An interesting fact: tulips as a species appeared about 10 million years ago in the foothills of the Tien Shan mountains, on the territory of modern Kazakhstan. It is from here that these unusual flowers spread all over the world. Persians were first to cultivate them, and then the tulips conquered Turkey, where they were involved in a professional selection. The bulbs of this plant were brought to Europe from Constantinople in 1554; they were bed out in the Viennese garden of medicinal plants. In 1570, garden director Karl Clusius carried several copies of tulips to Holland, where they gained a second homeland and worldwide popularity. Today there are more than 3000 varieties of cultivated tulips around the world; most of them are descendants of Kazakhstani flowers. These "founders" of the tulip family still adorn the expanses of our country ... During the blooming period (April-May), the Kazakh steppe looks like a bright endless carpet - because of the thousands of flowers that blossomed at the same time.
There are 35 species of wild tulips can be found in Kazakhstan nowadays, 18 of them are listed in the Red Book. The most famous is the Greig tulip (Tulipa greigii) - named after the president of the Russian Society of Gardeners. Flower’s aristocratic forms - a tall stem and a large goblet flower - are well traced in almost 300 modern species, its descendants. Kaufman tulip (Tulipa kaufmanniana or water-lily tulip) is another famous tulip great-grandfather, which gave rise to two hundred modern varieties. But of particular interest are the endemic species: Albert tulip, Schrenk tulip, late tulip (Tulipa tarda) and, of course, the rarest Regel tulip.
Regel tulip is a relic plant found only in the Chu-Ili Mountains (Almaty and Zhambyl regions). It grows on rocky slopes, and often on bare black rocks. On a short stem (up to 10 cm), only one fleshy “corrugated” leaf and a beautiful white and yellow flower grow. Unlike other tulips, Regel exudes a delicate scent. For resemblance to saffron and for very early flowering, residents call it “baisheshek” (snowdrop).