If you gave someone a tulip in the sixteenth century, you were giving them a fortune. In those days the flower was incredibly popular and a speculative trade in tulip bulbs developed. You could buy a whole canal house in Amsterdam for the price of one tulip bulb in those days. A nice bunch of tulips now costs just a couple of pounds, but the symbolism has gained in value. If you give someone tulips, you’re giving them a message. Hence red tulips mean passionate love, and with black tulips you’re saying: “I love you so much that I will sacrifice everything for you.” So you don’t give those to just anybody.
The tulip's shapes and colours
The ever-cheerful tulip comes in white, red, yellow, pink, purple, orange, green or with multicoloured petals, and the tulip’s shapes are also a feast for the eye. They're available with a single row, or double row of petals, whilst there are also eye-catching fringed and parrot tulips with serrated petals, and there’s the playful lily-flowered tulip. Peony tulips look like peonies, and French tulips are exceptionally tall (unlike the average French mademoiselle) and have very large flowers.