Daffodils in the garden
Did you know that we have our own variety of Daffodil known as 'Narcissus Rowallane'? Long celebrated in art and literature, narcissi are associated with a number of themes in different cultures, ranging from death to good fortune, and as symbols of spring.
Whats in a name?
Narcissus is a genus of predominantly spring perennial plants in the Amaryllis family, The name 'Daffodil' is derived from 'affodell', a variant of asphodel. The narcissus was frequently, referred to as the asphodel and from at least the 16th century, 'Lent Lily' and "Daffydowndilly" have appeared as alternative names
Narcissus were well known in ancient civilisation, The genus is generally considered to have about ten sections with approximately 50 species. The exact origin of the name Narcissus is unknown, but it is often linked to a Greek word for intoxicated (narcotic) and the myth of the youth of that name who fell in love with his own reflection.
Narcissus have been used for centuries as traditional medicines for a variety of complaints, Some plants are described in the Bible in the treatment for what is thought to be cancer. Daffodil products have received a wide variety of other uses. Other uses include the application to wounds, strains, painful joints and various local ailments as an ointment called ‘Narcissimum’. Powdered flowers have also been used medically, as an emetic, a decongestant and for the relief of dysentery, in the form of a syrup or infusion. The French used the flowers as an antispasmodic, the Arabs the oil for baldness and also an aphrodisiac. N. tazetta bulbs have also been used for contraception, while the flowers have been recommended for hysteria and epilepsy
In the garden
The species are native to meadows and woods in southwest Europe and North Africa with a center of diversity in the Western Mediterranean, particularly the Iberian peninsula. Narcissi are well suited for planting under small thickets of trees , They also grow well in perennial borders, where they can be grouped as 6 - 12 bulbs.Narcissi bulbs are not attractive to rodents and are sometimes planted near tree roots in orchards to protect them.