The ancient Turks used to brew a love potion from tulips and many cultures consider tulips to be the symbol of perfect love.
In the 1610s, a tulip fashion began to evolve into a frenzy. Tulip values continuously rose throughout Europe to France and Within a few years the Dutch were seized by tulipomania. A small bed of tulips was valued at 15,000-20,000 francs. Some rare tulip bulbs were fetching prices equivalent to over $100,000 in today's dollars.
"..We are told that in Persia the tulip,
whose blossom in its native country is scarlet, while the centre of its glowing
cup is black, is used to express warm affection; and, when sent by a lover, will
convey to the object of his attachment the idea that like this flower, his face
is warm and his heart is consumed as a coal...."
~ Anne Pratt, The Field, the Garden and the Woodland, 1838
One of the largest members of the lily family, the tulip has more than 100 species of flowers. So many varieties and strains have been developed down through history that today we classify them in groups or strains for simplicity.