The daffodil symbolises rebirth and new beginnings so is unsurprisingly the birth flower of March. Spring is springing and nature is reawakening to another cycle of growth.
Confusion often reigns as to the difference between a daffodil and a narcissus. One understanding is that all daffodils are narcissi however not all narcissi are daffodils. So, that’s nice and clear!
Mention daffodils and many will instantly think of Wordsworth when he was “wandering lonely as a cloud.” It was however his sister Dorothy Wordsworth, who noted in her diary the sight of daffodils that “tossed and reeled and danced and seemed as if they verily laughed with the wind.”
The Victorians considered the daffodil to be a symbol of chivalry and today they are a sign of hope and friendship. Give a bunch of daffodils to someone and you are offering friendship and happiness. Give a single flower and you are inviting bad luck. Goodness, the language of flowers can be tricky!
There are over 50 species of daffodil and more than 13000 hybrids! Traditionally golden yellow daffodils are now available in white, orange, green and even pink. The trumpet or corona can also vary wildly with some being completely flattened.
Beautiful as they are daffodils are most certainly not for eating. The Romans first brought daffodils to England believing that the sap could heal wounds. In fact, the sap is an irritant, providing the plant with a natural defence against being eaten. Place cut daffodils in a vase of mixed flowers and the daffodil sap will soon kill the others.
Daffodil bulbs are poisonous to dogs, cats and horses. There have been cases of people eating them by mistake, believing them to be onions. This has led to serious illness.But enough of the downside to daffodils! Why would you want to eat them anyway when you could just enjoy them laughing with the wind?