Tulip Tulip is the common name for thousands of varieties of flowers produced from bulbs comprising the genus Tulipa . They are valued for their brilliant colors and shapes. Cultivars include single color, striped, variegated, feathered, and flamed. Grown all over the world, tulips are a familiar sight in our gardens and widely

associated with spring. For centuries the tulip has been synonymous with the Netherlands and fields of tulips are still a common sight in the country. However, the flowers actually originated in Persia. It is unclear how tulips arrived in northwest Europe, but it is believed that they were brought to the Netherlands by Ogier Ghislain de Busbecq in 1554.

polder land that the Dutch have reclaimed from the sea and turned into productive farmland. Dikes were built around sections of swampy or flooded land and water was pumped out, at first by windmills and later by steam and electric pumps. Reinforcing dikes were also built along the lower sections of the Netherlands’ major rivers, which flow above the land between the banks of sediment deposited when they flood. The Dutch began efforts to reclaim the Zuider Zee, a large segment of land covered by the North Sea, in 1927. By 1932, a large dike had been built across the entrance of the Zuider Zee. The dike turned the water behind it into a freshwater lake within five years. By the early 1980s, about three-quarters of the area had been drained, but the project to reclaim the last polder was canceled in the early 1980s. The freshwater lake left behind is called


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