Thursday, April 22, 2010


Today a friend and I took a walk around the Olympia Capitol and its historic district to see the array of flowers in bloom.

I found these tall, stately (pun!), colorful tulips near the Capitol absolutely stunning.

I like the blend of colors and those tulips that appear marbled.

I learned that what is considered a variegated color pattern was caused from an infection called the Tulip Breaking Virus or the Mosaic Virus that was carried by the green peach aphids. While the virus produces fantastically colourful flowers, it also caused weakened plants that died slowly. Today the virus is almost eradicated from tulip growers' fields. Those Tulips affected by mosaic virus are called "Broken tulips"; they will occasionally revert to a plain or solid colouring, but still remain infected with the virus.

Origin of the name?

Although tulips are associated with Holland, commercial cultivation of the flower began in the Ottoman Empire. The tulip is a flower indigenous to a vast area encompassing parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe. The word tulip, which earlier appeared in English in forms such as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan or by way of Modern Latin tulīpa, from Ottoman Turkish tülbend ("muslin" or "gauze"), and is ultimately derived from the Persian language dulband ("turban"). (The English word turban, first recorded in English in the 16th century, is a cognate.)

We have several Tulip Festivals in the state of Washington.
Here is one of my paintings after a visit to the fields.

No comments:

Post a Comment