The tulip is a member of the lily family. Tulips grow in the wild from Southern Europe to Central Asia (Himalaya Mountains) .
Tulips were cultivated in Istanbul in 1055. European travellers brought tulips to Europe from Turkey in the mid sixteenth century. From 1634 - 1637, tulips became a sought after commodity during “Tulipmania”. The tulip was the ultimate status symbol. Bulb traders earned the equivalent of $40,000 a month.
If you could not afford the flowers, you commissioned an artist to paint the tulips for you. Because tulips were frequently included in Dutch Golden Age paintings, they have since become associated with the Netherlands, the major producer for world markets.
Almost 4,00 horticultural varieties of tulips have been developed.
Cultivars specializes in selling extra grade tulips. Extra grade tulips have the biggest bulb. The bigger the bulb, the better the bloom quality.
This picture is of a typical Dutch bulb market on the streets of Amsterdam.