When most people think of Dutch tulips, they picture the flamboyantly flamed variety often called “Rembrandts” for their hand-painted look. (Rembrandt really didn’t paint such striped beauties, but other Dutch masters did.) A blossom with a multi-colored blaze was called a “broken tulip,” and the effect was caused by a virus transmitted by aphids. The disease eventually killed off many of the most famous tulip varieties cultivated by the Dutch in the 17th century. Today, other hybridizing methods are used to create the same streaked effect.

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