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Image by Priscilla Du Preez

Discover the hidden life in the soil!

Tulip Mania Leiden is fully active in and around Leiden!

September 17:

Night of Discoveries

Discover Leiden's DNA story

in the artworks of American

artist, Anna Fine Foer.

The festival will take place

at the Hortus Botanicus,Leiden

from 6:30 pm-midnight


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Doe mee
Image by Missy Fant


Tulip Mania Leiden officially started on October 30, 2021 by planting tulip bulbs in the courtyard of BplusC on Nieuwstraat in Leiden.  It was a festive opening with a speech by councilor Ashley North and specially baked tulip cakes. 

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Councilor Ashley North (l) and initiatiator Tulip Mania Leiden, Dr. Leonie Kaptein 

Citizen Science Winners

In the spring of 2022, several participants in the citizen science project presented a photo of the blossoming Masterpeace Tulipa tulips with among them a white tulip! At the end of the flowering season, samples were taken around the tulip bulbs in the winners' gardens. 

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Photo of one of the winning gardens in the citizen science project.

Sampling the soil after blooming

At the end of April 2022, after the bloomimg season, samples were taken of the soil around the  tulip bulbs from the winners' gardens of the citizen science project and from all the Tulip Mania tubs at the Hortus. All DNA is isolated from these samples and the micro-organisms are mapped using metagenomics. The analyses are performed by the LCAB (Leiden Center of Applied Sciences). The results will be announced in the fall.


Arjen Speksnijder and LCAB student Isa Wormsbecher take samples from the tubs in the Hortus.

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Samples were taken in the gardens of the winning participants.


The samples are placed in bags and the tulips are measured.

Citzizen Science Day

On Saturday 6 August, 'Citizen Science' was the theme day of the European City of Science Leiden 2022, an event where visitors could participate in various scientific experiments themselves. Various citizen science projects were presented in the Houtkamp park in Leiderdorp and Tulip Mania Leiden was also presenting its project. The Tulip Mania team had organized a number of activities around the theme of biodiversity, including a ring game in which visitors could throw a ring in a biodiverse 'rich' and 'poor' area. Subsequently, the different plants within the rings were identified. The aim of the activity was to draw attention to the importance of biodiversity in the soil. The richer the soil life, the richer the plant life above it. There was also a lot of enthusiasm for tulip origami.


Citizen Science Day in park de Houtkamp, Leiderdorp


Participants at the Tulpenmanie booth


The plants inside the ring of this biodiverse 'rich' area were identified and compared to the plants within a ring in a biodiverse 'poor' area.

Read on and view the photos of all the other activities that have taken place around Tulip mania Leiden, such as:
■ April 1, The Day of the Tulip
■ April 23, Earth Day
■ April 25, DNA Day
■ Videos of Tulip Mania in conversation with "Jaar van de Tuin".

Midsummer night @ Hortus

On June 21, Tulip Mania was also present at the well-attended midsummer night in the Hortus Botanicus. Since October 2021 there is an experiment running with12 planters in which tulips grow in different types of soil (see planter project). In the past months, visitors have been able to observe the differences in growth between the planters. The tulips are now finished growing, but Tulip Mania has carefully recorded the course of growth and flowering. Preliminary findings were presented during the midsummer night. Results of the metagenomics soil research, in which the micro-organisms in the soil are mapped, are expected this fall. During the event, visitors could also participate in tulips origami at the Tulip Mania booth.

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The poster of Tulip Manie shows a photo collage, in which the course of growth and flowering in the various planters is recorded in photos.

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Leonie Kaptein informs interested parties about the goal of Tulip mania Leiden.

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There was a lot of interest in the project and the tulip origami was also a success!

Workshop @ ARS

As part of the exhibition theme "Plant", Tulpenmanie Leiden gave a workshop on August 16 at the artists association ARS (Ars Aemula Naturae) on the Pieterskerkgracht in Leiden. The tulip can often be found in art in all kinds of manifestations. Tulip origami art was chosen for this accessible workshop. After folding the tulips, you could make them bloom by blowing. This workshop was part of the Tulip Mania project that aims to draw attention to the importance of biodiversity in the soil. The richer the soil life, the richer the plant life above it. The participants in the workshop were informed about tulips, biodiversity and the latest DNA news to map the soil life in Leiden.

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In the courtyard of ARS, student Isa Wormsbecher from the Leiden Center of Applied Bioscience helps fold the tulips.

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The Tulpenmanie Leiden team fltr: Charlotte Zwetsloot, Kitty Kwappenberg, Leonie Kaptein and Isa Wormsbecher.

Tulip Mania exhibit at BplusC

Tulip Mania Leiden, together with BplusC, has installed a special exhibition at the location in the Stevenshof. Tulip Mania proudly presents the series of collages/watercolors,  "Tulip Mania"  by the American artist Anna Fine Foer, which she made during the period 2016-2018. The works show different aspects of the Tulip Mania during the 17th century, but also show parallels with current cryptocurrency trading. Anna Fine Foer collaborated with scientists from Leiden University who started sequencing and mapping the tulip genome at the time. The DNA code of the tulip can be found in a number of her art works. The works at BplusC are prints of the originals. 

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Mosaic Virus - ©Anna Fine Foer

Anna Fine Foer

Tulip Mania

MORE>> Art & Science 

In addition, two showcases have been set up, one with background information about the Tulip Mania Leiden project and one with the history of how the tulip from Asia came to the Netherlands, shown in images and text. 



Planter project Hortus

Next to the citizen science project, Tulip Mania Leiden, together with organic tulip farmer, John Huiberts and the LCAB, also started a more controlled experiment in planters at the Hortus Botanicus. The effect of the composition of different types of soil will be tested on the growth and blooming  of the tulips. At the end of the growth period samples will be taken of the soil and analyzed using metagenomics.


The growth of the Tulipa Masterpeace tulips over a period of a month in in different types of soil. 

Image by Fidel Fernando

We know more about the movement of celestial bodies than about the soil underfoot

- Leonardo da Vinci -

Image by thomas heintz


Image by Annie Spratt


Place and time

June 21, 2022

7:30 pm-midnight

Midsummer Night

Hortus Botanicus, Leiden

August 6 2022

11am - 4pm

Citizen Science Day

Park de Houtkamp, Leiderdorp

August 13 2022

2 - 4pm

Workshop Tulip mania origamie

ARS, Pieterskerkgracht 9a, Leiden

all ages, free admission

August-September 2022


Exhibit Anna Fine Foer, background Tulip mania, history of the tulip

BplusC Stevenshof

Trix Terwindtstraat 6, Leiden

September 17, 2022


Night of Discoveries

Hortus Botanicus, Leiden


Initiation and project coordination

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