Tulip mania on the Rhine

An aerial picture taken by a drone on Wednesday shows a tractor harvesting blooming tulips on a field in Grevenbroich, Germany.

The tulips grow on about 100ha of land. Tulip fields can be admired all over the Rhine district of Neuss, which offers one of the largest contiguous cultivation areas in the whole of Germany.

Tulip season runs from the end of March until mid-May, but the flowers are usually at their best halfway through April.

Although originally cultivated in the Ottoman Empire - present-day Turkey - they were brought to Europe in the 16th century.

In the mid-17th century, tulips were so popular among the Dutch that they created an economic bubble, known as "Tulip Mania", where tulips were even used as a form of money.

Today, the Netherlands is the world's main producer of commercial tulip plants, with around three billion exported each year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 26, 2019, with the headline 'Tulip mania on the Rhine'. Print Edition | Subscribe