When ‘Tulip Mania’ hit Holland, tulip prices spiked crazily, bulbs flew out of markets and gorgeous bi-colored tulips appeared in every garden. They also appeared in paintings by the Old Dutch Masters and some cultivars were named after the most famous, like Rembrandt tulips. What are Rembrandt tulips? They bright bulb flowers splashed with contrasting hues. For the entire Rembrandt tulip history, keep reading.
Rembrandt Tulip History
Visit your local museum and take a look at Old Dutch Master paintings. Many were still-life pictures featuring fruits and flowers, and many included tulips with more than one blossom shade.
These bi-color tulips had a base color, often red, pink or purple, but they also had “flames” of secondary colors like white or yellow. They were extremely popular in Holland at that time, part of the reason for the speculative market bubble for these bulbs, known as Tulip Mania.
Everyone was growing Rembrandt tulips and other bi-colored tulips. But nobody realized until much later that the gorgeous broken colors in these tulips were not natural variations. Rather, they resulted from a virus, according to Rembrandt tulip plant information, a virus passed from plant to plant by aphids.
What are Rembrandt Tulips?
Modern-day Rembrandt tulips are entirely different than the bi-colored tulips of yesteryear. The colors remain broken, but this is not because of aphid-borne viruses. The Dutch government banned all traffic of infected bulbs.
So what are Rembrandt tulips today? They are disease-free flower bulbs in colorful flowers, one base tone plus feathers or flashes of secondary shades. This is the result of careful breeding, not aphids, according to Rembrandt tulip plant information.
Today’s Rembrandt tulips only come in a few color combinations, like white with red feathers running along the edges of the petals. Another current combination is yellow with red streaks. The streaks run the length of the petals.
Can You Buy Rembrandt Tulips?
You may be interested in growing Rembrandt tulips. Can you buy Rembrandt tulips these days? Yes, you can. They are offered in some garden stores and on many online garden websites.
But note that these exotic bulbs have some drawbacks. They don’t do well in wind for one, so they’ll require a protected site. In addition, you’ll find them to be short lived, so don’t expect more than a few years of dramatic blooms for a bulb.