Flower Profile: The Daffodil
Updated: Nov 18, 2021
The flower for the month of March is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the daffodil. While our winters usually extend well into March, the daffodil is one of the first perennials to bloom after the frost, making it synonymous with spring. Because of its association with spring, it signifies new beginnings and rebirth. Given that they bloom around Chinese New Year, they also represent good fortune (especially if they bloom on Chinese New Year in China). If nothing else, they signify warmer days ahead.
Daffodils’ Latin name is Narcissus, named after the man who fell in love with his own reflection in Greek mythology. And truly: who wouldn’t fall in love with these little bursts of sunny joy? Let’s take a moment to celebrate the daffodil with some fun facts.
Be careful of bouquet size
A bouquet of daffodils is a beautiful gift, whether to cheer up a friend or welcome a new baby (or any other occasion, really). Giving a bouquet is thought to ensure the recipient has good luck and happiness. However, there is a legend that gifting a single daffodil (or bringing just one into the house) will mean misfortune. Play it safe and always send a bunch or a bouquet.
A decade of love
Have a ten-year anniversary coming up? Then think about a bouquet with daffodils, which are the traditional flower of the tenth wedding anniversary. These blooms represent joy, cheerfulness and happiness, and there’s always more room for that in any relationship!
Plant in autumn for spring blooms
Most gardeners start planting in spring, but daffodils are one of those bulbs that do best if planted in autumn. They require about twelve weeks of cold weather to prepare them for the glorious spring bloom. If given the right conditions, daffodils can bloom for up to 50 years!
They don’t always play nice with others
When the stems are cut, daffodils release a substance called latex. In a mixed bouquet, this can shorten the life of other flowers if the daffodils aren’t treated and soaked appropriately, which is why it is best to get your mixed daffodil bouquets from someone who specializes in floral arrangements (ahem – me!).
Narcissus is thought to come from the Greek word for “numbness” and may be so named because they are poisonous (particularly the bulb). Interestingly, daffodils also contain a substance called galantamine, which slows the progress of Alzheimer’s.
Daffodils are full of lore and symbolism, but they are also just a really pretty spring flower. And in honour of our impending warm season, we bow our heads, much like the bloom itself, in honour of this lovely flower.