WASHINGTON – Tulip lovers have a new variety to choose from and it is named after Jill Biden.
The first lady received her “Jill Biden” tulip from André Haspels, ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States, during a ceremony at her official residence on Wednesday. The flower is reddish orange with fringed petals.
Biden gave a toast and said she was honored to be part of the tradition.
“In this happy time, let the dazzling orange of these tulips serve as a reminder of the many sources our nations have shared and be a beacon for the friendships we continue to strengthen today,” she said, according to her office. .
The Dutch named tulips after seven American first ladies, beginning in the late 1800s with Frances Folsom Cleveland, wife of President Grover Cleveland.
More recently, President George W. Bush’s wife, Laura, accepted his tulip in 2004.
“It was a very special ceremony because it doesn’t happen every day,” Haspels told The Associated Press in a phone interview after the presentation.
Jill Biden is known for enjoying fresh-cut flowers; she has a flower “cutting” garden at the White House.
The Dutch penchant for tulips dates back to 1594, when botanist Carolus Clusius planted tulip bulbs in the garden of Leiden University, Haspels said. Since then, the Dutch have mastered the art of growing and cultivating many varieties of tulips.
The country also exports more than 450 million tulip bulbs to the United States each year, he said.
The tulip presentation ceremony was part of a celebration of Dutch Tulip Days at the ambassador’s residence with tulips and bicycles, two things people in his country are known for.
“We are very honored that Dr. Jill Biden is happy to have a tulip named after her,” Haspels said.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.
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