Just like many symbols of spring, the daffodil flower stands for hope and rebirth. Bright and sunny daffodils show their first yellow blooms after the white winter frost. The daffodil is also the birth flower for those born in March. They remind us that Easter is coming and are commonly called Easter Bells because of their trumpet-like blooms, or Lent Lilies. Christian legend has it that the daffodil was in bloom during the Last Supper to bring comfort to Christ. Christian festivals often use daffodils in their celebrations as representation of the resurrection.
History of the Daffodil
The daffodil is part of the Narcissus genus. This is the same as the mythological person, Narcissus, who became obsessed with his own beauty after gazing at his reflection in a river which led him to falling in and drowning. As punishment for his vanity, the Gods turned him into a daffodil flower. For this reason, the daffodil is sometimes associated with vanity.
There are over 25 different daffodil species and up to 13,000 different varieties. Daffodils were originally grown by the ancient Greeks in the Mediterranean. Romans thought their sap had healing powers and so they brought them to Britain. They are now widely grown in Great Britain and the Netherlands. Surprisingly, their sap contains crystals that can irritate skin and is toxic to other plants. The bulbs of daffodils contain poisonous crystals that can make your dog sick if they get hold of them while digging around in your garden. Poultry farmers of past generations were convinced daffodils would prevent their hens from laying eggs. Needless to say; their farms were probably lacking in spring floral color!
Daffodils Around the World
The daffodil is the national flower of Wales because its blooming coincides with St. David’s Day on March 1st. St. David is the patron saint of Wales who died on March 1st in the year 589. He was known for performing miracles and for his famous saying, “Do the little things in life.” Wales is also where daffodils are grown commercially to produce galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
In China, daffodils bloom around the time of the Chinese New Year. They are, therefore, thought to symbolize good luck and prosperity. If the flowers bloom exactly on New Year’s Day, it means that you will have good luck all year! In the United States, the American Cancer Society uses the daffodil to represent hope for a cure. People in the U.S. celebrating wedding anniversaries recognize daffodils for their 10th anniversary.
Colors of Daffodils
Daffodils are generally yellow or white but come in a few additional colors as well. Like most flowers, their colors have meanings.
- Yellow daffodil. The cheery yellow trumpet-like bloom resembles the sunflower and symbolizes happiness and optimism. They are the perfect flower to gift to your friend, family member, or coworker, but not a romantic partner.
- White daffodil. These are known as the paper-white daffodils and bloom closer to Christmas time. They symbolize youth and purity and are beautiful at events such as weddings or baptisms.
- Orange daffodil. Also symbolizing optimism, orange daffodils represent vitality and joy. Colors of orange in daffodil flowers range from pastel shades of salmon and peach to vivid bright orangey-red.
- Purple daffodil. Although rare, daffodils do come in purple. The color is a dark violet shade. It usually symbolizes selfishness and self-obsession and is the flower color most associated with the myth of Narcissus.
According to lore, presenting someone with only one daffodil is thought to bring the recipient misfortune in the future. Just to be safe, always give daffodils in a bunch! Besides, they are simply irresistible. No one would want just one!
Petals and Pinot
Want to send your March birthday friend a special gift? What about congratulating a new parent, new coworker, or sending an Easter themed gift that can be enjoyed throughout the spring? Send a floral arrangement with daffodils. At Petals and Pinot we design your arrangements to order and deliver them with care. Contact us so we can help you celebrate the month of March with a cheery flower arrangement!