Dydd Gwyl Dewi Hapus! March 1 is St David’s Day named after the patron saint of Wales, whose national flower is the daffodil.
Here’s 10 things you might not know about this cheery flower, which is known as the Herald of Spring, taken from daffodil herb lore and the Victorian language of flowers:
1.In Wales, finding the first daffodil of Spring means you’ll have more gold that silver in your life for the next year.
2. Even its name, daffodil, comes from the Old English “affo dyle” which means “that which cometh early”.
3. Its Latin name is Narcissus, after the vain youth who fell in love with his own reflection. The wild daffodil, narcissus psuedonarcissus, has a creamy pale flower.
4. In 1653, Culpepper’s Herbal describes people mashing up the roots (bulbs) to induce vomiting and mixing the juice with honey and frankincense wine to treat ear wax. Today it is being examined for the possible treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease.
5. In the 1920s to the 1950s, British Rail laid on “daffodil specials” where people could visit wild daffodil sites in woodlands to pick the flowers for their homes.
6. In medieval times, it was thought that if a daffodil drooped when you looked at it, it foretold a death. In ancient Greece, the goddess Persephone was picking daffs when Hades dragged her down to the Underworld.
7. Roman soldiers carried the bulbs around with them to eat if mortally wounded like a giant cyanide pill.
8. The bulbs are still one of the most frequent causes of accidental poisoning in Britain, according to Public Health England.
9. The true Welsh daff is the Tenby daffodil – Narcissus pseudonarcissus ssp.obvallaris, a smaller but beautiful flower which still grows wild
10.In England it was known as the Lentern lily because they bloomed during Lent and were over by Easter.