Exploring the history of the introduction of Tulipa sylvestris to Europe in the sixteenth century


Available: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

The Netherlands is famous for its beautiful and colorful tulips. Although most tulips are from the Ottoman empire, Tulipa sylvestris, the wild tulip, followed a different path. Anastasia Stefanaki and Tinde van Andel, biologists at the University of Wageningen and the Naturalis Biodiversity Center, and Tilmann Walter, a historian at the University of Würzburg, tried to find back the right path of this special tulip.

Wild tulip can usually refer to a tulip that grows wild, but it is the vernacular name of Tulipa sylvestris. “We want to know who brought the first Tulip sylvestris to Northern European gardens, when this was done, and where the first wild tulips came from,” Stefanaki explains. For this, they looked at sixteenth -century Latin botanical documents, personal letters, archives, dried plant collections and photographs.

Status symbol

The sixteenth century was a “golden year” for the plant. Plants were no longer seen as medicinal plants, and interest in ornamental plants arose. Having a few different plants in your garden is a sign of power. Too often, plants are taken as interesting and precious gifts to princes and nobles in the hopes of finding more – or forcing links to higher levels.

In this context, the tulip is an unattractive flower for sixteen -year -old Europeans, and everyone wants to have it in their garden. At some point in Northern Europe, tulips began to spread among plants and their partners and gardens.

Letter from Clusius to Camerarius

Unlike garden tulips that came from the Ottoman Empire, Tulipa sylvestris did not live in the garden, escaped and became natural. Today, it flourishes in much of Europe, beginning in the 16th century.

Exploring the history of the introduction of Tulipa sylvestris to Europe in the sixteenth century

Photograph of letter from Clusius to Camerarious, Vienna 1577. Available: Leiden University Library

This letter from Carolus Clusius – dated 30 July 1577, Vienna – gives the first evidence of the naturalization of Tulipa sylvestris. Clusius, the great man in the history of tulips and the first leader of the Leiden Hortus, in 1577 sent some tulip bulbs to his friend Joachim Camerarius in Nurnberg, Germany. In the accompanying letter Clusius specifically mentioned tulips from Montpellier and Bologna. This is a clear statement of Tulipa sylvestris, Montpellier and Bologna are the two main locations of Tulipa sylvestris. Clusius said these tulips should not be mixed with other tulips and should be separated in the garden and covered with clay bricks and tiles so that they do not escape and expand the garden. whole.

The wild tulip

“Unlike the tulips we have in our gardens today, which came from garbage imported from the Ottoman Empire, the wild tulips came from the Mediterranean. South of France,” he said. and Stefanaki.

There were various introductory events for the wild tulip in Northern Europe in the second half of the sixteenth century, and included some famous artists. “From there, the tulip went wild. He started to escape the gardens, producing side children through his stolons. Not all kinds of plants can propagate in any kind of plant. “

“Considering the locations of these early wastes, we know that different subspecies of Tulipa sylvestris have been introduced to Northern Europe,” he said, “and therefore we need to reconsider the tax allowance. of this kind. ” These findings highlight the importance of botanical history in understanding the complex taxonomy of plants planted in the past.

Tough tax court

Their new research will focus on further research into the taxonomy of Tulipa sylvestris. “We will do DNA- and morphology analysis of wild tulips collected from Dutch gardens and wildlife areas around Europe, including Italy and France where the first weeds came from,” he said. Stefanaki. “We hope to explain the long -debated Tulipa sylvestris tax and see where in Europe this beautiful wild tulip really stands.”

Looking for wild tulips in the mountains of Kyrgyzstan

More information:
Anastasia Stefanaki et al, The History of the Tulip Went Wild: Exploring the history of the introduction of Tulip Sylvestris in Europe in the sixteenth century (2021). DOI: 10.21203 / rs.3.rs-1124163 / v1

Presented by Wageningen University

Directions: Exploring the history of the introduction of Tulipa sylvestris to Europe in the sixteenth year (2022, April 11) retrieved on 11 April 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04- history-introduction-tulipa-sylvestris-sixteenth-century .html

This document is subject to copyright. Except for appropriate action for the purpose of personal inquiry or research, no piece may be reproduced without permission. Information is provided for informational purposes only.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.