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the traditional floral symbol of friendship

The daffodil is a yellow flower that blooms in the early spring. The best-known daffodil has one trumpet-shaped blossom at the end of each stalk, with five or six bluish-green leaves about 15 inches long. Wild daffodils are usually golden yellow in color, but domestic varieties come in a wide range of colors -- yellow, white, orange-red, orange, salmon, etc.


A very popular garden flower, the daffodil is one of the first bulb plants to flower in the spring. It does well in both sunny and part-shade locations, and since the bulb is poisonous is rarely infested with insects or bothered by other garden pests (such as squirrels). Although it can reproduce by seed, most gardeners plant daffodil bulbs, since it takes less time for a new plant to blossom from bulb than seed (it can take up to five years for a seed plant to produce its first bloom). Daffodil bulbs can live a very long time, so the gardener should periodically divide a daffodil bed in order to prevent over-crowding, which can lead to lower flower production and low-quality blooms.

Daffodils are native to the Mediterranean region, particulary the Iberian Peninsula, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. The earliest recorded mentions of domesticated daffodils go back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, sometime around 300 B.C. Daffodils lost favor with the fall of the Roman Empire, and did not reappear in gardens for over 1300 years. About 1629, a group of Englishmen began transplanting wild daffodils in their gardens, and the daffodil has remained a popular garden flower ever since. It was introduced into the Americas by early English colonists.

Scientific Classification

division Magnoliophyta
class Lilliopsida
order Liliales
family Amaryllidaceae
genus & species Narcissus pseudo-narcissus

American Daffodil Society
The Flower Expert

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The Robinson Library >> Agriculture >> Plant Culture >> Flowers and Flower Culture

This page was last updated on 06/28/2017.