They are not black. There is no such thing as a black tulip, only a dark purple one. And they are cultivated.
Originally from Turkey, tulips were believed to have first bloomed in the Netherlands sometime late 16th century. The Dutch climate seemed to agree with these flowers and some wise person decided to have them on permanent display at the Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, about an hour’s drive from Amsterdam.
We spent 3 splendid hours walking around Keukenhof amongst these flowers. It was a rather brisk walk and we only just covered every pavilion before the rAin came. We were rather late to see the flowers; if we had been there a week earlier, we would have seen the gardens and the flower beds in their full glory. Pity some of them were wilting and had to have the heads cut off by the gardeners, if not harvested for sale. But at least we caught them. Yesterday was the last day of the season.
[First published: 20 May 2014]