Tulips In Full Blossom In Yancheng

Tulip Mania: The Flower That Marks the Start of Spring

Nine fast facts about spring's most bulbaceous flower.

Around the world, tulip blooms are ringing in the spring season with boisterous displays of color. Here, a few fun facts to spill as you hand a bouquet to your beloved.

TURKISH DELIGHT Anadolu Agency/Getty Images TURKISH DELIGHT The word "tulip" originates from the ancient Turkish word "delband," or turban. Many believe this is because of the tulip's turban-like appearance. (Pictured: Nearly 168,000 red and white tulips are arranged in the shape of the Turkish flag in Kayseri, Turkey on April 18, 2018.) COMING UP TULIPS Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call,Inc. COMING UP TULIPS The beautiful streaks found in some varieties of the flower were originally caused by a virus, but today the streaking is a deliberate result of breeding. (Pictured: Tulips bloom at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on April 12, 2018.) WESTERN EXPANSION Anadolu Agency/Getty Images WESTERN EXPANSION Though tulips were originally cultivated in Turkey, they were brought to Europe in the 16th century. Today, the Netherlands produces more than 3 billion bulbs a year, making them the world’s largest producer of the flower. (Pictured: Tulips bloom at the Keukenhof garden in Lisse, Netherlands on April 17, 2018.) 3,000 FLAVORS Yawar Nazir/Getty Images 3,000 FLAVORS Tulips are found in almost every corner of the Northern Hemisphere, and while your corner florist may offer a dozen different colors, there are actually 150 known species of tulips and well over 3,000 varieties. (Pictured: A tulip field at the Siraj Bagh garden in Kashmir, India on April 4, 2018.) DEEPER MEANING PIERO CRUCIATTI/AFP/Getty Images DEEPER MEANING While the bulbous flowers certainly signal the beginning of spring, according to flower experts, red tulips represent love, white tulips say "I'm sorry," and purple tulips symbolize royalty. (Pictured: A tulip admirer snaps a photo at the U-pick garden in Cornaredo, Italy on April 7, 2018.) PETAL POWER Anadolu Agency/Getty Images PETAL POWER Most varieties of tulips are perfectly symmetrical. Each bloom has three petals and three sepals (the petal's support system) of the same size and color, which makes it appear as if the flower actually has six petals. (Pictured: The world's largest tulip carpet is seen at Sultanahmet Square in Istanbul, Turkey on April 12, 2018.) TULIP TURBULENCE Sergei Malgavko/Sergei Malgavko/TASS TULIP TURBULENCE In the 1600s, tulips likely caused one of the first economic crashes in the Netherlands. During a time called "Tulip Mania," tulips were the most expensive flower in the world, with some bulbs fetching more than the value of a house. Eventually, years of trading bulbs for a price way above their value sent the market into a death spiral. (Pictured: An aerial view of the Nikitsky Botanical Garden in Crimea, Russia on April 13, 2018.) 'LIP SMACKIN' TPG/Getty Images 'LIP SMACKIN' Like many flowers, tulip petals are actually edible and can be used in salads as a "peppery" addition. During WWII, struggling families in the Netherlands boiled the flower's bulbs and consumed them like potatoes. (Pictured: A sea of tulips in Jiangsu, China on April 16, 2018.) MIDNIGHT SPECIAL Anadolu Agency/Getty Images MIDNIGHT SPECIAL Tulips are usually known for their bright and sunny hues, but new varieties and colors are being developed all the time. Growing in popularity is the Queen of the Night tulip which is so dark, it can appear jet black. (Pictured: A tulip field is seen under a starry sky in Konya, Turkey on April 18, 2018.)