Part 1: The First Tulips
While the Tulip is generally associated with Holland, the flower is not actually native to the Netherlands. We begin our journey in the mountains of central Asia, the part of the world that most Tulip species call home.
Here, where China and Tibet meet Russia and Afghanistan, the terrain is rugged and the climate is extreme - bitter cold in winter, blazing hot in summer, and desert dry almost year 'round.
This is an area of desolate and harsh terrain, isolated from civilization by the Tien Shan and Pamir mountains. It is from here that no less than 60% of all wild tulips originate.
From these regions of the Himalayas and the Caucasus, tulips made their way west on the trade routes toward central Europe and then on to Holland, where they are now distributed throughout the world.