NCC announces official start to tulip season

A woman takes pictures of tulips at the Canadian Tulip Festival at Major's Hill Park last May. The Canadian Press / Justin Tang

The tulips are beginning to bloom in the nation’s capital as the National Capital Commission announced the official start to tulip season Tuesday.

Early season varieties of the colourful flower are starting to open their petals and most of the blooms will be at their peak over the next two weeks.

According to the NCC, over one million tulips of 100 different varieties and thousands of other spring flowers will be on display for tourists and locals to take in and enjoy.

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Last year, the NCC showcased a specially bred flower that resembled the red and white maple leaf for the Canada 150 celebrations. This year’s featured tulip will be known as the “World Friendship” tulip.

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According to the NCC, the bloom is known as a “Triumph Tulip,” and will be a soft yellow colour — the symbolic colour of friendship — and is highly resistant to disease and strong-stemmed.

Thirty thousand of these tulips will be on display throughout the NCC’s 100 flower beds at 30 different sites: Parliament Hill, Major’s Hill Park, Jacques Cartier Park and along Confederation Boulevard.

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According to the NCC, the first tulip beds in the capital were planted in 1945 after the Netherlands sent 100,000 tulip bulbs in gratitude for Canada’s role in the liberation of the Netherlands in the Second World War.

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