Search My Garden Blog with Google Custom Search


Tulip Viruses

During the 17th century the Netherlands were taken over by what is called "Tulip mania." Shortly after being introduced tulips became a symbol of status and a way to showcase wealth publicly. Semper Augustus, with its red and white streaked petals, is famously remembered as being the most expensive tulip sold during the "Tulip mania." At the time it wasn't known that the spectacular colors in the petals of tulips were caused by a tulip virus. Tulip breaking virus was carried by the green peach aphid and while the virus caused beautiful flowers, it also caused weak bulbs that died slowly. Anna Pavord, author of Bulb, tells us of similar speculative bubble happening in England with snowdrops today. Not quite to the extent of "Tulip mania" but it is interesting to see that we're all more than happy to repeat the mistakes of the past.

tulip breaking virus