Tuesday 4 June 2013

The Flowers of Keukenhof

The Netherlands is synonymously associated with tulips. For the visitors who wish to see for themselves the blooming flowers during spring in the Netherlands, Keukenhof is the place to be. Unfortunately, this place is only open from March until June. This year alone, close to 850,000 people visited this wonderful place.

The Tulip were originally a wild flower growing in the Central Asia and were first cultivated by the Turks as early as 1,000 AD. The flower were introduced in the westen Europe and the Netherlands in the 17th century by Carolus Clusius, a famous biologist from Vienna. In the 1590’s he became the director of the Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, the oldest botanical garden of Europe, founded in 1587. He was hired by the University of Leiden to research medicinal plants and while doing so he got some bulbs from Turkey from his friend Ogier Ghiselain de Busbecq, the ambassador of Constantinople (presen-day Istanbul). He had seen the beautiful flower, called tulip after the Turkish word for turban, grow in the palace gardens and sent a few to Clusius for his garden in Leiden. He planted them and this was the start of the amazing bulb fields we can see today. More.

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