The daffodil is one of the world’s most beautiful flowers and is representative of spring, so it is the perfect flower for flower of the month in March, the month where spring officially begins.
What is it called?
Traditionally known as the daffodil, it has two names. The other name is made up of two parts and is Narcissus jonquila. Narcissus is the name of the genus, or wider species, after the Greek mythical characted who was granted good looks and immortality in return for never being able to see his own reflection. Within this wider species, Jonquil is the name of the specific species. This mean that the daffodil is known as the Narcissus jonquila.
Where does it come from?
Daffodils are typically a tropical or sub tropical flower, which means that they grow best in areas like Spain and Portugal where they originate from.
However, over the years they have adapted well and can now be grown in most countries, they’ve even been known to grow in areas with harsh weather like Ukraine!
When does it grow?
Daffodils traditionally grow best in spring, so you need to plant the bulb in September to get the best results, with the bloom coming in April or May.
One bulb planted in the ground can last for 3 to 5 years and bloom every time the right conditions come around.
What does it mean?
Most famously, the daffodil is the national flower of Wales and is heavily associated with Saint David’s Day on 1st March. It is also a national flower in Iran, where it represents the new year.
Daffodils are also generally associated with spring and the festival of Easter, to the extent that in German the flower is known as the Osterglocke, which means “Easter bell.
However, the symbolic meanings are not as pleasant, as they are used in the West as a symbol of vanity, and in some cases bad luck, as people consider that they hang their heads in misfortune.
In the East, they interpret these factors in a different way, taking it to show wealth and good fortune, while in Persian literature the daffodil was often spoken of as a symbol of beautiful eyes.
How can it be used?
Daffodils are often used as an ingredient in fragrances and perfumes. Similarly, they have previously been used in medicine due to research which shows that daffodils produce galantamine, which is used in medicines to fight Alzheimer’s disease. It also generates chemicals which are sometimes used in rodent repellent to protect crops and agriculture.
In the past, daffodils were used in a range of medicines. Some believed that it cured baldness, while the French thought of it as an aphrodisiac. Perhaps the stangest was the ancient Greeks, who used it as a stimulant to induce trance like states and cause hallucinations.
They can also, of course, be sold as flowers in a bouquet or even as a plant.
Do you like the daffodil? Have you ever grown one?