As one of the world's most popular flowers, tulips have a rich history and special place in the hearts of many. These unique blooms grow from bulbs, and they are distinct thanks to their cup shape with six petals that almost resemble a star when the flower is in full bloom.
Tulips are so universally loved in large part because they grow around the world. Although famously associated with large meadows in Holland, tulips can be found in Israel, China, Siberia, North Africa and throughout Europe. Their ubiquity means that despite their exceptional beauty, they are reasonably priced and readily available during different seasons.
Tulips have grown naturally for more than a millennium, but it wasn't until the 10th century that they were actively cultivated in Persia, or modern-day Iran. More than 500 years later, the bulbs of these blossoming beauties were given as a gift to European royalty, and they captured the delight of the upper class in countries like Austria and the Netherlands. It wasn't until the middle of the 19th century, however, that tulips were imported to the United States and cultivated under the expertise of Richard Sullivan, a wealthy resident of Massachusetts.
Part of the appeal of tulips has to do with their variety in terms of size, color and even shape. Princess Irene tulips, for example, boast a swirl of orange and purple petals that looks truly stunning when displayed in natural sunlight. Sweetheart tulips, on the other hand, resemble daffodils and have a creamy yellow center with white-tipped petals. Unicum tulips usher in the brightness of spring with a bold announcement thanks to vibrant orange and red blooms that capture attention wherever they're seen. Other fabulous varietals to consider include Fusilier tulips, which have rippled edges, black parrot tulips, which have a deep purple shade, and pink impression tulips, which are a soft, feminine and classic bloom.
Tulips make an unmistakably gorgeous gift any time of year. In a bouquet, a basket or a vase, a colorful display of tulips is something truly special to behold.