The grand reveal of the Wester-Amstel tulip

On Sunday, April 16, Wester-Amstel was marked by the festive christening of the beautiful Wester-Amstel tulip. As many as 150 invited guests were present when Amstelveen mayor Tjapko Poppens performed the christening. After the christening, an official 'christening certificate' was signed. The ceremony concluded with a champagne toast.


The weather gods were kind to the tulips and the guests. Thanks to the abundant sunshine on Friday and Saturday, the tulips planted in the open ground bloomed just in time. This had been preceded by 17 years of hard work. That's how long the breeding took, said Jan-Willem Ligthart, son of the Helders flower bulb grower responsible for this new variety.


Thomas Wals, managing partner of MKB Fonds which has offices at Wester-Amstel, had acquired the right to name this tulip. He obtained this through a winning bid at the benefit auction of the Amsterdam Dinner. This benefit gala is organized annually by the AIDS Fund to raise funds. Wals was eager to contribute to the global fight against the HIV pandemic as well as honour the Wester-Amstel estate with its own tulip.


With the 'Wester-Amstel' tulip, Wester-Amstel joins the centuries-old Dutch tradition of growing new tulip varieties and naming them after prominent people or places. This tradition started around 1600 when large-scale tulip cultivation made its appearance in the Republic of the Seven Provinces. Since then, more than 8,000 varieties have been grown and named.


The Royal General Association of Flower Bulb Culture meticulously registers these new varieties. The register currently contains over 8,000 varieties. Together with artist Heleen de Waard, the Friends of Wester-Amstel had secretly prepared a surprise. De Waard immortalized the fleeting beauty of the 'Tulipa Wester-Amstel' with a full-size botanical drawing. Namesake Waltz received the first copy of this. All other guests received a smaller memento.

Photo Maartje van Tilburg: Amstelveen Mayor Tjapko Poppens christens the Wester-Amstel tulips with a splash of champagne.
Photo Maartje van Tilburg: The planted Wester-Amstel tulip in bloom.
Photo Maartje van Tilburg: Heleen de Waard's beautiful botanical drawing.
Photo Maartje van Tilburg: Guests receive a card of Heleen de Waard's beautiful botanical drawing.
Photo Maartje van Tilburg:More than 150 guests came to the christening of the Wester-Amstel tulip.

News of the Wester-Amstel tulip spread quite well, with De Telegraaf, Amstelveens Nieuwsblad, Amstelveen Web, Amstelveenz, Amstelveen Blog, and De Couturekrant picking it up.

By: De Buitenplaats Editorial Team