Tulips are colorful flowers in the lily family, characterized by big, slender petals and decorative stamens and a pistil. Carpets of colorful tulips are a symbol of the Netherlands. In the seventeenth century tulips became extremely fashionable and desirable in this small country on the North Sea, the bulbs of their individual varieties began to achieve a staggering price. This phenomenon is called the tulip mania. The Netherlands is the country abundant in parks and gardens that take greatest pride in the colorful carpet of tulips. Tulip bulbs can be purchased on flower markets or fairs.