Spring versus Winter

Daffodils in the snow

Daffodils in the snow

Daffodils (Narcissus sp.) have been coming up in our yard for a week or two. They make quite a sight poking through the snow. The very cold temperatures we have been having do not seem to have harmed them either.

The name Daffodil is a corruption of “de affodell” (Dutch for “the affodell”). Affodel is an alternate name for Asphodel, (Asphodelus sp.which is another garden plant. Hybridization and selection has produced many varieties of Daffodils.

All species of Narcissus contain a poisonous alkaloid called lycorine. The toxin is found mainly in the bulbs, but the leaves also contain a smaller amount. In 1969, a group of English schoolchildren became ill when a Narcissus bulb was added to a soup made in a home cooking class. Daffodil bulbs look something like an onion, which could explain the mistake.



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