Tulips enjoy massive popularity across the globe. Like most other commodities it can be tough to understand why these flowers are so popular, and why they can fetch such high prices in a world economy.
Their previous rarity led to a tulip craze among the purchasing elite through a large portion of Europe. Here’s how it all began, and how tulips came to rise to fame:
The story of the popularity of tulips begins in the 17th century in the Netherlands. While the tulip had gained subtle popularity among the Persians and Ottomans before this, the Enlightenment period among the Dutch saw tulip fame rise to unbelievable heights.
As Dutch traders and merchants gained wealth from traveling to the East Indies, they began to praise their success by building giant estates surrounded by flowers. Among these large flowerbeds were a new flower called the tulip, which had never before been witnessed by the general population.
Unlike regular blossoms, the tulip provided colors that dazzled the eye. Tulip traders and speculators latched onto this idea by seeking out tulip lovers to trade with for a massively large profit. And the traders were aided by one phenomenon that changed history—one tulip blossom takes seven year to grow from a single seed. This caused the number of people looking to purchase tulips to grow rampantly, while the supply of tulip bulbs and blossoms stayed the same. As with any other commodity, the price of tulips began to skyrocket.
Once this happened, the bulbs of rare tulips began to be sold for unbelievable sums, with some occasionally fetching a price equal to the yearly salary of a single merchant.
This tulip mania didn’t last forever, and actually came to a crash in a quite spectacular fashion. After the initial bubble began, around the late 1630s, an individual at a routine tulip auction simply failed to show up and pay the requested sum for the supply. This sparked a downturn as panic began to spread across the country. After this event the price of tulips came to an eventual low, with some going for less than one percent of their previous price.
Tulips in the USA
With this history the question still remains; why are tulips so popular in the US?
Well for one, like any other such commodity, their rarity makes them a hot topic for people who can boast about the possession of such a beautiful living thing.
Additionally, their aesthetic beauty is almost unmatched by any other flower that can grow in beds in the United States. Unlike many other flowers, tulips come in red, yellow, cream, white, orange, violet, and even green, adding a fantastic array into any flowerbed.
Beauty in the Garden
While many flowers may provide beauty and wonder, tulips generally outshine the rest with their true magnificent colors. And looking into the history of these flowers, it is easy to see how they rose to fame, and why they are so popular to this day.
Ian Windermere is a freelance writer based in Santa Fe, New Mexico who enjoys writing articles on pleasant smelling flowers, charming aromas, room fragrance, pungent incense, bizarre odors and other things related to scent.