By: Claire Warlick, Winter 2012 intern
Claiming a favorite flower is just as difficult as answering other nearly impossible questions, like “Who’s your favorite character on Friends?” or “What’s your favorite food?”
Hard questions. But, in the spirit of all good flower interns, I’ll pick a favorite.
My interest in fashion spurred my love of the parrot tulip. As I was perusing runway photos from this spring’s Fashion Week, I fell in love with two gowns.
Inspired by a love of clean lines, unobtrusive ruffles, and a grasp of the classic, J. Mendel’s gowns reminded me of a parrot tulip. And as much as I love the gowns, I think the flower is more beautiful.
This mid-season bloomer has the delicate arched stem and cup-like bloom of a common tulip, but its petals are ruffled and frilled on the edges. The more the bloom opens and falls, the more the ruffles unfurl and the airier the flower appears. The parrot tulip’s color varieties are vast—from bold crimsons striped with saffron gold to delicate pale pink. Its versatility is amazing. I love its ability to gracefully stand alone or just as effortlessly accent a bouquet. The blooms can be blousy and droopy or stiffly upright, nodding ever so slightly.
Brightly hued or pale, unopened or languorous, the parrot tulip will always be a classic to me. It can adopt the exotic persona of a wilder flower while keeping the clean lines of a tulip. It’s softly glamorous and proud. And I love it—a timeless floral chameleon.