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Parkinson’s Disease and a tulip

If you were to see a yellow ribbon logo, you’d think of supporting our troops. A pink ribbon is associated with supporting breast cancer awareness. But a tulip?

Ah, the tulip. Several years ago, the red tulip was adopted by the global Parkinson’s community to bring awareness to the disease.

The red tulip, with a fringe of white, became the official symbol of Parkinson’s disease at the 9th World Parkinson’s Disease Day Conference in Luxembourg on April 11, 2005 (although the flower had been associated with Parkinson’s awareness since the early 1980s).

The tulip is described in detail as the “exterior being a glowing cardinal red, small feathered white edge, the outer base whitish; the inside, a currant-red to turkey-red, broad feathered white edge, anthers pale yellow.”

This particular tulip was developed by J.W.S. Van der Wereld, a Dutch horticulturist who had Parkinson’s disease. He named the flower after James Parkinson, the doctor who first described the disease as the “shaking palsy.”


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