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Mid-Winter Daffodils

Here in the Southern hemisphere daffodils have decided that it’s definitely warm enough for them to display their beautiful side and have been appearing in gardens and along roadsides to the surprise of gardeners and passersby.
Not to get into ‘global warming’ and whether or not this is merely a weather change before the onset of another ice age, instead we’ll take a brief dig into the world of this colourful and remarkable trumpet flower.

Did you know that the Latin name for the daffodil is ‘Narcissus’.
When I first heard this I thought..

“Huh, that’s just one letter away from Narcissis or narcissist, I wonder if there is a connection?”

Indeed there is a connection and it goes like this..

“In Greek mythology, Narsissus is a beautiful youth who pines away for love of his own reflection and is eventually turned into the narcissus flower.”

Some of the usual yellow daffodils don’t seem to have much of a fragrance while there are varieties.. Jonquilla, Tazetta and Triandrus which do produce a wonderful smell.
Growing these beauties is not difficult because they will happily exist in sun or part shade and are not bothered by most plant eating creatures.
Although yellow is the most common colour for daffodils they also bloom in cream, white, orange, even pink and combinations of these. 
Daffodils grow from bulbs and have leaves and stems like most plants. These grow around the same height and can vary from around 30 cm to much higher.

Daffodils are early perennials and also come in miniature varieties which are excellent in a spring garden because they won’t get in the way of other emerging perennial plants. The miniatures tend to be less leafy too.

Once daffodils get established, they tend to spread making them ideal plants for meadows, wooded areas, next to ponds and by streams.

People often grow daffodils in window boxes and also on porches and patios as they are happy to exist in containers as well as in back and front yards.

Finally, there is one interesting fact about the narcissus plant. They produce excellent cut flowers but it’s important to not put them in water with other types of flower because the plant’s vascular system produces an alkaloid which will make other flowers wilt in a very short time.

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