Tulips – from Turkey with love
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TULIPS AND THEIR TURKISH ORIGIN   

 

     Most people think that beautiful tulips are originally a product of Holland, but it is not correct. Tulips originally come from central Asia and (this is a surprise for many people) from Turkey.

They were actually brought to Holland during the 16th century, from their country of origin – Turkey; and gained instant popularity.

 
     
  Today tulips are a synonym for Holland where they are cultivated in big fields all over the country. Dutch people export their flowers in large numbers all over the world, which is why many people still think that all these plant cultures originally come from Holland. That is not completely true – these plants grow in Holland today, but were brought there from Turkey. Turkey had many flower variations which eventually were introduced to European countries, throughout 16th and 17th century, mainly.

After they were exported to Holland in the 16th century, tulips became most popular flower culture there causing quite a stir. A huge interest in these flowers was described in the literature and entitled “tulipmania” since they became so popular in different parts of Holland. As people wanted more and more of these flower kinds, prices were growing higher and higher, so we can say that tulips were very expensive back in the days, and therefore could be owned by richer people. The year when the price escalated is mentioned in various documents – it was 1637, and the tulip market was large and kicking. Bulbs were sold expensively, while they were still in the ground; and price was set according to their weight.

To give you an example, how expensive these Turkish flowers became in Holland, we will just point out that tulips (some examples) often were sold for the price of an average house. Yes, that’s correct – bulb of tulips could cost more than a house, in Holland. The Dutch government knew that this all became ridiculous and tried to stop the tulip market, but since the demand was growing on daily basis, they couldn’t do anything about it. Of course, it had to end and the frenzy was gone very fast. Suppliers started importing more and more from turkey, the market was covered, demands stopped, and many florists went broke. It may sound silly but at some point “the tulip market” just crashed.

Tulips had a very colourful and interesting role in the history of Turkey. There is a period in the history of this country, literally known as the “Tulip era”, and it lasted from 1718 till 1730. During that period of time, Sultan Ahmed III was leading the country, and during that time Turkey experienced the era of peace and joy.

Tulips were present everywhere, on pictures, in gardens, they became a part of art scene, and also part of Turkish national folklore. Embroidery, textile, carpets and many other things contained pictures of tulips or tulip fields on them, and it became widely recognisable in Turkey.

During these years, Turkey was blossoming, people lived wealthy and happy and progress was happening in many fields, for instance during the “tulip era” Turkey founded the first printing house. This era was finished dramatically, when the Sultan was dethroned, in 1730.

Even the name tulips, comes from Turkish language. In Turkish “tulipa” is derivation of a word “tulblend” and also the word “turban”, and this flower resembles on these two things. Tulips are considered the most beautiful and known as the king of bulbs, for their grace and beauty. Tulips are very colourful and come in an excellent colour palette: they can be white, red, pink, yellow, purple, orange, bi-coloured and even black. One particularly popular breed comes from Manisa, and these tulips are called Anemons.

Tulips are usually purchased in the autumn, and they should be planted as soon as you buy them. During the winter, you can breed them successfully indoor, but then they will need special attention. After tulips bloom you should let the plant grow, ‘till it falls off. In that post blooming phase, the plant stores energy in the bulb, so that it can grow next spring again.

 
 
     
 
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