It just wouldn't be spring time here in the Champlain Valley without the first annual sightings of daffodils in bloom! Every year, we look forward to seeing their cheerful yellow trumpets heralding the arrival of longer days and warmer weather. Daffodils are popular for good reason: they are beautiful, grow well under the right conditions, and have been associated with good fortune! Read on to learn some more fascinating and fun facts about daffodils.
1. Any plant that falls under the genus of Narcissus, including paperwhites and jonquils, is considered a daffodil. But most people know daffodils by their unique trumpet-shaped blooms. There are at least 25 different species of daffodils and over 13,000 daffodil hybrids!
2. Spiritually, daffodils symbolize revival, rebirth, hope, resilience, good luck, and prosperity according to many folk legends and traditions. But you may remember the story of Narcissus, the son of the Greek river god. Narcissus was celebrated for being exceedingly handsome, but he treated everyone badly. Finally, the goddess Nemesis lured him to a pond and there he fell in love with his own reflection. What happened after that varies, depending on the legend you read: some say that he fell in and drowned, and the Narcissus flowers (daffodils) sprang up in his memory. Others say that the water nymphs transformed him into a daffodil to as revenge for how he treated them. Either way, it's not a very happy ending for poor Narcissus.
3. Daffodils are prized in both China and Wales (UK) for different reasons! In China, the daffodils bloom around the Chinese New Year and are believed to bring good luck and good fortune for the coming year. In Wales, daffodils are the National Flower of Wales and usually bloom around St. David's day, who is the patron saint of Wales.
4. Daffodils first appeared in cultivated gardens around 300BC. The flowers are actually native to southern Europe and northern Africa, and can thrive in a number of different climates from sea level to subalpine communities.
5. Daffodils contain crystals in their sap that is actually poisonous to other plants, and can be toxic to household pets like dogs. Most squirrels and rabbits won't eat them because of this! And if you want to put daffodils in a vase with other flowers, make sure you soak them in water by themselves for 24 hours to dilute that sap.
When you're planning to do your fall planting, include some daffodil bulbs! These bulbs are easy to plant and don't require a lot of fuss to get beautiful flowers in the spring. Check out our online catalog of daffodil bulbs and place your orders early - bulbs will ship in the fall, so pre-order now to get the best selection!