Let us dive into the stories of a family that the Dutch are rather familiar with. What is in a name that which we call a Tulp?
Hover over the portrait of each Tulp member to find more about her life.
946 CE*.Name not retrieved, bloomed in the Kazakhstan border of Tian Shan amidst snow.
1079 CE. “Chalice of Heaven”, bloomed in Shiraz, Persia was the cup that contained the sky.
1540 CE. “Lâle”, bloomed in the Abode of Bliss, Sultan Süleyman’s private garden, Istanbul, Turkey.
1550 CE. “The yellow lily”, bloomed in Padua, Italy.
1556 CE. “Tulipan”, bloomed in Istanbul, the Ottoman Empire.
1563 CE. “Turkish onion blossom”, bloomed in the garden of a merchant who mistook it to be an onion in Antwerp, the Low Countries.
1576 CE. “Tulipa clusiana”, bloomed and mummified between the pages of a book, in Leiden, the Low Countries.
1585 CE. Anonymous, bloomed and fell in Antwerp, the United Provinces.
1635 CE. “The Gambler’s Passion”, bloomed in the cloister of a Dutch clergy.
1637 CE. “Semper Augustus (Always Majestic)”, bloomed in Leiden, the United Provinces.
1637 CE. “Fraud”, said to belong to the Viceroy cultivar when she was sold but bloomed a Violetten in Haarlem, the United Provinces.
1637 CE. “Flora, wife of Zephyr the Wind”, bloomed in January 1637, Amsterdam, when her price increased by 2000 times over the course of three weeks.
???. “The Black Tulip”, a legend— date of bloom unknown, presumably in mid-1630s if she was a real figure, place of bloom allegedly a garden of a poor cobbler in the Hague.
1637 CE. “Flora, Goddess of Whores”, bloomed in March 1637, Amsterdam, a late-bloom twin of “Flora, wife of Zephyr the Wind”.
1637 CE. Anonymous, the last Tulp to be sold in February 1637, Haarlem, to never be retrieved by the purchaser.
1639 CE. “Centerpiece”, bloomed in a household in Rotterdam, the United Provinces.
1718 CE. “Peace”, bloomed in Ankara, the Ottoman Empire.
1945 CE**. “Survivor”, bloomed in May 1945, Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
1946 CE. “Operation Black Tulip”, bloomed in September 1946, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
1950 CE. “Spring Flower”, bloomed in Lisse, the Netherlands.
1957 CE†. “Item no. 17,428,332”, bulb conceived in 1956, Aalsmeer, Netherlands, bloomed a year later in Perth, Australia.
1962 CE. “Golden Tulip”, bloomed a Dutch international hotel chain.
1987 CE. “Tulipani”, a trio that bloomed in the field of San Siro football stadium, Milan, Italy.
1998 CE. “Miffy’s Favorite Flower”, bloomed in Miffy’s garden, Cartoon Network, on the screens of more than 100 million U.S. households.
2000 CE. “Smell of the Netherlands”, bloomed from one of the 225 kinds of scent petals that rained throughout Gayil Nalls’s World Sensorium, Time Square, New York, the United States.
???. To be named, and therefore to be bloomed, in unknown time(s) and place(s). The Tulps permeate every facet of the Netherlands and beyond, geographically and otherwise. She may live and die on a front porch, she may adorn a bike bell, she may be sung in a march. The next time you encounter her, bow a bow of imagination— to the expanse of her stories in becoming, and continuing to become, the Tulp.
*The first ancestor of the Tulp family has not been identified, but for clarity the earliest identified ancestor has been marked the first in this genealogy list.
**Mentions of descendants of the Tulps from 1719 to 1944 in official records and/or private notes have not been found so far, perhaps due to a decline of regard for floral and other natural agents during this period.
†From here, we lose track of 2 billion and more Tulp descendants that travel from the Netherlands to all over the world every year. The genealogy of the Tulps is more non-linear than ever. We highlight some of the most renowned members of the family in the rest of the genealogy, many of whom proliferate and live immortal lives across many fields.
Boissoneault, Lorraine. "There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever". Smithsonian. 2017. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/there-never-was-real-tulip-fever-180964915/
Dash, Mike. Tulipomania: The Story of the World’s Most Coveted Flower and the Extraordinary Passions It Aroused. Three Rivers Press, 1999.
De Rooi, Martijn. The Dutch, I Presume? Icons of the Netherlands. N&L Publishing, 2009.
Khayyám, Omar. Translated by Edward Fitzgerald, in The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám, Third Edition, no. 40, 1872.
Pertwee, Sean, director. 2013. The Tulip Bubble. Moconomy.