Beginners guide to growing and care of Tulips
Tulips are famous for their unmatched brilliance and attractive colours. The flamboyant tulips not only bring a splendid show to the garden but also have a great economic value. They occupy a prominent position among top ten cut flowers of the world. Today Holland is the primary source of tulip production in the world. Tulips grow well in temperate regions but do not grow well in the plains. The term 'Tulip' is derived from a Turkish word - Tulbend or 'Turban', which this flower resembles. In the Genus tulipa, there are some 100 bulbous species, but there are about 4000 recognised cultivars of varying heights (10 cm to 1 m) and colour.
Genus: Tulipa L.
Tulips have originated from South-East Europe and Central Asia. They were introduced in N.Europe from 1554 onwards. In England earlier days ‘Broken Tulips’( Known to be an expression of virus infection) were highly prized and bought as speculation at extremely high prices, leading to the "tulipomania" of 1636. They crashed dramatically in the following year causing heavy losses to speculators.
Tulip bulbs are large with rich brown skin. Leaves are broad and linear. Flowers of Tulip are erect, have six petals in two whorls and are basically cup shaped. Shapes of the flowers vary widely e.g. egg-shaped, shapes like turbans or widely open flowers. Petals of some flowers are frilled/ fringed. Usually a plant bears one flowers to a stem, yet few species are multiflowered.
The colours of Tulips are vivid, e.g. White, Near Black, Soft Pink, Lilac, Purple, Pale-Yellow, Green Tinged or Flaming Scarlet. They can be striped, shaded, uni-coloured or bicoloured. ‘Broken colours’ i.e. irregular splashes of colours are due to virus infections.
Tulips are excellent cut flowers. A few cultivars are fragrant. They create a marvelous impact when planted in formal or informal beds, rock gardens, between paving stones, roses or shrubs, beside walls, fences or other outdoor containers.