The sublime yellow daffodil. Majestic beauty and exuberance. The botanical name for these perennial bulbous species is the genus Narcissus. Narcissus is the latin name that covers the multitude of diverse forms and natural hybrids of yellow delight. That said, Daffodil is the common name for this glorious yellow bloom, and ‘Jonquil’ is the species name within the genus of Narcisssus. The Daffodil is a flower of glory with its large corona elongated into a trumpet. The attractive flower bearing showy petals against the focal point of the trumpet shaped center with its leafless stem is a certain sign that Spring has arrived. Hardy perennials that bloom in late Winter or early Spring, the blooms of the daffodil grace landscapes wherever they are found. Brilliant, vivid yellow blooms…
The existence of the daffodil in southern Europe through western Asia brings their recorded history to 300 BC. Native mainly to the Mediterranean, narcissus were grown by the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and Chinese. Grown for medicinal purposes by these ancient civilizations, the appeal of the golden yellow bloom is historical, for certain. Of interest, Greek mythology provides the name ‘Narcissus’, the name of a handsome young Grecian man that learned a lesson of love and heartbreak through his vanity and becomes the beautiful flower as a result of his self admiration. Who knew? The daffodil is also a symbol of Chinese legend representing good fortune. Again, who knew? Of further interest, it is said that between Mohammed and the 16th century, daffodils were relegated to the wild and were essentially forgotten. Around 1629, the revival of appreciation of this overlooked delicate bloom is credited to the English. Alas, the beauty of the English gardens embraced the daffodil. A burst of sunshine, indeed…
Living in the Midwest, it is only now that the triumphal entrance of the daffodil and it’s “trumpeted” corona greets our changing landscapes. Another verification of Spring’s arrival. The beauty of the long lasting daffodil bloom is enduring. A seasonal return of this yellow bloom of sunshine is a delight to all that fall enchanted by it’s vibrancy and trumpeted center. A gift of Spring that is annually celebrated upon its arrival. Whether filled in vases to adorn our interior worlds with a needed burst of sunshine and fragrance from the natural world or embellishing the bride and her entourage, the daffodil is to be appreciated. The varieties and hybrids are endless. Personal choice, for certain. Either way, fill your world with yellow, fragrant bliss. Sublime exuberance, indeed.
“I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd
A host, of golden daffodils;
beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand I saw at a glance,
Tossing their heads in a sprightly dance.
The Waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed–and gazed–but little thought
that the wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
and dances with the daffodils.
William Wordsworth (1770-1850), English Poet