Country of origin: United Kingdom Plant: Daffodils
The chief of these is the DAFFODIL, or Lent Lily (Narcissus pseudo-narcissus, Linn.). The botanical name of the genus, Narcissus, is considered to be derived, not as is often said, from the name of the classical youth who met with his death through vainly trying to embrace his image reflected in a clear stream, but from the Greek word narkao (to benumb), on account of the narcotic properties which the plant possesses.
The bulbs of the Daffodil, as well as every other part of the plant are powerfully emetic, and the flowers are considered slightly poisonous, and have been known to have produced dangerous effects upon children who have swallowed portions of them.
The ease with which most species of Narcissus can be grown in this country is remarkable, since, being mostly natives of Southern Europe and Northern Africa, they have to adapt themselves to very different conditions of soil and climate. Narcissus grow from pale brown-skinned spherical bulbs with pronounced necks. The leafless stems, appearing from early to late spring depending on the species, bear from 1 to 20 blooms.
Flower colour varies from white through yellow to deep orange. Breeders have developed some daffodils with double, triple, or ambiguously multiple rows and layers of segments, and several wild species also have known double variants. Narcissus is a popular subject as an ornamental plant for gardens, parks and as cut flowers, providing colour from the end of winter to the beginning of summer in temperate regions.