Tulips belong to a genus of spring-blooming perennial herbaceous bulbiferous geophytes. The flowers are often large in size, having a very bright and eye-catching color, and are pink, red, yellow, or white generally.

Tulips usually have a distinct colored spot at the base of the tepals (that is the petals and sepals), internally. Due to the high level of discrepancies in the populations, as well as a long history of cultivation, there have been complexities and controversies with regards to Classification.

The tulip belongs to the family of lily, Liliaceae, together with 14 other genera, where it is linked to Erythronium, Amana and Gagea, most closely in the Lilieae tribe.

There are approximately 75 species, and these are divided into four subgenera. The name “tulip” is believed to be gotten from a Persian word which means turban, that was believed to bear a resemblance of him.

Tulips were initially found in a gang that spans from southern Europe to central Asia. Since the 17th century, however, they have largely been naturalized and cultivated.

Scientific Classification

  • Scientific Name: Tulipa
  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Liliales
  • Family: Liliaceae
  • Subfamily: Lilioideae
  • Tribe: Lilieae
  • Genus: Tulipa L.



The flowers of Tulip are mostly large and also symmetric, radially. They possess both male(androecium) and female (gynoecium) traits (that is hermaphrodite).

They are seldom dangling but mostly erect and are organized more often as a single terminal flower. Structurally, the Tulip flower has the shape of a star or cup in some cases.

Just like in the case of other members of Liliaceae, the perianth is similar and biseriate, which is formed from six caduceus tepals that are free and grouped into two distinct whorls having three parts each.

The three petals and three sepals are both represented by the two whorls, though they are regarded as tepals owing to the fact that they are almost similar.

The tepals mostly resemble the petals because of its bright colour though each of the whorls may be distinct in terms of the colored spots at their bases, thereby forming a dark color on the internal surface.

The interior petals have a small, fragile crevice at the top, whereas the well-strapped external ones form ovals that are uninterrupted.


The androecium is the male part of the tulip. The flowers have six different basifixed introrse stamens organized in to two whorls of three, that differ in length and might be hairless or hairy. The tepals are longer than the filaments and extended towards their base.


The stigma has three different lobes, as the style is short. The ovaries are high-ranking, with three compartments.


The fruit of Tulips is a spherical capsule with a coriaceous covering and a circular to spherical covering. Each capsule is made up of several seeds that are flat of have the shape of a disc, arranged in two rows per compartment. The seeds which can be either light or dark brown, have very thin seed covering and endosperm which does not fill the entire seed.


The stems of Tulips usually have scanty leaves. The larger species are prone to possess many leaves. A typical plant has 2-6 leaves while in some have up to 12. The leaf of a tulip is usually born on the stem, coated with wax and strap-shape and the leaves are mostly arranged alternately on the stem.

Distribution and Habitat

Tulips are generally distributed along a band which lies parallel to latitude 40 degrees from Albania, Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, southern Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, which are all located southeast of Europe and also Turkey in the West through the Levant and Sinai peninsula.

It also extends through Armenia and Azerbaijan which are located in the east, and through Bukhara, Tashkent, Turkmenistan, which are found on the shore of the Caspian.

Sea in the east and the extends further to the end of the east of the range in the Tien-Shan and Pamir-Alai mountains in Central Asia on the which is the Centre of diversity.

The fact that Tulips are found in Europe and the Mediterranean, these countries do not make up part of their natural habitat. Tulips came to Europe through traveling merchants and immigrants who brought them from Anatolia and Central Asia for the purpose of cultivation.

Less than half of Tulips species found in Turkey for example ae actually native. They have been regarded as neo-tulipae.

Tulips are mainly found in meadows, chaparral, and steppes, but also cultivated in fields, orchards, roadsides and deserted gardens.


The main fungal disease that is known to ravage Tulips is known as Botrytis Tulipa. It has caused the cell to malfunction thereby resulting in the eventual death of the plant cell and rotting of the plant. Bacterial soft rot, anthracnose and blight are among other pathogens which are caused by Sclerotium rolfsii.

Those Tulips which are affected by the mosaic virus are termed “broken”, whereas these types of plants can sometimes return to a plain coloring. Virus, today, is virtually removed from tulip growers’ fields.

The growth of a tulip is contingent on temperature. Plants that partially germinate display greater growth if they are subjected to a period of cool inactivity which is termed vernalization.

Nevertheless, flower growth is hastened at warmer temperatures between 20 degrees to 25 degrees. The extension of the flower stalk and the right flowering is contingent on an elongated period of the low temperature of 10 degrees.

Tulip flowers color differ with growing conditions.

Culinary Uses

  • Petals of the tulip are edible, but the taste differs by season. Some people have an allergy for Tulips.
  • Bulbs of tulip flowers look like those of onions but should not be regarded as food. The toxic nature of the bulbs is not well comprehensible.
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