Everybody thinks that tulips come from Holland. Actually, Tulips are native to Central Asia and Turkey. In the 16th Century they were brought to Holland from Turkey, and quickly became widely popular. Today Tulips are cultivated in Holland in great numbers and in huge fields. Dutch bulbs, including tulips and daffodils, are exported all around the world so people think that it's originated from there as well. In fact many cultivated varieties were widely grown in Turkey long before they were introduced to European gardens.
In the 17th century the overgrown interest and high popularity of Tulips brought a sort of "Tulipmania" in Holland. Especially in 1637 bulbs were highly praised and prices gone up day by day reaching extraordinary numbers. Bulbs were sold by weight, usually while they were still in the ground. Some examples could cost more than a house at that time. The Dutch government unsuccessfully tried to outlaw this commerce but couldn't do anything to stop it, the trade was all about access and demand. But the end of the game came quick; Over-supply led to lower prices and dealers went bankrupt and many people lost their savings because of the trade, and the tulip market crashed.
Also in the Turkish history tulips played an interesting role. The period in our history between 1718-1730 is called as the "Tulip Era", under the reign of sultan Ahmed III. This period is also expressed as an era of peace and enjoyment. Tulips became and important style of life within the arts, the daily life and folklore. Many embroidery and textile clothing and carpets handmade by woman, tiles, miniatures etc. had tulip designs or shapes, large tulip gardens around the Golden Horn were frequented by upscale people, and so on. Also, the first printing house was founded by Ibrahim Müteferrika in Istanbul. The Tulip Era was brought to an end after the Patrona Halil revolt in 1730, ending with the de-thronation of the Sultan.
The botanical name for tulips, Tulipa, is derived from the Turkish word "tulbend" or "turban", which the flower resembles. It's considered as the King of Bulbs.
There are early, mid, and late blooming varieties of tulips. They come in a huge variety of bright colors, including white, yellow, pink, red, black, purple, orange, bi-colors, and more. There is a profusion of mixed colours to select from, too. A special breed from Manisa is called as Anemon. Every year in April there is a "Tulip Festival" in Istanbul.
Tulips should be planted as soon as they are purchased in the Autumn. But they can also be forced to bloom indoors during winter months. After blooming, let the plant continue to grow until it dies off. During the post bloom period, the plant is sending energy to the bulb to store for use next spring.