1. Tulips – we call them – take their name from the turbans of Sultans who grew them. Dulband, the Persian word for turban, led to tulbend, the Turkish word for the gauzy muslim fabric. The metaphoric link between the silky wraps and the colorful blossoms was cemented for Westerners when tulbend was Latinized as tulipa. The Latin stuck, determining both the French and English versions that followed (tulipe and tulip respectively). So why are the Dutch (who say tulp, by the way) the ones most associated with the flower?
2. For one thing, the Netherlands has a perfect tulip-growing climate. You don’t hear of true tropical tulips because they thrive in relatively temperate ecosystems, ones which include a good long winter. Since that period of dormancy, followed by a cool spring, is ideal for growing, the Netherlands were ripe with promise for a tulip bloom – that is, once the country even got tulips.
3. Since at least the sixth century, Turks had been cultivating the bulbs, but Europeans did not see them until the 1560s, when an Austrian ambassador touring Constantinople was shown Sultanate gardens full of them. A deal between the Ottoman rulers and the Habsburgs led to the import of, at first, a small number of bulbs, the ownership of which conferred a certain cachet on the nobles and scientific scholars lucky enough to snare them. From Paris to Prague, their initial rarity made them as desirable a commodity as fine jewels.
So that is where our PDI Tulips originate. We at, Plantscapes of New England, receive our tulip flowers and bulbs from Holland and deliver and care for them in your Boston, MA office interiors.