Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Tulip (Tulipa), a genus of bulbous liliaceous p1ants, mostly natives of Central Asia, the Levant, and the Mediterranean area. They have triennial bulbs and (except in one Asiatic species) solitary flowers, The six perianth-segments are similar, but in two whorls; the six stamens free, with erect anthers; and the trilobed stigma sessile upon the ovary, which forms a many-seeded capsule. T. suareolens of the Caspian is the parent stock of the early-flowering "Van Thol" tulips; T. Gesneriana of Armenia, that of most of the later-flowering kinds, T. silvestris, a form with narrow leaves, and fragrant, pendulous yellow flowers, found apparently wild in English chalk-pits, may be a reversion-form of the latter. In cultivation tulips hybridise and vary freely, so that many hundreds of varieties exist. Over 600 acres of tulips are grown annually in Holland, chiefly near Haarlem, the exports of bulbs and flowers reaching £110,000 per annum. In the 17th century tulip bulbs became the excuse for a remarkable gambling craze known as the tulipomania, when 4,000 florins was paid for a single bulb; scrip was issued for shares in bulbs of supposed great value, and fortunes changed hands over specimens which were sometimes not seen by the buyer or were even non-existent.