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P&PDL Picture of the Week

Flamed Rembrandt Tulips or Flamboyant Cultivated Tulips?

Carrie Lapaire, Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University

The streaking of green, pink, and yellow on the petals of these tulips looks similar to the bicolor broken stripes found on the famous Rembrandt-type of tulip that commanded high prices during Tulipomania in the 1600s. The genetically-stable streaking on these present-day tulips is the result of careful breeding, not a virus like the "flamed" tulips of the 1600s. The tulip to the right shows the "color-breaking" symptomatic of virus-infected tulips. Bulbs with the devastating virus are not allowed in cultivation today although tulip breeders mimic the look with new cultivars to satisfy the demand for the colorful flowers.

Bulbs with a similar look include 'Keizerkroon', 'Cordell Hull', 'Vlammenspel', 'Union Jack', 'Shirley', and 'Sorbet'. Many others are available from bulb suppliers.

Try these sources for more information on tulips and other bulbs:

Click on the small image to view a larger image.

Genetically-stable streaking on present-day tulips
"Color-breaking" symptomatic of virus-infected tulips
Genetically-stable streaking on present-day tulips is result of careful breeding "Color-breaking" symptomatic of virus-infected tulips
(Photo is from the Botany & Plant Pathology Departmental Slide collection)

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Last updated: 9 March 2002/tlm.
The Plant & Pest Diagnostic Laboratory at Purdue University.