• picture
  • picture
  • picture
  • picture
Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

The Living on Earth Almanac

Air Date: Week of

This week, facts about... tulips, their thousand year history and today's interest in the perfect "black" variety.


KNOY: Tulip. The world is believed to stem from the Turkish for "turban," because Turks would tuck the flower in their spiraling headdresses. Tulips were first cultivated more than 1,000 years ago and quickly became a precious agricultural commodity. During the 1600s, tulips were the Internet stocks of today. The Dutch were known to pay small fortunes for so-called "broken bulbs." Those are the ones that break into beautiful streaks of color. But when the government stepped in to regulate the market, prices plummeted and whole estates were lost. Later the tulip became a matter of life and death. In Holland and Ireland, people ate tulip bulbs during times of famine. Fried in a little oil and salted, they taste a bit like a potato. And in Japan people still mill tulip bulbs to make a special baking flower. There are thousands of varieties of tulips, but the one receiving the most attention these days is the coveted black tulip. It's actually a deep purple, which looks black from afar. Tulip growers are offering a$30,000 reward to the first person who successful cultivates a pure black tulip. And for this week, that's the Living on Earth Almanac.



Living on Earth wants to hear from you!

Living on Earth
62 Calef Highway, Suite 212
Lee, NH 03861
Telephone: 617-287-4121
E-mail: comments@loe.org

Newsletter [Click here]

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Sailors For The Sea: Be the change you want to sea.

Creating positive outcomes for future generations.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live. Listen to the race to 9 billion

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary wildlife photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.

Buy a signed copy of Mark Seth Lender's book Smeagull the Seagull & support Living on Earth