It is the kissing flower...Two lips.
In the early 1600's tulip bulbs were a form of currency in Holland.
Variegated tulips admired during the Dutch "tulipomania" gained their delicately feathered patterns from an infection, a mosaic virus that was carried by the green peach aphid.
The multicolored patterns or modern varieties today result from breeding; they normally have solid, not feathered borders between the colors.
It is believed the first tulips in the United States were grown near Spring Pond at the Fay Estate in Lynn and Salem, Massachusetts. Mr. Fay imported many different trees and plants from all parts of the world and planted them among the meadows of the Fay Estate.
The Netherlands are the world's main producer of commercial tulip plants, producing as many as 3 billion bulbs annually, the majority for export.
The tulip in Turkish culture was a symbol of paradise on earth with a divine presence. In the Netherlands it is said to symbolize the briefness of life.
Tulip mania (1634-1637) was a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which prices for bulbs of the "recently introduced" tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then suddenly collapsed.
At the peak of tulip mania, in March 1637, some single tulip bulbs sold for more than 10 times the annual income of a skilled craftsman. It is generally considered the first recorded speculative bubble (or economic bubble). The term "tulip mania" is now often used metaphorically to refer to any large economic bubble when asset prices deviate from intrinsic values.
Tulip Era, the name of the period derives from the tulip craze among the Ottoman court society. Cultivating this culturally ambiguous emblem had become a celebrated practice. The Tulip Period illustrated the conflicts brought by early modern consumer culture and was a shared material symbolism. During this period the elite and high-class society of the Ottoman period had established an immense fondness for the tulip, which were utilized in various occasions. Tulips defined nobility and privilege, both in terms of goods and leisure time.
What is the Tulip of Today?
I have never had the timing down to dig up my tulips, remember where I stowed them and plant them back in the dirt in the fall. I like to admire tulips in someone else's garden. I am more of a successful daffodil grower. You can plant those, leave them alone and they come back every year. Some can multiply and others can travel to other sections of the garden via, I am guessing the squirrels. Spring is almost here, it's the time to let them grow in all their grandeur.
Most tulip descriptions and facts found at Wikipedia. Full credit to those writers, I could not have said it better myself. I did however find out about the rise and fall of the tulip trade from a most knowledgeable director on a Trafalgar
tour of Europe some years back. I refer to that information as Simon said.