Scientific name: Tulipa species
Family: Liliaceae (Lily)
Common name: Tulip species
Photos and text by Janice Tucker
The Tulip – a much-anticipated harbinger of spring – is one of the most fascinating flowers in the world. There is nothing ordinary about this plant and the following paragraphs do not even begin to scratch the surface of its influence on history, its beauty and its charm. On February 21, the Santa Fe Botanical Garden’s “Desire” lecture of its 2012 “Passionate Vision: Pleasure, Desire, Mystery and Power” series will feature “Tulip – The Flower that Drove Men Mad”. Presenter Bonnie Joseph will draw you into the rich history and magic of this enchanting plant.
The tulip often invokes thoughts of The Netherlands, and indeed the Dutch deserve credit for much of its global popularity and interesting history. However, it is not indigenous to that country. The tulip is native to a vast area that includes the arid climates of Africa, Asia and Europe. The commercialization of the tulip began in the Ottoman Empire and is the official flower of Iran (Persia). Richard S. Fay, a wealthy landowner, is credited with growing the first tulips in the United States on his estate in Lynn, Massachusetts from 1847 to 1865.