokes happiness. Tulips are also considered the traditional flower for the eleventh wedding anniversary.
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If you wish to convey to someone that they have beautiful eyes, choose a striped or parrot tulip. Originally caused by a virus that damaged the tulip bulb, flowers are now bred to display the popular multicolor motif with no harm to the bulb.
Because tulips bloom in the spring in nature, many people associate them with Easter. A gift of blooming tulip bulbs can represent rebirth and longevity. This is an especially meaningful gift, as the bulbs can rebloom for years when planted outdoors. Tulips are also prized in Islamic culture and are considered to be a holy symbol. For the Muslim people, tulips have long been considered a representation of paradise on Earth.
In some Asian cultures, a potted plant or potted bulbs are considered to represent a binding or constraint, and are thus not well suited to be given as gifts. However, cut flowers are desirable and appropriate instead.
While tulips are a quintessential springtime gift, they are now available year round. Because of their elegant form and graceful beauty, tulips make a treasured gift for any occasion. A bunch of tulips can convey many different messages, all of which show how much you care.