Narcissus Daffodil

Over the past few weeks we’ve focused on the theme of spring flowers. Their importance and contribution to any year cannot be understated. In this respect spring flowers have become symbols, suggesting renewal, in what is undeniably the least colourful part of the year. With their striking yellow displays, daffodils remain the true heralds of spring. Planted in autumn they spend several months developing roots before bursting into flower during spring.

Photo credit: Jonathan Clark, Victoria Park

Being native to Europe, northern parts of Africa, western parts of Asia and the Mediterranean, daffodil significance isn’t limited to the UK or Ireland. In America they have a National Daffodil Association and every year all over America counties, towns and cities have daffodil festivals. In Washington one festival this year is celebrating its 80th year. Did you know that In Asian culture if daffodils bloom before the Chinese New Yearit is believed to signify good fortune.

Daffodils are the national flower of Wales, the county flower of Gloucestershire and in England they are known as the lent flower, as they bloom at the beginning of lent and are gone by Easter. The name Narcissus originates after being named for a Greek God (Narcissus) who fell in love with his own reflection. Looking at the structure of the daffodil - the bell of the flower tilts downward, like someone gazing at their reflection in the water.

Despite being a symbol of beauty and hope, daffodils also come with a health hazard as the bulb and leaves of the plant are poisonous. Squirrels and other animals know not to eat daffodil bulbs or leaves and although it is commonly known that the plant is poisonous, daffodil bulbs have been mistaken for onions. In one school in Suffolk, 12 students were taken to hospital in 2009 when the bulbs where mistaken for onions in the school garden. Contrary to this, daffodil bulbs have also been used as a source of treatment for Alzheimers disease. As well as being poisonous to humans and animals, daffodils also contain a toxic sap which is harmful to other flowers which is why they are mostly planted within their own arrangement.

Photo credit: Paul Hunter, Victoria Park 

Where to find it??

Daffodils can be found growing everywhere. Commonly seen in window-box displays, as clumps in gardens, along hedgerows or as drifts along rivers or on park walks. As you will see our photographers this week have shown the beauty of these flowers along the Connswater Community Greenway.

You will also see people wearing Daffodils in respect of Marie Curie's annual Great Daffodil appeal. One such garden planted on the Greenway is The Field of Hope at Braniel flowering every year beside the Glen road.

Be Part of it…

It will be hard not to notice Daffodils wherever you are in the next week. It may be you receive them as a bunch of flowers but as always we would encourage everyone to see them outside, where they grow in their abundance. Why not send in your photos of the Daffodil via our Facebook page, Twitter or by emailing Laura@eastsidepartnership.com