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Holland's pride: Tulips

The Netherlands may be known for its tulips but these flowers initially came from somewhere else entirely. Tulips originated in Turkey, and the first bulbs to arrive in the Netherlands were brought there by Carolus Clusius in the 16th century. He planted them in Leiden University's botanical garden (Hortus Botanicus) where he conducted research into the flames and stripes on their petals - patterns that were discovered much later to be caused by a virus. These bulbs then formed the basis for Dutch bulb production and tulip breeding.

During a few years in the Dutch Golden Age (roughly the 17th century) tulips became all the rage: Tulip Mania drove the prices of tulip bulbs sky high. Just one could be worth about the same as a canal-side house in Amsterdam. No wonder they were being stolen from gardens! Although the speculation in tulips finally collapsed, the stage had been set for their enduring popularity.

The Netherlands exports more tulips than any other country. Noviflora also sees them as a must for its own assortment. We offer a wide range of tulips as both cut flowers and forced bulbs in pots. These include pink, orange, purple and white tulips as well as multi-coloured ones and are available in single-flowered, double-flowered, fringed and even lily-flowered varieties.

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