10 Things You Didn't Know About Daffodils

Daffodils are the first brave flowers of spring. Their yellow buds break through the packed-down dirt of winter as if they were the Earth's internal sunshine trying to bring color back into our lives. They fight through the last drifts of snow, they remind us of Easter, and they are so easy to grow. They are simply irresistible.

Did you know though, that there is so much more to daffodils than meets the eye? These harbingers of spring were beloved by the Romans until they were lost to the sands of time. It was only in the early 17th century when they were rediscovered in the weeds by an Englishman. What else didn't you know about these blooms?

Here are 10 things that may be news to you.

1. Know Narcissus?

Daffodils are also known as Narcissus. This mythical word derives from classical Greek mythology where a beautiful youth became so entranced with his own reflection that he pined away for himself. As a punishment for his vanity, the gods turned him into this flower.  

Additionally, the English call these flowers the Lent Lily due to their long association with the fasting period of Christianity. So if you ever hear that name, just remember it's a daffodil.

2. Daffodils are springtime happiness.

Bestowing someone with a bouquet of daffodils is thought to bring happiness into the home. In Wales, you'll be even happier if you spot the first of these cheerful blooms.

According to legend, if you see the first daffodil, your next 12 months will be filled with wealth.

3. It's the national flower of Wales.

In fact, the Welsh love this bloom so much that they have designated it their national flower.

4. It's scientifically beneficial.

Scientists have identified a natural compound called narciclasine in daffodil bulbs.

This name doesn't just sound fancy, it turns out it does fancy things, like being beneficial in treating brain cancer, for instance.

5. Don't let your dog snack on daffodils.

These yellow flowers are unparalleled in their appeal for novice gardeners. Part of this has to do with the natural pesticides that these blooms possess. Daffodil bulbs contain poisonous crystals which only certain insects can eat with impunity.

Similarly, squirrels will stay away from your carefully tended garden if you plant these bulbs. Just be careful not to let your dogs dig around them. They can, unfortunately, make your pets sick.

6. They're perfect for a Victorian bouquet.

In the Victorian era, daffodils represented chivalry making them a perfect bouquet for a gentleman to offer a lady.

Today, however, they represent hope. Maybe that's why they're regarded as the official 10th wedding anniversary flower?

7. Are they unlucky flowers?

For generations, poultry farmers were convinced that this flower was unlucky and would stop their hens from laying eggs.

Needless to say, they probably didn't have a lot of early springtime color in their homes as a result.

8. Always offer daffodils in a bunch.

Don't ever present someone with a single daffodil.

Legend has it that offering a single bloom to someone foretells of their misfortune to come.

9. How many types of daffodils exist?

According to the Daffodil Data Bank, there are at least 25 different daffodil species and up to 13,000 different hybrid varieties.

10. Don't mix and match your flowers.

Do not mix other flowers with daffodils until they have soaked in water for 24 hours. Daffodils contain a toxic sap which is harmful to other plants. After you soak them, however, you can add more variety. Just don't recut the stems.  It will re-release the toxin into your bouquet.

After you soak them, however, you can add more herbaceous variety. Just don't recut the stems. It will re-release the toxin into your bouquet.

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