Day by day I am slowly watching the progress of the daffodils as they push themselves up through all of the leaves and branches that are scattered throughout the forest floor. We have lots of locations of the daffodils and it is interesting to watch their growth in relation to the amount of sunshine they receive. I am waiting for more varieties to pop up – but I am not having much luck. Am I imagining that I saw them? Were they here? At a nature center? Did I see them on a walk somewhere? This is one of the reasons for the blog – to help me remember what I have seen! 🙂
As I am awaiting their full return, I do what any naturalist does … you get a book about them! I found Daffodils for North American Gardens by Brent and Becky Heath at our local library. OK, these guys know their daffodils! As always, I learn more in the first few pages than I ever thought I would. This is a really nice book that includes photos, information on planting, growing, companion flowers, festivals and even daffodil competitions (at the time the book was printed, there were 37 competitive shows across the United States sponsored by the American Daffodil Society!). Who knew?
The Latin name for the genus, Narcissus, was given to the daffodil because of the poisonous narcotic in its bulb. According to the book, it tastes terrible and would cause your mouth a great discomfort. This would explain why the herds of white-tailed deer that come through the property leave them untouched. There is also the story of a Greek hunter named Narcissus who was known for his extraordinary beauty. He couldn’t resist and began to admire himself in his reflection in a pool. He couldn’t look away from the amazing sight, fell in, and drowned. The Gods changed him into a nodding flower … the daffodil.
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