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More details about the Canada 150 Tulip and perhaps a new Website to check!
by Art Drysdale
by Art Drysdale

email: art@artdrysdale.com

Art Drysdale, a life-long resident of Toronto and a horticulturist well known all across Canada, is now a resident of Parksville, British Columbia on Vancouver Island, just north of Nanaimo. He has reno-vated an old home and has a new garden there. His radio gardening vignettes are heard in south-western Ontario over radio station Easy 101 FM out of Tillsonburg at 2 PM weekdays.

Art also has his own website at http://www.artdrysdale.com


January 29, 2017

Above the real Tulip Canada 150, also known as ‘Carnaval de Rio’. Below, one of the imposters known as ‘Canadian Celebration’ or as it was formerly known, “Happy Generation’.



 


 



 

I first wrote about the Canada 150 tulip in celebration of Canada’s sesquicentennial, in this site on July 24, 2016. If you missed it you can still find it at http://www.icangarden.com/document.cfm?task= viewdetail&itemid=11034  .

Like all tulips, and other spring flowering bulbs, if you bought bulbs and still have not planted them, provided they have not sprouted to any extent in the bag or box (you would need to have kept them cold), you could still plant them now if, as is the case here on Vancouver Island, there is little or no frost in the ground where you want to plant them. Or you could follow directions for forcing them in pots that can be found by searching for that information in this site. I have written on that topic several times in the past. (E.g. September 4, last year – http://www.icangarden.com/document.cfm?task=viewdetail&itemid=11060 )

Where and how was this tulip developed?

Since writing about Canada 150 last September, I have come across a Blog written and hosted by a man named Robert Pavlis in south-western Ontario. Not long after I wrote my little piece on the Canada 150 tulip last September he wrote a lengthy piece on the subject. There follows my excerpts from that piece.

“A newspaper, the Ottawa Citizen reports):

“‘The Canada 150 tulip is one of the latest and most splendid products of our growers’ restless ingenuity,” said His Excellency Cees Kole, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. “Dutch tulip growers have been collaborating with the NCC (National Capital Commission, Canada) for the past four years to develop and design the celebratory flower’ A lot of effort seems to have gone into the development of this tulip.

“There was a lot of discussion about the origin of this tulip in Canadian gardening groups. It had limited distribution and imposters were on the market. We wanted to know more, so one member contacted the NCC for clarification, and this is what they had to say:

“‘We wish to inform you that the NCC did not breed the Canada 150 tulip. This tulip existed already and the NCC negotiated the exclusivity of this registered tulip in Canada, with the grower, Holland Bulb Market (Holland).

“It looks as if the so called ‘four years to develop and design’ did not actually take place, except in someone’s imagination. This tulip was not specifically designed for Canada. Tulip ‘Carnaval de Rio’ was simply renamed as Tulip ‘Canada 150’. It can be purchased under both names.

“The Canada 150 tulip is actually Tulip ‘Carnaval de Rio’. Where did this tulip come from?

“The official organization for registering tulip cultivars is the Royal General Bulb Growers’ Association (KAVB) . It’s records show that Tulip ‘ ‘Carnaval de Rio’ was registered on 25-06-1999, by Firma Bern. N. Dobbe Zn, a bulb grower in The Netherlands.

“The Canada 150 tulip is only available from Home Hardware [stores]but other retailers wanted to also make some cash on the birthday craze. It is no surprise that a tulip called ‘Canadian Celebration’ started to be sold by nurseries in Canada. When I contacted Van Noort Bulb Co. Ltd, the distributor of the imposter, they told me that Tulip ‘Canadian Celebration’ is a renaming of Tulip ‘Happy Generation’.

“Tulip ‘Happy Generation’ sure looks like Canada 150. Is it the same? Are there more name changes to discover?

“The KAVB tulip registry as well as the [US] National Gardening Association lists Tulip ‘Happy Generation’ as being registered in 1988 by J.de.Vries & Sons.

“It appears as if Tulip ‘Happy Generation’ is not the same plant as Tulip ‘Carnaval de Rio’. If you Google these two tulips and look at the many pictures posted – they sure look the same. So I decided to do more digging into the facts which are presented below.

“It looks as if the so called ‘four years to develop and design’ did not actually take place, except in someone’s imagination. This tulip was not specifically designed for Canada. Tulip ‘Carnaval de Rio’ was simply renamed as Tulip ‘Canada 150’. It can be purchased under both names.

“The Canada 150 tulip is actually Tulip ‘Carnaval de Rio’. Where did this tulip come from?

“The official organization for registering tulip cultivars is the Royal General Bulb Growers’ Association (KAVB) . It’s records show that Tulip ‘Carnaval de Rio’ was registered on 25-06-1999, by Firma Bern. N. Dobbe Zn, a bulb grower in The Netherlands.

“The Canada 150 tulip is only available from Home Hardware [stores]but other retailers wanted to also make some cash on the birthday craze. It is no surprise that a tulip called ‘Canadian Celebration’ started to be sold by nurseries in Canada. When I contacted Van Noort Bulb Co. Ltd, the distributor of the imposter, they told me that Tulip ‘Canadian Celebration’ is a renaming of Tulip ‘Happy Generation’.

“Tulip ‘Happy Generation’ sure looks like Canada 150. Is it the same? Are there more name changes to discover?

“The KAVB tulip registry as well as the [US] National Gardening Association lists Tulip ‘Happy Generation’ as being registered in 1988 by J.de.Vries & Sons.

“Johan went on to say ‘I would not be surprised if the same commercial photographs are being used for both cultivars. Such things do happen.’ This along with the fact that the open flowers look the same would explain why the on line pictures look similar.

“The facts are these. The two cultivars are registered as two separate plants. Each has different bud coloration and leaf edges. Tulip ‘Happy Generation’ and Tulip ‘Carnaval de Rio’ are different plants.

“You might be familiar with tulip mania, a period of time in The Netherlands when tulip bulbs were selling for ridiculous prices. Some of the stories are actually myths and exaggerations, but bulbs did sell for high prices.

“Some of the most expensive tulip bulbs sold were streaked in unusual colors, just like the Canada 150. It turns out that these bulbs had a virus, called the Tulip Breaking Virus. This virus created great looking tulips, but it also slowly killed the plants. You can read more about this fascinating topic at The Virus That Destroyed The Dutch Economy.

“Be assured that the bulbs being sold today do not carry the virus. The Canada 150 tulip looks like a virused plant but it contains no virus.”

So there you have Robert Pavlis’ explanation about Tulip Canada 150. If you wish you may check out some of his other topics (many of them surprisingly similar to some of mine) on his Website: www.gardenmyths.com.

So now I know there are at least two of us on line who are attempting to keep the Web honest!

   

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