Tulip mania, or tulipomania, was a period during the 1630's in Holland when the Dutch devoted a great deal of economic resources to the cultivations of tulips, and, more devastatingly, to tulip speculation. Tulips can be produced by vegetative cloning at a very slow pace or by means of seeds with a substantial wait before flowering. This scarcity drove down supply, which floated up the price. Every Dutch citizen had the idea to spend a fortune on the bulb then raise it for a year to split it in two and sell it for two fortunes the next. Since the trend was unsustainable, the bottom fell out of the market and the Dutch were left with a baseless economy. Tulip mania is one of the leading examples of an economic bubble.
- Extraordinary Popular Delusions, volume 1. 1841. Charles Mackay. www.gutenberg.org/etext/636