The daffodil (also known as the narcissus or jonquil) is a bloom with both an array of different meanings and names. Traditionally, it is renowned as a classic symbol and celebration of spring. The March birth flower is also symbolic of hope, and because of its bright yellow hue, of joy, friendship and sunshine.
The history of the daffodil
The decorative use of daffodils dates back as far as the ancient civilizations of Europe when the tombs and frescoes at Pompeii were in existence. Because of this, the pretty bloom often appears in classical literature from Rome, Greece and beyond.
The daffodil has also been linked to death and rebirth in history – from the death of the self-loving Narcissus in Greek mythology to its perpetual return as an Easter flower.
Cut daffodils are available from November up until April and can be found in a huge range of sizes, shapes, and colors. When choosing blooms such as the March birth flower, it’s always a good idea to look for bunches of tight buds that showcase partial color. For best results pick flower heads that bend slightly and blooms with leaves of a true green with no yellowing. Once you have these blooms in your hand, it is recommended that you trim the stems of your daffodils using a sharp knife before placing them in water. Another top tip includes not mixing daffodils with other flowers, at least for six hours after cutting the stems, as daffodils emit a sap that can be poisonous to other blooms. If kept cool in a clean vase, daffodils can last for up to six days.
More on the origin of these blooms
‘Daffodil’ is actually just a nickname for this joyful, yellow bloom. The botanical or Latin name is ‘Narcissus’ which derives from the Greek word ‘narkissos’ and the base word ‘narke’, which means narcotic or a numb sensation, and is associated with the sedative effect from the alkaloids in the plant. All members of the daffodil family are poisonous, which is actually a good thing for gardeners because this makes them pest-proof. Both the bulbs and leaves encompass poisonous crystals that only certain insects can freely ingest.
March flower meaning
This bloom is symbolic of unrivaled love and is one of the reasons many gift this flower to someone they have strong feelings for, to show love that cannot be matched or imitated. Asides from being one of the first flowers to show come the spring, it brings new beginnings and, as the poet Keats said, ‘joy forever’. With their hot-hued yellow petals, daffodils are a great gift for a loved one if you wish to inject a little sunshine and color into their lives.
Connected to the tenth wedding anniversary to showcase faithfulness, it is thought that when this bright yellow bloom pokes through the winter ground, it’s almost as if a long-awaited friend has returned home. This makes it a birth flower anyone would be proud to call their own. When presented in a lavish bouquet, daffodils have the ability to inject both happiness and joy into the lives of those you gift them to, particularly as they are symbolic of rebirth and new beginnings.
Tips on planting daffodil bulbs
Daffodils are hardy and stress-free perennial to care for and plant. They grow in most regions, asides from extremely hot or wet climates. For best results, they should be planted in autumn to bloom in late winter or early spring.
The majority of daffodil blooms come in the shape of a showy yellow or white hue, complete with six petals and a trumpet-shaped central corona. However, there are a number of additional cultivated varieties to choose from today. Leafless stems boast between one and 20 blooms, and sometimes need to be staked so that they don’t weigh down the stems.
Daffodils are a great option for both the home and garden. If planting in the garden, place them between shrubs or in a border. They also look perfect in woodland gardens and in large groves. On top of this, they make a great cut flower, allowing you to instantly bring the outdoors inside.