Feature Flower for December - Daffodil
That come before the swallow dares, and take
The winds of March with beauty.
–William Shakespere, The Winter's Tale
Usually thought of as a spring flower, and for good reason, Daffodils are ususlly seen in season starting in late December and lasting though April. I am always very happy to see the first Daffodil blooms, sometimes there is still a bit of snow on the ground when they start to poke through. This is always a sure sing to me that winter will soon be just a memory.
Common Name: Daffodil
Botanical Name: Narcissus Pseudonarcissus (nar-SIS-is sue-do-nar-SIS-is)
Once again due to the wonders of greenhouses and the advancements in growing techniques, Daffodils are available wholesale year round as a cut flowers. There are as many as 60 different varieties grown in white, yellow and bi-color. Daffodils can have a single or double 1-3" corona white a 3-4" star-shaped back atop a 8-22' hollow stem. They are sure to add a cheerful feel to any arrangement.
There are several possible stories on how/where the daffodil gets its name. One of the most common relates to the story of the young man of Greek mythology named Narcissus, who became so obsessed with his own reflection that as he knelt and gazed into a pool of water, he fell into the water and drowned. In some variations, he died of starvation and thirst from sitting by the edge of the pool, transfixed by his own reflection. In both versions, the Narcissus plant sprang from where he died.
When cut, the trick is to keep the daffodils alone in a vase. Their stems secrete a sap that promotes the wilting of other flowers. If you must combine them, soak them by themselves for as long as possible, then rinse them and add them to the arrangement last without re-cutting the stems.
Interesting Fact: Daffodils are grown commercially near Brecon in Powys, Wales, to produce galantamine, a drug used to combat Alzheimer's disease.
Faye K.-Owner/Designer at Blooming Envy since 2005.