Dutch princess visits New York to name tulip for Henry Hudson

An official ceremony was held to announce a new tulip variety named in honor of the 400th anniversary of explorer Henry Hudson’s discovery of Manhattan Island.

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    Princess Maxima (center) baptizes Tulipa ‘Henry Hudson’ during the tulip's naming ceremony, Wednesday in Manhattan's Battery Park.
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Princess Maxima of the Netherlands, wife of Willem-Alexander, crown prince of Orange, "baptized" Holland’s newest tulip yesterday at a ceremony in Manhattan’s Battery Park.

On the site of the fort that once guarded the young colony of New Amsterdam, the Dutch royal couple joined a crowd of New York dignitaries for the official naming ceremony for Tulipa ‘Henry Hudson’ named in honor of the 400th anniversary of explorer Henry Hudson’s discovery of Manhattan Island and the river that bears his name, which led to the founding of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam.

The ceremony was part of NY400, a joint Dutch-American celebration of the shared history of New York City and the city of Amsterdam. The royal couple also presented the city of New York with a gift of 120,000 flower bulbs to be planted in the city’s five boroughs, Battery Park and the Hudson River Park this fall.

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Accepting the gifts were Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City; Adrian Benepe, parks commissioner; Diana Taylor, chairwoman of the Hudson River Park Trust; William Rudin, chairman of the board of the Battery Conservancy; and Warrie Price, founder and president of the Battery Park Conservancy.

‘Henry Hudson’ is a beautiful orange species tulip bred by the Institute of Horticultural Plant Breeding (IVT) in Wageningen, Netherlands. The bulbs were grown by grower Piet Apeldoorn, of Th. Apeldoorn, Egmond-Binnen. As with all tulips, the bulbs of Tulipa ‘Henry Hudson’ are planted in fall to bloom the following spring.

Signing the naming certificate were Princess Maxima and Mr. Jan van der Zijden, representing the Dutch Flower Bulb sector. The tulip will be officially and permanently listed in International Register of Tulips maintained by the Royal General Bulb Growers Association of the Netherlands.

Henry Hudson was the English captain hired to helm the Dutch East India Company ship Halve Maen (Half Moon) on an expedition to search out a new passage to the Orient. In the fall of 1609 he sailed into New York harbor where he landed on Manhattan Island, and then traveled up the Hudson as far as present-day Albany.

His explorations established a Dutch claim to the area and paved the way for their colonization of southern New York as the colony of New Amsterdam. On a subsequent voyage in 1610 in the ship Discovery, Hudson explored the coast of Greenland and discovered the Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada, the second largest bay in the world after the Bay of Bengal.

Editor’s note: For more on gardening, see the Monitor’s main gardening page, which offers articles on many gardening topics. Also, our blog archive and our RSS feed. You may want to visit Gardening With the Monitor on Flickr. Take part in the discussions and get answers to your gardening questions. If you join the group (it’s free), you can upload your garden photos and enter our next contest. We’ll be looking for photographs of fruits. So find your best shots of summer’s blueberries, peaches, plums, etc., and get out your camera to take some stunning shots of early fall apples. Post them before Sept. 30, 2009, and you could be the next winner.

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