I am assuming that the glorious bluey-green stripe on this flower (T. Barcelona) is due to Tulip Breaking Virus. TBV causes the pigment of single colour tulips to break into fabulous flares or feathering across the petals. Before the cause of the breaks in colour was understood, these flamboyant tulips were highly prized, and in the late 16th and early 17th century there was frenzied speculation in bulbs (Tulip Mania).
I’m not sure that my flower, with its rather restrained stripe, would have had anyone rushing to offer me a vast fortune in exchange for the bulb, but I was delighted by it. I am increasingly aware that beauty is rarely about perfection and uniformity, and this tulip, with its flawed petal, proves the point perfectly – it’s my favourite tulip so far.