Tulip, or Tulipa, L. a genus of plants comprising four species, the principal of which is the Gesneriuna, or Common Garden Tulip, a native of Cappadocia.- It fa divided into two sorts, termed the early, or dwarf spring tulips, which blow in the beginning of spring; and the late flowering tulips, that appear about the latter part of April, or in May and June. Both sorts comprehend numerous varieties, such as black, golden, yellow, purple-violet, rose, vermilion, etc. from their respective colours. They are highly valued by the curious in horticulture, and sold by florists at from 5 s. to 201. per root, according to their rarity, or the degree of estimation in which they are held. - In Holland, they form a considerable article of trade ; and there are instances of single bulbs of these flowers having been purchased at the extravagant price of from 2000 to 5000 guilders.
Tulips furnish one of the principal ornaments of the garden : they are propagated by planting offsets from the bulbous roots, in common garden soil, either in autumn, or towards the end of December, according to their early or late periods of flowering; and, if such soil be changed every year, new varieties, both of single and double tulips, beautifully diversified with various colours, may easily be obtained: these plants require only to be sheltered, during the severity of winter; to be kept clear of weeds; and to be watered occasionally in the long droughts of summer.
There is an indigenous species of this plant, termed the sylves-tris, or Wild Tulip, which grows in chalk-pits ; and is found chiefly in the vicinity of Norwich, and Bury; where its small fragrant yellow flowers blow in the month of April. The fresh root is acrid, and excites vomiting; but, when boiled, it may safely be eaten with the addition of butter and pepper ; affording a palatable dish.