Bro­ken tulips hold tragic beauty

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NEWS -

There are 150 species of tulips, but there’s one kind of tulip you’re un­likely to see this spring: the bro­ken tulip. Af­flicted by vi­ral in­fec­tions, the flow­ers bloom in pat­terns of flames and feath­ers. Bro­ken tulips were once so prized that they helped fuel Tulip Ma­nia, which peaked in the Nether­lands in the 1630s.

But the virus that cre­ates these blaz­ing beau­ties also kills them. Plant­ing them can spread the con­ta­gion to other tulips or to lilies — which is why they are now il­le­gal in the Nether­lands.

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