Monday 5 February 2024

Daffodils – Day 2


Daffodils – Day 2

‘Daffodowndilly’ by A.A.Milne, from ‘When We Were Very Young’, 1924

She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,

She wore her greenest gown;

She turned to the south wind

And curtsied up and down.

She turned to the sunlight

And shook her yellow head,

And whispered to her neighbour;

“Winter is dead.”

We owe our beautiful, perennial daffodils to the Romans, who brought them to Britain from the Iberian Peninsula, mainly Portugal and Spain, which have the widest variety of daffodil species. The Romans planted narcissus to honour soldiers killed in battle and also to commemorate loved ones.

There are more than 27,000 cultivated varieties and most of them are in varying shades of yellow. However, the ‘Poeticus’ strains have white petals and there are some yellows that tend towards orange or salmon. It has been known for clumps of daffodils to survive in the ground for more than a century, faithfully blooming each year.

Growing a daffodil from seed can take five years. Until the 1800s, daffodils were wild species or natural crossbreeds.

 In the 19th century breeders began to choose flowers for different characteristics and so the modern daffodil was born. A man who became known as ‘the daffodil maker’, the Reverend George Herbert Engleheart, registered 720 new daffodil hybrids between 1882 and 1923, though only about thirty are still available commercially. His particular work, for which he is best known, was with the ‘Poeticus’ varieties. He is often referred to as the father of the modern daffodil. In addition to his work with daffodils, he was a noted amateur archaeologist.

The UK is the world’s biggest grower of daffodils.


  1. I had no idea that the UK was the biggest grower of daffodils but any visitor to Aberdeen in March/April might surmise that at least half of them grow within this city's limits.
    I'll be watching the progress of your daffodils - always a reminder that the southern half of England is a different climate zone...
    Cheers, Gail.

    1. The earliest I've seen them blooming is January. It's a long season.

  2. So much beauty in such a small bud, lovely information.

  3. Thank you. It's just occurred to me that the daffodils may not actually open . . .

  4. That's a lovely poem, and I had no idea there were so many varieties! xxx

    1. I was surprised to discover just how many there are! x x x

  5. I do hope your daffodils open 🤞
    Alison in Wales x

  6. After seeing your daffodil post yesterday, I now have a sweet bunch of them on my mantelpiece to enjoy. Amazing that there are so many varieties.

  7. I didn't know that the UK was the biggest grower of daffodils.
    They are a lovely flower.

    All the best Jan

  8. I didn't know there were so many!


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