Tulips are known as the flower of springtime in the Netherlands. Tourists and locals alike flock to visit the country's many beautiful flower gardens.
Yet this iconic flower is not Dutch!
Believe it or not, the unique tulip first came to the Netherlands in the 1600s. It was indigenous to the fields of the Ottoman Empire. The flower's arrival sparked an immediate craze. As Anna Pavord recalls in her story of the Tulip and its migration to Northern Europe, "The Tulip: The Story of the Flower that has Made Men Mad," the most ardent would trade their homes for a single flower.
Just as the flower isn't originally Dutch, neither is its name. The name, "tulip," originates from the Turkish tülbent or Persian/ Farsi dulband, which was the word used to describe the headdress worn by the local men.
This word was adapted by the French merchants who brought the flower to the Netherlands, calling it tulipe. Later, it was adapted into tulip in English.
Ironically, when the headdress was named in English, it mimicked the sound of both the Turkish and Persian names and became known as the turban.