Nearly all tulip bulbs are duds at the Amsterdam Flower Market

According to research commissioned by the municipality of Amsterdam and the Koninklijke Algemenee Vereeniging voor Bloembollencultuur (KAVB), the tulip bulbs at the Amsterdam flower market are mostly duds- they will never bloom. 

The tulip bulbs are a popular souvenir for tourists who visit the Amsterdam flower market. Following complaints and observations by residents, entrepreneurs and the KAVB, Amsterdam decided this needed further investigation. Buyers were found to be deliberately misled both in the Amsterdam flower market and on the Bloembollenboulevard along the N208 in Lisse, another tulip-and-tourist hotspot, according to RTL Nieuws.

Only 1 percent of tulip bulbs bloomed

The research revealed some really surprising results. Firstly, only 1 percent of the bulbs bought by the researchers at the Amsterdam flower market bloomed; this was 2 percent with the market in Lisse. Furthermore, the tulips that did bloom were nothing like those advertised on the package.

Image of tulip bulbs damaged

The chairman of the KAVB noted that this deceit could have lasting consequences for the image of the Netherlands. “Millions of tourists and day-trippers are the victims of this. The tulip is our national symbol and the bulb sector is an important sector for the Dutch economy. As an association, we find it very unfortunate that scammers structurally mislead consumers and damage the image of the bulb sector.”

Further investigations of tulip bulb scam

The municipality of Amsterdam, the KAVB and the municipality of Lisse sent a letter to the Netherlands Authority for Consumers and Markets (ACM) on Monday, requesting them to further investigate and deal with the deceit.

Have you ever bought any of these bulbs? Have they bloomed? Let us know in the comments below. 

Feature image: Source: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay. 

Ailish Lalor
Ailish was born in Sydney, Australia, but grew up by a forest in south-east Ireland, which she has attempted to replace with a living room filled with plants in The Hague. Besides catering to her army of pannenkoekenplantjes, Ailish spends her days convincing her friends that all food is better slightly burnt, plotting ways to hang out with dogs and cats, and of course, writing for DutchReview.


  1. Sometimes I by bulbs on the flowermarket and they are fine. Also as presents for other people like my mother. No complains.


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