Information on daffodils from the Attingham Park Estate:

Our wild flower daffodil is considered to be a native plant although it may have been introduced two thousand years ago by the Romans. In the late sixteenth century, John Gerard, the herbalist, regarded daffodils as growing throughout England. Today our wild daffodils only exist in scattered locations in Devon, the Black Mountains, along the Gloucestershire/Herefordshire border, the Sussex Wield, Yorkshire and the Lake District.

The name daffodil is very old deriving from the ‘asphodelus’ of Greek mythology, a plant that grew in the meadows of the underworld; throughout time the name has evolved through asphodilus and affodil into daffodil, the common name for a member of the Narcissus genus of plants. Other common names for the daffodil are Lent Rose and Lent Lilly, reflecting the flowering period.

Narcissus is the generic name for a large group of plants native to southern Europe. Spain and Portugal are home to many species including the dwarf daffodil, N. asturiensis found growing at an altitude of 4000-6000 feet. Narcissus hispanicus is the founder species of 99% of the yellow trumpet varieties of daffodil; the most important yellow trumpet variety of daffodil to be bred was ‘King Alfred’, this has become the best known and most widely grown of daffodils, plant breeders have produced over 25,000 varieties in shades of yellow, white, orange and peach-pink.

Ron Iremonger

Daffodil Lane

I am everyone’s darling: the blackbird and starling
Are shouting about me from blossoming boughs;
For I the Lent Lily, the Daffy-Down-Dilly,
Have heard through the country the call to arouse.
The Orchards are ringing with voices a-singing
The praise of my petticoat, praise of my gown;
The Children are playing, and hark! they are saying
That Daffy-Down-Dilly has come up to town.

Cicely Mary Parker

10 Comments CherryPie on Jun 10th 2011

10 Responses to “The Song of the Daffodil Fairy”

  1. Mickie Brown says:

    Great post–very informative. Daffodils are so lovely. I love your Anniversary Rose bouquet too–interesting treatment. Have a lovely weekend. Mickie :)

  2. Ginnie says:

    The Daffy-Down-Dilly! I sure hope I can remember that, Cherie. How delightful. I grew up calling them Daffodils in America, but when I moved to The Netherlands, Astrid called them Narcissus. I got my education, just as you have given it here!

    • CherryPie says:

      I love the name Daffy-Down-Dilly it makes me smile :-) As it says in the post the family of plants is Narcissus and I think if the trumpet is longer than it’s petals that makes it a daffodil. But I would have to check on that to be 100% sure.

  3. jameshigham says:

    I come over for some lovely shots and get an education – thanks, Cherie.

  4. Ellee says:

    This is a new one for me, and so lovely too.

  5. Chrissy says:

    She is my heroine ~ Cicely :) Thanks for making me smile