Tulips are back, and back in a big (screen) way. But did they ever really leave?

Fritillaria meleagris

Image Courtesy Of iStock | Mantonature

Always the standard by which other bulbs are measured, they seem to have faded from view in the past few years, often overlooked in favor of other, “newer” bulbs. As the gardening public has been exposed to interesting alliums, compelling Camassia and stately Fritillaira imperialis, tulips have continued to do their duty without much fanfare.


Image Courtesy Of iStock | stevelenzphoto

Sales have not fallen off, not for these bread-and-butter bulbs. But new combinations and blends may signal a potential increase in interest.


Image Courtesy Of iStock | Rachel Griffen

There’s even a movie, released in early September, that situates a dramatic love story against the backdrop of tulip mania, an economic drama of its own, that took place in 17th century Holland. “Tulip Fever” is reported to be more about a torrid and forbidden love affair than the price of a single tulip bulb and the historic panic that created the world’s first economic “bubble,” but the fact that this bit of outrageous economic history has made it to popular culture may bode well for bulb sales. Will moviegoers be encouraged to shell out a few guilders (wait: that’s Euros now) for a bulb or two? Will those who are allowed to see the film — it’s rated R — be reminded of the value of tulips in their own gardens?

Read more: Top Bulbs For 2018