Cultivation of the tulip began in Persia, probably in the 10th century.
In a Turkic text written before 1495, the Chagatay Husayn Bayqarah mentions tulips (lale). Babur, the founder of the Mughal Empire, also names tulips in the Baburnama. He may actually have introduced them from Afghanistan to the plains of India, as he did with other plants like melons and grapes.
During the Ottoman Empire, the tulip was seen as a symbol of abundance and indulgence. The era during which the Ottoman Empire was wealthiest is often called the Tulip era or Lale Devri in Turkish.
Tulips became popular garden plants in east and west, but, whereas the tulip in Turkish culture was a symbol of paradise on earth and had almost a divine status, in the Netherlands it represented the briefness of life.
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