Tulips in Macro Mode
Ever since I lived in Malmo, Sweden when a young woman, I have loved tulips...fresh cut tulips from Holland were sold in the kiosks I'd pass on my walks to and from work and I always brightened my apartment with them. To this day, tulips always bring back such wonderful memoriies to me, of youth, color, love and adventure!
INFORMATION ON THE TULIP:
Tulipa commonly called Tulip is a genus of about 100 species of bulbous flowering plants in the family Liliaceae. The native range of the species include southern Europe, north Africa, and Asia from Anatolia and Iran in the east to northeast of China. The centre of diversity of the genus is in the Pamir and Hindu Kush mountains and the steppes of Kazakhstan. A number of species and many hybrid cultivars are grown in gardens, used as pot plants or as fresh cut flowers.
The species are perennials from bulbs, the tunicate bulbs are often produced on the ends of stolons and covered with glabrous to variously hairy papery coverings. The species include short low growing plants to tall upright plants, growing from 10 to 70 centimeters (4–27 in) tall. Plants with typically 2 to 6 leaves, with some species having up to 12 leaves. The cauline foliage is strap-shaped, waxy-coated, usually light to medium green and alternately arranged. The blades are somewhat fleshy and linear to oblong in shape.
Although tulips are associated with Holland, both the flower and its name originated in the Ottoman Empire. The tulip is actually not a Dutch flower as many people tend to believe. The tulip, or "Lale" (a Persian word) as it is called in Turkey, is a flower indigenous to Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and other parts of Central Asia. A Dutch ambassador in Turkey in the 16th century, who was also a great floral enthusiast, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, got their very names because of their Persian origins. Tulips were brought to Europe in the 16th century; the word tulip, which earlier in English appeared in such forms as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan or by way of Modern Latin tulīpa, from Ottoman Turkish tülbend, "muslin, gauze." (The English word turban, first recorded in English in the 16th century, can also be traced to Ottoman Turkish tülbend.) The Turkish word for gauze, with which turbans can be wrapped, seems to have been used for the flower because a fully opened tulip was thought to resemble a turban.
Tulips originate from mountainous areas with temperate climates and need a period of cool dormancy. They do best in climates with long cool springs and early summers, but they are often grown as spring blooming annual plantings in warmer areas of the world. The bulbs are typically planted in late summer and fall, normally from 10 to 20 cm (4 to 8 in.) deep, depending of the type planted, in well draining soils. In parts of the world that do not have long cool springs and early summers, the bulbs are often planted up to 12 inches deep, this provides some protection from the heat of summer and tends to force the plants to regenerate one large bulb each year instead of many smaller non blooming ones. This can extend the usefulness of the plants in warmer areas a few years but not stave off the degradation in bulb size and eventual death of the plants.