Hortus Botanicus Leiden

Flemish doctor and progressive botanist, Carolus Clusius was appointed the director of Leiden’s Hortus Botanicus in the early 1590s. After having planted tulips in the Imperial botanical gardens of Vienna, Clusius also planted tulip bulbs here. 1594 is considered the first official year (on record) of a flowering tulip in the Netherlands. Clusius experimented with cross-breeding many different species of wild tulips. The cultivation of Clusius’ tulips at Leiden arguably led to tulipmania and the commercial tulip industry in the Netherlands.

In November we contacted Carla Teune (former hortulana of the Hortus Botanicus Leiden) to see if the Leiden tulip garden had any of Brueghel’s tulips. Unfortunately not, and it was already too late to plant tulip bulbs at this late stage of year.


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