How do to create a new tulip variety?


Imagine a tall yellow tulip. Everyone loves its colour and beautiful shape. What a pity, though, that its stem is so limp and that it produces flowers too late. But there’s another tulip that’s short and white. Its shape isn’t as pretty, but it produces flowers earlier. So the plant breeder crosses these two tulips, by putting a little pollen from one flower onto the pistil of the other.


Crossed tulips
Next, he collects the seeds. And from the seeds, he grows bulbs. After about five years, those bulbs will produce flowers. Then there is a chance that the plant breeder will get what he wants: a tulip with the best features of the yellow tulip and the white tulip. In this case: one that flowers early, is short, and has a beautifully shaped flower.

As you can see, this is quite a process. The plant breeder has to be a first-class professional with lots of patience. Otherwise: no new tulips!