Botanical Illustration/Watercolor: Tulipa, Ice Follies (Triumph Tulip)
These tulips look similar, but no two Ice Follies tulips are exactly alike. These painted last spring. I love watching them bloom outside my front door. Unfortunately the deer do too:(
"The first tulips were brought to Europe from Turkey in the mid-1500s. In the early 1600s, however, they were still rare - mostly found in university botanical gardens. It was at the University of Leiden, the Netherlands, where some locals, desperate to get their hands on the rare flowers, climbed the wall of the botanical garden, stole some tulip bulbs and began cultivating them for sale. Thus began the wild ride that became Tulipmania. The tulips that "drove men mad" were multicolored flowers with distinctive mottled streaks, and no two were alike. During Tulipmania, these bulbs were traded as futures, sold sometimes hundreds of times over a single winter, while the bulbs were still in the ground. Traders earned as much as $60,000 a month in today's money."
from Capper's On the Garden Path: http://www.cappers.com/Gardening/On-The-Garden-Path-September-2006.aspx