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Tulipa, commonly called Tulip, is a genus of about 150 species of bulbous flowering plants in the family Liliaceae. Although tulips are associated with Holland, both the flower and its name originated in the Ottoman Empire. The tulip is actually not a Dutch flower as many people tend to believe. The tulip, or "Lale" as it is called in Turkey, is a flower indigenous to Iran, Afghanistan, Turkey and other parts of Central Asia. After being described in a letter by the Dutch ambassador in Turkey in the 16th century, Ogier Ghiselin de Busbecq, who was also a great floral enthusiast, tulips were brought to Europe in the 16th century; the word tulip, which earlier in English appeared in such forms as tulipa or tulipant, entered the language by way of French tulipe and its obsolete form tulipan or by way of Modern Latin tulīpa, from Ottoman Turkish tülbend, "muslin, gauze."
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