Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Daffodil’s for March

March Flower

Daffodil’s trumpet in the beginning of spring, as in most parts of the world March is the time of year we start seeing signs of spring.  A time of year that the weather is as unpredictable as life, from one moment to the next, it can swing from snow, to cold, wet and rainy to warm beautiful, sunny days. 

Through it all you can find Daffodils starting to grow, their tender green shoots popping up everywhere, indicating new beginnings.

The common name for daffodils is derived from an earlier name “Affodell”, which is a variant of Asphodel.  It is not known why the “d” was introduced initially.  Although a probable source is the result of an etymological merging, from the Dutch article ”de”, as in “De addodil”.  “Daffadown dilly” or “daffadown dilly” has appeared as a playful synonym of the name, since at least the sixteenth century.

Narcissus is the botanic name for daffodils, which is a genus of mainly hardy, spring flowering bulbs in the Amaryllis family.  They are originally native to Europe, North Africa and Asia.  Gardeners in North America are known for citing from 50 to 100 different types of daffodils.  This number excludes any wild hybrids and species variants. 

In Greek mythology, Narcissus is known as the self-admirer.  History reflects that Narcissus fell in love with his image when he saw it in a pool of water.  The center of the daffodil cup is said to have been formed from the tears, he cried. 

As the legend goes the Greek Gods thought Narcissus would eventually starve to death, if he remained by the pool.  To prevent this, they chose to turn him into a flower.  It is also a believed that the daffodil was responsible for emanating evil and that evil manifested in the form of madness and death.  This is why in their culture the daffodil is considered a symbol of death.


A quick classification reference of daffodils:
Genus: Narcissus
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Asparagales
Kingdom; Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta

All Narcissus species have a central trumpet, bowl, or disc shaped corona surrounded by a ring of six floral leaves called the perianth which is united into a tube at the forward edge of the ovary. The three outer segments are sepals, and the three inner segments are petals. In laymen's terms this means the flowers of the daffodil have a trumpet shaped structure with a backdrop in the shape of a star.

Traditional daffodils in folklore, poetry and history tend to have a yellow color all over the flower.
According to the Victorian era lists I have found, the meaning associated with the daffodil flower is uncertainty, chivalry, respect or unrequited love. However, today they are more commonly known as symbolizing friendship and hope.

Fun filled quick facts about daffodils: 
*Daffodils are the first flower to rise through the snowy ground, signifying the coming of Spring - a natural time for new birth and renewal.

*The earliest known reference to Daffodils that has been located, can be found in the 6th century A.D. writings of Prophet Mohammed.

Daffodils are a perennial
*Daffodils were brought to Britain by the Romans who thought that the sap from Daffodils had healing powers. Actually the sap contains crystals that can irritate the skin.

*Daffodils are a perennial, every 5 to 10 years, divide the clumps of bulbs in early summer.

*Daffodils are the traditional flowers for a 10th wedding anniversary!

* The daffodil is the national flower of Wales.

*In Wales it is traditional to wear a daffodil on Saint David's Day (March 1).

*According to Chinese legend, the daffodil is a symbol of good fortune. The daffodil is used as a symbol of the Chinese New Year and if a daffodil blooms in your garden on New Year's Day, your house will have good fortune for the entire year.

*Another of the rather amusing daffodil facts developed during medieval times. Arabs extracted the juice of the daffodil for use as a cure for baldness. There is no record to show how successful this “daffy” treatment may have been. Also, the Arabians regarded the daffodil as an aphrodisiac.

Daffodils are a cheerful flower, the heralds the coming of spring; one of the best flowers out there in my opinion that every gardener should include in their gardens.  These cheerful flowers also make a perfect gift for anyone with a birthday in March.  Daffodils are a versatile flower that can bring a smile to just about everyone.

What is your favorite flower?

Revised rewrite of original posting, March 7, 2011.

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