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The Meaning of a Tulip
Stop and Smell Significance
Who cares if you don't have a sweetheart who sends you bouquets? The arrival of spring means flowers for all, including the single folk. Even cement jungles and strip malls can only stave off blooms for so long. At the very least, you'll glimpse a dandelion pushing through the cracks in the sidewalk on your jaunt to the Tastee-Freez. More likely, flowers will bombard you, especially if you have pollen allergies. Should you get the sniffles bad enough, you might start resenting your stupid petalled friends and wonder why they're ruining your life. Who even needs flowers? They're just--
Shh. Take your Sudafed and calm down. They're flowers. They're beautiful. Stop and smell them. Then wipe your nose and listen up. For today I have a tidbit for you and that, dear Snuffleupagus, is the meaning of one of the most common spring flowers: The tulip.
Long, long ago, the tulip originated in Persia and Turkey. Today different species grow natively from Southern Europe to the Middle East to North Africa. The pretty thing was first cultivated for commercial purposes in the Ottoman Empire. Turkish men put tulips in their turbans, which inspired their European name, coming from the Latin “tulipia,” meaning “turban.” Nobody's quite sure when the first tulip came to Europe, though an ambassador for Ferdinand I of Germany usually gets the credit as the flower's cross-cultural hustler. The flower became so popular in the 17th century, especially in the Netherlands, that tulip mania was a real thing.
Anyway, enough about their history and now onto reading them. In the language of flowers, tulips symbolize perfect love, wealth, and eternal life. (Imagine being that loaded with meaning just by existing.) More specifically, red tulips symbolize true love, while purple ones symbolizes royalty and yellow ones symbolize cheerful thoughts and sunshine. Cream-colored tulips symbolize a love that lasts forever; white tulips represent purity and heaven. Meanwhile, pink tulips symbolize friendship and affection and orange tulips symbolize passion and desire. Variegated tulips, which are simply multi-colored tulips, mean, “You have beautiful eyes.”
Maybe instead of making awkward conversation at the bar next time, you should just hand your favored cutie a tulip. No loss, since this time of year it's easy enough to snatch one of your neighbor's lawn without spending a penny.
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