Year of 2017

Tulip fields in bloom at Mount Vernon, Washington

Many of the tulip fields in Mount Vernon, Washington, and the surrounding towns in this northwest farming valley are bustling with tourists during the month of April. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival draws hundreds of thousands of visitors eager to take in the kaleidoscopic burst of color that overtakes the landscape as the bulbs awake from a long winter’s nap with a vengeance, boldly declaring the arrival of spring with rows-upon-rows of vibrant hues.

The tulip is a Eurasian and North African genus of perennial, bulbous plants in the lily family. It is a herbaceous herb with showy flowers, of which around 75 wild species are currently accepted. The genus’s native range extends west to the Iberian Peninsula, through North Africa to Greece, the Balkans, Turkey, throughout the Levant and Iran, north to Ukraine, southern Siberia and Mongolia, and east to the Northwest of China. The tulip’s centre of diversity is in the Pamir, Hindu Kush, and Tien Shan mountains. It is a common element of steppe and winter-rain Mediterranean vegetation.
Scientific name: Tulipa
Biological classification: Genus
Consists of: Tulipa gesneriana · Tulipa clusiana · Tulipa linifolia · Tulipa armena · Tulipa humilis · Tulipa saxatilis · Tulipa turkestanica · Tulipa pulchella · Tulipa didieri · Tulipa ingens · Tulipa acuminata · Tulipa heterophylla · Tulipa agenensis · Tulipa kaufmanniana · Tulipa orphanidea
Belongs to: Lilioideae