tulip

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tulip

[Pers.,=turban], any plant of the large genus Tulipa, hardy, bulbous-rooted members of the family Liliaceae (lilylily,
common name for the Liliaceae, a plant family numbering several thousand species of as many as 300 genera, widely distributed over the earth and particularly abundant in warm temperate and tropical regions.
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 family), indigenous to north temperate regions of the Old World from the Mediterranean to Japan and growing most abundantly on the steppes of Central Asia. Cultivated tulips, popular as garden and cut flowers and as potted plants, are chiefly varieties of T. gesneriana. They have deep, cup-shaped blossoms of various rich colors. Tulips having a peculiar color flecking or striping known as "breaking" were formerly very popular and were believed to be different varieties but now are thought to be the result of a virus disease carried by aphids. Many species tulips, typically with smaller, more open flowers, are also available horticulturally.

Tulip seeds are said to have been introduced into Europe in 1554 from Turkey, where they were possibly first cultivated. In the Netherlands in the 17th cent. the wild speculation on tulip bulbs became known as tulipomania: single bulbs sometimes brought several thousand dollars until the government was forced to interfere. Dumas told the story in his Black Tulip. The Netherlands is still the most important center of tulip culture. The tulip was so commonly used in the designs of the early Pennsylvania Dutch potters that their ware is often called tulip ware. Holland, Mich., a center of tulip growing in the United States, holds an annual tulip festival.

Tulips are classified in the division MagnoliophytaMagnoliophyta
, division of the plant kingdom consisting of those organisms commonly called the flowering plants, or angiosperms. The angiosperms have leaves, stems, and roots, and vascular, or conducting, tissue (xylem and phloem).
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, class Liliopsida, order Liliales, family Liliaceae.

Bibliography

See bulletins of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; M. Dash, Tulipomania (2000).

tulip

[′tü·ləp]
(botany)
Any of various plants with showy flowers constituting the genus Tulipa in the family Liliaceae; characterized by coated bulbs, lanceolate leaves, and a single flower with six equal perianth segments and six stamens.

tulip

of Netherlands. [Flower Symbolism: WB, 7: 264]

tulip

1. any spring-blooming liliaceous plant of the temperate Eurasian genus Tulipa, having tapering bulbs, long broad pointed leaves, and single showy bell-shaped flowers
2. the flower or bulb of any of these plants