The Tulip

The rare Semper Augustus tulip bulb looked like an onion, but cleared $2,000 on the floral market. Each. It was the most coveted bulb during the Dutch Tulipomania of the 1630s until the economic bubble burst, lowering prices near to what they are today. Although now ubiquitous in the area, tulips aren’t native to the Netherlands. They were brought from Constantinople by a botanist for research purposes in 1593. Neighbors noticed the pretty flowers in his small garden and proceeded to steal them to make some cash. The bulbs contain three elements: The baby bud at the basal center surrounded by scales (a white, meaty substance that provides all the food the tulip needs to blossom) and the basal plate, which anchors the growing flower and is the origin point of the roots. This is all covered in a “tunic.” To bloom in spring, bulbs should be planted in the fall, as the cold temperatures stimulate root development. Good soil, mulch, drainage and a generous watering when planted are all they need. To see the rainbow of sweet-smelling star- and cup-shaped blooms locally, Huntington’s annual Tulip Festival is a family-friendly fair featuring more than 20,000 examples of the flower.

michael isenbek

Michael Isenbek, Associate Editor, dabbles in both fiction and nonfiction writing, coordinates the Pulse event listings and writes the text for "Zoom," among other editorial tasks. He has a Master's Degree in Liberal Studies and a Bachelor's Degree in Cultural Studies with a concentration in Journalism from SUNY Empire State College.