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Bouquet of Tulips: Legends and Meaning

Perhaps there is no other flower that has the same number of species as tulip. Botanists distinguish more than 110 species of tulips, including exquisite lily-flowering tulips and proud Triumph tulips, fringed and unusual parrot hybrids, lush terry and little Darwin hybrids. Bouquet of tulips, thanks to their incredible variety of shapes and colors, can look like a magnificent bed of various flowers.


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The first record about tulips appeared in the XI century, in Persia (modern Iran). The poet Hafiz sang about a virgin charm of a tulip to which even roses couldn't be compared. Tulip has been a symbol of the Ottoman dynasty that ruled Turkey during the Golden age. The sultans’ gardens were blooming with tulips of all colors. In the evenings enchanting celebrations were arranged by releasing turtles with candles attached to shells in the fields of tulips. The moving sparks highlighting multi-colored flowers were truly a fascinating spectacle!

Legends and Tales About the King of Flowers

  • the scarlet tulip is considered to be a symbol of ardent love. According to a legend, the Persian sultan Farkhad deeply loved the simple girl by name Shirin. Not wishing this union, his confidants brought false news to the sultan. They said the girl had died, and the sultan blinded by a grief rushed from the top of the cliff. Where stones were touched by his blood, red tulips had grown;


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  • yellow tulips are not the messengers of separation. Their tightly closed buds store pure happiness inside ;
  • in Great Britain it is believed that the tulip is a flower of fairies in which they put their kids to bed;
  • according to ancient legends of bedouins, the tulip arose from dragon blood: "it intoxicates without touching lips and shines without burning".

Ñonquering of Europe

In the 16th century, the Austrian ambassador sent tulip bulbs from Istanbul to Vienna, and this event was the beginning of a floral fever across Europe, especially Holland. Calm and prudent Dutches were so carried away by the beautiful flowers that for a single bulb of a rare variety, one could buy a house, even a brewery or a ship.


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  • when the gentleman presented a bouquet of flowers to his beloved lady, tulips with variegated petals were accepted with extreme gratitude as the biggest rarity;
  • in honor of creation of a black tulip a special festival was arranged, which was attended by the nobility and royals. Each of the being present was holding a beautiful bouquet of tulips in hands. "Hero of the occasion" was taken around the city on white silk pillows, accompanied by a carnival procession, and then it was put on a public display in the palace, in a precious vase;
  • on the portrait of Louise de la Valliere, mistress of the Sun King, she is holding a purple tulip, which cost a fortune.

Tulip in the "Language of Flowers"


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The language of flowers, or selam, was born in the East, in the seraglio of Persia, and was created by inhabitants of harems. Women who had not dared to openly express their feelings and thoughts, replaced them with flowers, each of which had its value. Thus, for example:

  • red tulip - declaration of love;
  • yellow tulip - a wish for happiness and prosperity;
  • white tulip - a request for forgiveness.
Last updated: 2014-11-04
Section: Articles
Author: ua-flowers.com
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