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Celebrating Spring's First Flower: The Daffodil

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Tuesday March 24th 2015

Photo via http://ow.ly/KKv8u

I know that spring is well on its way when I see those familiar short green stems popping up out of the earth alongside my favorite tree in the park. Soon, I'll see beautiful yellow daffodil petals appearing at the tops of those stems. Sometimes the daffodils around my area are so anxious to bloom that they start to appear even before all of the snow has melted. No wonder these flowers are known as Narcissus. Narcissus was a mythical boy who loved to look at his reflection. These flowers love to admire their own beautiful petals! This week, I decided to take the opportunity to learn a little more about daffodils. Take a look at what I found out about these lovely harbingers of spring.

The Background of the Daffodil

The daffodil plays a starring role in a classic poem by William Wordsworth written in the early 19th century. This is a memorable bloom known by many names. For instance, they are sometimes called jonquils. In England, daffodils are closely connected with the season of Lent so they are known as, 'Lent Lilies.' In English folklore, it's believed that the person who spots the first daffodil of spring will enjoy great wealth over the next year. A married couple who receives a gathering of daffodils for their ten year wedding anniversary can look forward to continued happiness together. Daffodils are also symbols for new beginnings and future prosperity.

The Appearance of a Daffodil

Most daffodils are either white or yellow, but they are sometimes seen in shades of pink and orange. A daffodil features six petals grouped around its corona, or cup. This flower can have a short stem or a long one, depending on its variety. The stems of a daffodil can be 12 to 16 inches long. There are more than 13,000 hybrid varieties of the daffodil.

Photo via http://ow.ly/KKurr

Why Are Daffodils So Popular with Gardening Enthusiasts?

One of the many reasons daffodils are so appealing to gardeners is that these flowers can protect themselves from rodents and deer. The bulb and leaves of the daffodil are filled with poisonous crystals that discourage squirrels, mice, deer, and other creatures from chewing on them. In addition, daffodils are relatively easy to take care of. They need water about once a week and bloom from March to mid-May. Daffodils flourish in ground that has excellent drainage. They can grow in a garden that receives partial or full sun. Many daffodils have a pleasant fragrance that can make any garden more inviting. If you want to plant daffodil bulbs in your garden, it's best to do it in the fall when the ground temperature is at least 60 degrees. For a few months, serious gardeners, as well as people who just love to look at brightly colored flowers, can enjoy large bunches of lively daffodils growing nearby. In the wild, daffodils can be found in the woods as well as on hillsides and in meadows.

So, be on the lookout for daffodils wherever you go. They are sure to appreciate the special attention!

Posted by Ava Rose in General
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