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Tiptoe Through The Tulips

Believe it or not, tulips are part of the lily family. Close relatives include lilies, lily of the valley, Gloriosa lilies, hyacinths, grape hyacynths and star of Bethlehem.
Tulips are classified into 15 divisions, but the most popular as cut flowers are single, double (peony flowered), parrot (ruffled and multicolored), lily flowered (pointed petals) and fringed (serrated petal edges).

Tulips are most abundant from December through May, but today they can be found year round; possibly not every color, but white and red are pretty much guaranteed to be available all year long.

I think the most interesting thing about a tulip is that it continues to grow even after it has been cut from the bulb! They are geotropic – which means they are affected by gravity and phototropic – which means they curve towards the light. That is important to know, because when you design with tulips, you want to allow for the growth, so make sure that your arrangement is positioned directly under the main source of light in the room otherwise, your arrangement will re-arrange itself as the tulips reach towards the strongest source of light. You also will want to put them about half an inch to an inch below the other flowers as tulips continue to grow after they are cut and will grow to the height of the other flowers! If you don’t adjust for the growth, the tulips will grow and be taller than the other flowers, which isn’t an awful thing, unless you wanted all the flowers to be at the same height.

Buy tulips when they are tight and not showing much color to get the most out of them. Once the color is showing, you can expect to get 3-6 days of vase life out of them.

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