This beautiful Tulip variety is known as The Queen Of The Night.. The photo was taken at the Tesselaar’s Tulip Festival which is held in October every year at Silvan in the Dandenong Ranges,
Along with the rose, lily and orchid, the tulip can be considered a truly iconic flower. Its long, colourful history, combined with its perennial popularity lift the tulip into a class almost on their own. With the advent of ‘Ice Tulips’, where the bulbs are forced into flower and grown out of season in cooled glasshouses, tulips have become the second most popular flower on the Dutch Auction System, with 680 million stems sold in 2004.
There are about 100 tulip species, but the ones we see used as cut flowers today have all been bred specifically for this purpose and are generally more spectacular than the wild forms. Tulips can be found in every colour except blue or black, although some of the dark purple cultivars like ‘Negrita’ or ‘Queen of Night’ can look very close to black sometimes. Apart from the classic turban-shaped flowers, there are the frilled parrot tulips, and some varieties are striped or variegated. This striping can also be caused by a virus, but it has been almost completely eradicated in commercial stock.