Poet William Wordsworth’s favourite flower: the daffodil is one of the most popular flowers in England due to its beautiful yellow flower and large central trumpet.
The daffodil is also known as the Narcissus amaryllidaceae due to its cultural history and Roman heritage.
Many florists around the UK including Serenata Flowers will be stocking up on daffodils in the New Year due to their huge popularity.
But, where did the story of the daffodil begin?
The flower was originally found in the south west of Europe by the Romans who believed that the sap from the daffodil could heal wounds. Whereas actually it was later found that the calcium oxalate found in the sap (which prevents animals from eating the plant) irritates human skin.
In Victorian times however, the daffodil was given to represent vanity – as a result it was never presented to a woman from a suitor.
Daffodils are originally from Narcissus family – a legend based on a Greek mythology, whereby a young man named Narcissus was banned by his parents of seeing what he looked like. As a result one day he went to drink from a stream and saw his reflection – one he was so transfixed by that he fell in the river and drowned. As a result the Gods transformed him into a daffodil so that he could always sit by the river.
There are also wild daffodils in some parts of the world – also known as Narcissus pseudonarcissus. The wild daffodils need a large amount of light to survive. Therefore, if they were found in woodland areas, trees were regularly cut down to ensure they received a sufficient amount of light. However, these plants are close to extinction now due to the large amount of evergreen plants being planted in woodland areas.
Daffodils are the only flowers to have ‘true bulbs’ – meaning they grow fresh ones each year. The bulbs in spring are a result of them coping with the extreme temperatures between the seasons of summer and winter. Therefore they hibernate underground until their bulbs begin to grow during autumn.
It is also worth noting that the bulbs are resistant to any diseases and cannot be digested by any animals. The bulbs are also poisonous which proves problematic if they are mistaken for onions.
Daffodils have a deep rooted history which is interesting to read and understand. However, with their status as one of the most favoured flowers in the world – they are here to stay.