Spring has come early to the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure in Branson.
The attraction is decorated with hundreds of colorful tulips and tropical butterflies fluttering from flower to flower.
“There is something delightful about tulips,” said Dianna Herschend, owner of the Butterfly Palace. “They are simple and fragile, yet enduring, and when you have hundreds and hundreds of them along a path, it really is a magical, fun stroll.”
Tulips have an extraordinary history of economic impact and even mania.
They have steadfastly remained one of the world’s most popular flowers since their introduction to Europe in the 1560s. Before their commercial evolution, tulips were wild flowers that grew mostly in central and western Asia. Tulips were cultivated in Turkey as early as 1000 AD and were the featured flower in the gardens of the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire by 1556.
The Ottoman Empire’s wealthiest time period, 1703-1730, is called the “Tulip Era.”
Although tulips did not originate in the Netherlands, it’s easy to understand the misconception. The Dutch have been the primary cultivators and sellers of tulips for more than 400 years.
Holland currently produces more than 3 billion bulbs annually.
Unfortunately, just like the 1920s stock market crash, the tulip market crashed in 1637, simply because the cost of a single bulb had become so exorbitant.
The crash ruined the finances and lives of many who had invested such extravagant sums on tulip bulbs that were still in the ground.
As legend has it, red tulips represent a declaration of true love. Cream-colored tulips convey the message, “I will love you forever.”