Bulbous Plants

The main bulbous crops (the ones with more than 100 ha bulbs in the NL in 2012) grown in The Netherlands are tulip (Tulipa)  (9963 ha), lily (Lilium) (3941 ha), hyacinth (Hyacinthus) (874 ha), Narcissus (1545 ha), Gladiolus (684 ha), Iris (260 ha), Crocus (352 ha), Allium (189 ha) and Zantedeschia (126 ha). The acreage in hectares as published by the Dutch Flower Bulb Inspection service (BKD) is given between brackets.
Some aspects of research on Tulipa, Lilium, Narcissus, Hyacinthus and Zantedeschia carried out in the ornamental breeding group are listed below. Also the history of the Flower Bulb Symposia during the last 50 years is presented.




Research in the ornamental Breeding Group of Wageningen UR on tulip is focussed on introgression breeding of virus resistance from T. fosteriana in T. gesneriana (TTI-GG; Marasek et al., 2011).

              Tulipa cv World Favorite                                               Ile de France



The history of the lily assortment is relative short.The first commercial group of importance is the Asiatic hybrid groups which were used on large as cutflowers in the 70 and 80ties of the last century. The second group is de Oriental hybrid group which became important in the nineties. Through the use of pollination, embryo rescue and polyploidization techniques the LA- and OT-hybrids were developed. The cultivars of these groups are all triploid and changed the assortment od lily dramatically (Van Tuyl and Arens, 2011; 2nd Lilium Symposium Acta Hortic 900)(the 3rd International Lilium Symposium was held in China 2014 see Acta Hortic 1027).


                          LA Brindisi                   OR lily Tessa


The origine of the most important Narcissus cultivar "Tete a Tete" has been proved by Genomic in situ Hybridization research (Van Tuyl and Arens, 2012; bulb symposium Turkey, Wu et al., 2011).



Range of ploidy levels in hyacinthus cultivars (Van Tuyl and Arens, 2012, Bulb Symposium Turkey).





Flowerbulb Symposia

   The 13th International Symposium on Flower Bulbs and Herbaceous Plants (ISFBHP) was held in Seoul, Korea from May 1-3 2019. It is organized by Korean Association for Flower Industry Development, Korean National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science and the Korean National Arboretum and hosted by International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS), Korean Society for Floricultural Science (KSFS) and Korean Society for Horticultural Science (KSHS).

    The first International Symposium on Flower Bulbs was held in The Netherlands (NL) in Noordwijk in 1970. It is almost 50 years ago. One of the participants was August A. De Hertogh, an authority in floriculture and well known from his famous reference book “The Physiology of Flowering Bulbs” co-edited with Marcel Le Nard (1993). He died October 26, 2018. In Memory to Gus De Hertogh an article for this Acta was written by Rina Kamenetsky and John Dole. The other symposia were held in England (1975), Denmark (1980), NL (1985), USA (1989), Poland (1992), Israel (1996), South Africa (2000), Japan (2004), NL (2008), Turkey (2012) and China (2016). Although The Netherlands is as 50 year ago still the most important country for the Global Flower Bulb Industry (to my regret) no Dutch contributions will be presented at this Symposium. It is clear that the Research on Flower Bulbs and other Herbaceous Plants for this symposium originates mainly from other Asia and other continents then Europe. Many countries in world discover flower bulbs as ornamental plant and research on cultivation and production are needed (see Acta Hortic 1237). In 2024 the 14th Flower Bulb Symposium will be held in Poland on April 14-17 in Warsaw.