Tulipa 'Cape Cod'

Today's photograph is a tulip.  I think that it is a Cape Cod, but I can't be positive.  When looking up red and yellow tulip you get a lot of results!

"Tulipa 'Cape Cod'" - Tulip at the Chicago Botanic Garden
So this may not be a Cape Cod, but I am certain it is a tulip.

Though generally associated with the Netherlands, tulips actually originated in Central Asia and were brought east by the Turks.  The tulip is still a national symbol of Turkey.  Oghier Ghislain de Busberg, ambassador for Ferdiand I of Germany to Suleyman the Magnificent of the Ottoman Empire, is generally credited with the introduction of the tulip to Europe.  Botanist Carolus Clusius fostered the Dutch obsession with the tulip.  He created several new colors of tulips and was the first to identify the Tulip Breaking Virus which caused color striations in the petals.  Today's variegated tulips do not have the Tulip Breaking Virus, they have been specially bred.  Tulips were once the most expensive flowers in the world and the variegated varieties were the most highly coveted.  At the peak of their popularity the tulip sold for ten times the annual salary of a skilled craftsman.  Even estimating conservatively, that would be a six figure number today!

I'm sure I'm not alone in associating tulips with Easter.  For some reason I seem to be on a Easter kick, and I'm not normally a holiday jumper.  Sorry Valentine's Day.  Of course tulips are gorgeous, but growing up the most memorable part of tulips was always the lead up to and the planting of the bulbs.  My mom would buy what seemed like a million each year.  They would live in the refrigerator for several weeks before she and my grumbling father would spend a day or two digging holes and planting a never ending supply of tulip bulbs.  For several weekends after when my mom would ask my father for help doing something he would throw in some comment about how she tried to kill him with all of the digging he had to do for the tulips.  Many times this would earn him a chuckle and a short reprieve from whatever it was mom needed help with.  Come spring though, my father would be out in the front yard admiring the delicate flowers and all of the grumbling would be forgotten.

Apparently you can eat parts of the tulip, like the petals, though there are parts that are poisonous so I wouldn't recommend heading out with a fork and knife unless you know what you're doing.

*"Tulipa 'Cape Cod'" is for sale.  Please visit Diggin' It or contact me for information on how to purchase a print.

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