Tulips originated in Central Asia and became very popular in Turkey. The tulip’s name comes from the Persian word for turban because in full bloom tulips have a turban-like shape.
Tulips commonly mean perfect love. The meaning of perfect love is tied to Turkish and Persian legends about the love between Farhad and Shirin. There are a few variations of this tale. According to one story, Farhad was a prince. He was in love with a beautiful girl named Shirin. Unfortunately, Shirin is murdered, and this tears Farhad apart. In desperation, Farhad rides his horse of a cliff, and a red tulip grows where his blood touches the ground — the symbol for perfect love.
From the 16th to the 19th century, a great number of books on flowers, especially tulips, were written and illustrated. These books include illustrations of tulips with their characteristics and measurements to prove their perfection.
A Persian legend tells the origin of tulips, young Prince Farhad was madly in love with his maid, Shirin. One day he heard the news (false) that Shirin was dead, overwhelmed with grief Farhad saddled his horse, and went to the rocks to look for death. From many wounds caused by rocks, drops of Farhad’s blood spread on the ground, from every drop a purple tulip grew, the symbol of his love for Shirin. That is why in ancient Persia, the red tulip was a symbol of passionate love.