To celebrate spring and the annual appearance of the tulip, here are some fun facts about the flower.
• The origin of the tulip bulb is rooted in Turkey.
• Tulips bulbs were first imported to Holland via Turkey in the 16th Century where they became popular subjects in paintings.
• In 1636 tulip bulbs became the fourth leading export after gin, herring and cheese
• The Netherlands are still the world’s major tulip supplier; 3 billion bulbs are produced annually, with most of the bulbs destined for export.
• Tulip Mania occurred in 1637 when tulip bulbs became a luxury item, becoming so expensive the bulbs were used as currency until the market crashed.
• During WW2 some residents of Holland were forced to eat tulip petals because of the serious food shortage.
• Tulips are from the same family as lilies.
• There are around 3,000 varieties of tulips; the most popular colour is red.
• Tulips require a prolonged period of cold before they will flower (tulips don’t work in southern gardens).
• Tulips bloom in April and May for only about one week.
• Rabbits, gophers and squirrels consider tulip bulbs snack food.
Located on forty acres of fertile farmland just east of Agassiz, Tulips in the Valley is a breathtaking seasonal display of bulbs held annually for as long as the tulips are blooming – usually around two weeks. This year Tulips in the Valley opens on April 17th. For more information and to get directions to Tulips in the Valley, follow the link. http://www.tulipsofthevalley.com/
If you are planning a trip to the Netherlands this spring, Keukenhof is where you’ll find the best display of tulips, located a short 30 minute trip from Amsterdam. Here is a YouTube video so you can experience Keukenhof. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwR9UHf7iSA