Friday, April 15, 2016

Cincinnati Zoo Blooms 2016

Dear George,
Zoo Blooms is at its peak at our Cincinnati Zoo.  With over 100,000 tulips, it’s one of the largest tulip displays in the Midwest.  In addition, there are thousands of daffodils, hyacinths, flowering trees, shrubs, and other spring bulbs.  Here are a few tulip facts to whet one’s appetite.  

  • There are over 3,000 varieties of tulips in the world.
  • The name “tulip” is believed to come from the Persian word “delband" (turban), presumably because of the similarity of the flower’s shape to a turban. 
  • During tulip mania, a period from 1634 to 1637 in the Dutch Golden Age when tulip bulb prices reached extraordinarily high levels, some single tulip bulbs sold for ten times the annual income of a skilled craftsman.   In one such transaction, a single Viceroy tulip bulb was sold for two lasts of wheat, four lasts of rye, four oxen, eight swine, 12 sheep, two hogsheads of wine, four casks of beer, two tons of butter, one bed, one suit of clothes, and a silver drinking cup. 
  • A Turkish legend holds that a prince was so grief-stricken by the death of his love that he rode his horse over a cliff.  A scarlet tulip sprang up from each drop of blood on his corpse, giving the red tulip the meaning of “perfect love”.        
  • Tulips are edible, the petals having a mild-bean like or lettuce-like taste.  During World War II numerous Dutch people were forced to eat tulips because there wasn’t any other food available. 
  • Tuna stuffed tulips are a classic dish served in Great Britain.  
  • The Dutch royal family sent 1,000,000 tulip bulbs to Ottawa in 1945 as a thank you for sheltering Princess Juliana and her daughters during the Nazi occupation.  Juliana became queen in 1948 and continued to send thousands of tulip bulbs to Canada each year until her abdication in 1980.    
  • Tulips reportedly can be used to treat high blood pressure, anemia, circulatory problems, back pain, and a variety of other disorders (just what we oldies need).  
  • Red tulips are a declaration of true love; yellow tulips mean cheerful thoughts; white tulips express purity; purple tulips symbolize royalty; and pink tulips mean affection and caring.       

I went to the zoo with Katja the other day to admire the beauties and capture images of the tulip festival.  Here are some tulip pics.

Jan Reus Tulip

Red Emperor Tulip

Golden Apeldoorn Tulip

Banja Luka Tulip

Inzel Tulip

Apeldoorn Tulip

Negrita Tulip

Orange Bouquet Tulip

Monsella Tulip

Princess Irene Tulip 

Monte Carlo Tulip

Merry Go Round Tulip

Shirley Tulip

Daydream Tulip

Orange Sun Tulip

Apeldoorn Tulip

Pink Impression Tulip

SOURCES:,  “20 facts about tulips”;, “12 fascinating facts about tulips”;, “Zoo blooms”;, “Benefits of tulips”;, “Tulip symbol meanings”;, “Tulip”;, “Tulips trivia”;, “Amazing facts about tulips”;, “10 weird facts about tulips”, “Meaning and symbolism of tulip”;, “11 fun facts about tulips”;, “Tulip”, “Tulip mania” 

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