WASHINGTON – Tulip lovers have a new variety to choose from, named after Jill Biden.
The First Lady accepted her “Jill Biden” tulip from André Haspels, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the United States, during a ceremony at his official residence on Wednesday. The flower is reddish-orange with fringed petals.
Biden offered a toast, saying she was honored to take part in the tradition.
“In this happy time, let the dazzling orange of these tulips be a reminder of the many sources our nations have shared and be a beacon of the friendships we continue to strengthen today,” she said, according to her office.
The Dutch have named tulips after seven First Ladies of the United States, beginning in the late 19th century with Frances Folsom Cleveland, wife of President Grover Cleveland.
Most recently, President George W. Bush’s wife Laura accepted her tulip in 2004.
“It was a very special ceremony because it doesn’t happen every day,” Haspels told The Associated Press in a phone interview after the presentation.
Jill Biden is known for loving freshly cut flowers; She has a flower garden in the White House.
The Dutch fondness for tulips dates back to 1594, when botanist Carolus Clusius planted tulip bulbs in the Leiden University garden, Haspels said. Since then, the Dutch have mastered the art of cultivating and growing many varieties of tulips.
The country also exports more than 450 million tulip bulbs to the US annually, he said.
The tulip handing over ceremony was part of a celebration of Dutch Tulip Day at the Ambassador’s residence with tulips and bicycles, two things the people of his country are known for.
“We are very honored that Dr. Jill Biden is happy to have a tulip named after her,” Haspels said.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, transcribed or redistributed without permission.
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