It’s April and tulips all over the world are coming up. In my front and back yards, I’ve been monitoring my sweet little darlings since it became unusually warm in February. Now at the beginning of April, they are about one week away from blooming. 

Last October, when I was planting about 100 bulbs, I decided to get the ones that are multi-colored, curly, and double petaled. They were a little more expensive, and like designer clothes, I decided to really dress up the outside of the house. 

Did you know that there are about 150 species of tulips, which are related to the lily flowers and surprisingly, to onions!  

Tulips are so varied, available, and cheap that in European supermarkets, a dozen costs around US$2.70. Some horticulturists believe tulips are grabbing the No.1 spot from the rose as the most popular flower in the world.

It turns out that tulips (the name comes from a Turkish word for turban) are the most widely sold flower in the U.S. According to a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) report, one tulip for every two people was sold in 2020, which translates into more than 175 million tulip stems sold that year.

Furthermore, as per the USDA, Florida was the leading tulip producing state in 2020, with tulip crops valued at $1.14 billion. California, the next largest producer, produced $967 million worth of tulip crops. The two states account for 44% of the total flower producing value of $4.80 billion nationwide.

Although the expression “tulip mania” could be easily applicable to the current world-craze for tulips, it refers to that period in Dutch history around 1634 when the value of the bulbs started increasing due to growing popularity, at times being more valuable than gold. The trade of these plants was partially responsible for making the Dutch Republic the richest country in the world per capita at the time.

Today, the Netherlands has kept its place as the world’s main producer of commercial tulip plants, with as many as 3 billion bulbs annually, the majority for export. It’s also the major exporter of cut flowers to the rest of the world, shipping more than $2 billion each year. 

Back to my own tulips, I’m looking forward to savoring their beauty for hopefully 10 good days. They really do give me so much joy. 

Have a wonderful Spring ahead.

Nancy Seiverd

CMI Credit Mediators, Inc. 

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