This beautiful image of tulips is from one Worth’s most important floras, Basil Besler’s Hortus Eystettensis (Nuremberg? 1640). Worth was keenly interested in floras of all kinds: local, regional, national and international. His collection not only includes a large host of European floras, but also some of the most important African, American, Asian and Middle Eastern floras available in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries.
Besler, Hortus Eystettensis (Nuremberg?, 1640), Tulipa globosa.
Some eleven pages of the Hortus Eystettensis in the Spring section are devoted entirely to the tulip with three additional pages showing them with other spring flowers. In colours of red, pink, purple, yellow, gold, white and even in green (viridescens), in popular striped or spotted ‘broken’ forms, they nod and bend their heads to allow four to five to a page. We have chosen to show two varieties from Clusius’s category of late flowering species or serotina tulips. Dancing and tossing in an imaginary wind, the one on the left is a golden coloured form, while the two flowered version on the right is red.by