Tulips

tulip flower 267x300 TulipsA tulip is a bulbous plant classified to the genus Tulipa, comprising more than 100 species of ostentatious flowers. The tulip, or LALE (native names in Iran and Turkey), is a flower native to a vast area encompassing parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe.

Tulips are generally associated with The Netherlands. However, commercial cultivation of the flower started during the Ottoman Empire. Special attention has been given to these beautiful flowers in classic as well as modern Persian literature. The tulip was a topic for Persian poets way back in the thirteenth century. Tulip era (or Lale Devri in Turkish) is the term used for the era during which the black Ottoman Empire was wealthiest.

The species native range comprises southern Europe, North Africa, and Asia from Anatolia and Iran in the west to northeast of China. The Pamir and Hindu Kush mountains and the prairielands of Kazakhstan are the axis of variety of the genus.

Numerous species along with many hybrid species are grown in gardens, used as pot plants or as fresh cut flowers. The species include short (4 inch) low-growing plants to tall (27 inch) upright plants, which may even grow in the cold and snowy winter. The flowers are cup shaped and are colorful as well as attractive. The flower comprises three petals and three sepals. Most of the species usually have one flower per stem.

Tulips are native to mountainous areas. They require mild climates with a period of cool dormancy. They prosper in climates with long cool springs and early summers. However, in warmer areas of the world they are usually grown as spring blooming annual plantings.

Classification
According to the flower morphology and plant size, Tulips are classified into fifteen divisions.
•    Div.1: Single early- includes cup shaped single flowers. Flower size = 3 inches (max). Blooming period: Early to mid season. Plant height = 15-45cm

•    Div. 2: Double early- includes fully double flowers; Flower size = 8cm (bowl shaped). Plant height = 30-40cm

•    Div. 3: Triumph- offers single, cup shaped flowers; Flower size = 6cm wide; Plant height = 35-60cm; Blooming period = Mid to late season

•    Div. 4: Darwin Hybrid- offers ovoid shaped single flowers; Flower size = 8cm wide; Plant height= 50-70cm; Blooming period = Mid to late season

•    Div. 5: Single late – offers cup or goblet-shaded flowers; Flower size = up to 8cm wide; Plant height = 45-75cm; Blooming period = late season; Extra features = some plants produce multi-flowering stems.
•    Div. 6: Lily-flowered
•    Div. 7: Fringed (Crispa)
•    Div. 8: Viridiflora
•    Div. 9: Rembrandt
•    Div. 10: Parrot
•    Div. 11: Double late
•    Div. 12: Kaufmanniana
•    Div. 13: Fosteriana (Emperor)
•    Div. 14: Griegii
•    Div. 15: Species (Botanical)
An additional, though unofficial, division is Multiflowering. It includes the same tulips from the first 15 divisions with the distinction of having multiple blooms per bulb.
If tulips are classified by their flowering season, they could be listed as:

Early Flowering Mid-season Flowering Late season flowering
Single Early Tulips Parrot Tulips Single Late Tulips
Double Early Tulips Triumph Tulips Double Late Tulips
Fosteriana Tulips Darwin Hybrid Tulips Lily-flowering Tulips
Kaufmanniana Tulips Fringed Tulips
Greigi Tulips Viridiflora Tulips
Species Tulips Rembrandt Tulips