Tulips: The Botanical and Cultural History

Our latest Review of the Week explores the history of tulips in art, literature, botany, and horticulture


Fisher, Celia. Reaktion Books, 2017
220p bibl index, 9781780237596 $27.00

Fisher is the author of numerous books about flowers in art. The work under review belongs to Reaktion’s “Botanical” series. Tulips are truly beautiful flowers that have become one of the most common and easily recognized garden plants. Fisher follows these flowers throughout the course of history—from their wild origins to their horticultural development in Asia and Europe. This work is an engrossing introduction to one of the world’s most loved horticultural taxa. The book includes a substantial number of illustrations, including historical artwork and contemporary photographs. Additionally, the text offers endnotes, a short listing of tulip-related associations and suppliers, and a chronology. Like other works in this series, Tulip is incredibly readable and worthwhile for general readers who are interested in horticulture, botany, history, or art. Fisher’s other written works on Western floral art will also be of interest to those intrigued by the topic. The text is strongly recommended for public libraries and academic institutions.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All Readership Levels
Reviewer: J. Cummings, Washington State University
Subject: Science & Technology – Biology – Botany
Choice Issue: Oct 2017