And so, as they came up and started to flower last week, they were eagerly watched with anticipation and curiosity. As it turned out to be, some were parrot tulips. The irregular colored flames and fringed edges are typical. Known and loved since the 17th Century they were often portrayed in still live paintings and eagerly traded.
tulipa parrot 'Estella Rijnveld'
tulipa 'Black Parrot'
tulipa parrot 'Rococo'
And finally; tulipa 'Golden Nizza'
There is a funny story to tell about these tulips, linking it to our modern day issues & challenges. Because going fast forward a few centuries, we are now -at the beginning of the 21th Century- experiencing a financial crisis. And these specific bulbs were the reason behind the first known crash in the financial world; Tulpmania.
Like i mentioned above, they have distinct flames and some are fringed or curled up around the edges. When they were first discovered in the early 17th Century they didn't know the cause of it, other then they were rare and strange. Nowadays it's known it was caused by a bacteria that infected the bulb, hence they were rare.
In the mid 1630's these flowers became so popular... a single bulb would sell for ten times the annual income of a decent tradesman. Or the price of a single canal house in Amsterdam. When during the spring of 1637 a single bulb was sold for over Fl 6,000,- (+/- $ 3,000,- today) folk started to protest. The greedy speculation of the traders was seen as a form of gambling. Something that was regarded a great sin in those days. The protest became so strong that within a week prizes dropped dramatically. People went bankrupt and some even committed suicide because of their great losses.
It makes you wonder... will we ever learn from history? :)
Have a wonderful day,