Q. Where can I buy the rare black tulip?
A. We have it — Queen of the Night. But actually, black tulips are not rare — black tulips do not exist! What do exist are some very, very deep purple tulips, some of which appear almost black. The search for the fabled black tulip has been an epic quest for centuries.
In 1850 Alexander Dumas, famed French author of The Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers and The Man in the Iron Mask, captured the popular fancy with The Black Tulip (now with Oxford University Press), a romantic tale in which a fictional black tulip figures in a love story laced with murder, torture, greed, dastardly intrigue, and sudden surprises.
Today, the lure of a black tulip still attracts. Dutch hybridizers have achieved some very, very deep purples. 'Queen of Night', for example, is officially listed as "deep velvety maroon" and is very, very dark in color. But achieving a true black tulip, say the experts, is not possible (yet still worth the try!).