At this time of year, we start to look forward to warmer days and longer hours of daylight. Last month we started to see the first signs that spring was on its way - snowdrops and crocuses sprouted forth from the cold damp earth and has given us positive signs that the earth is awakening. Daffodils are also springing up everywhere. The ones I have seen have still got their heads closed shut - not quite ready to show their faces. Maybe it’s still too cold...
But soon, their bright yellow petals will brighten up our countryside, gardens and hedgerows.
Daffodils, like any other flower and plant has wonderful properties, both medicinal and magical and it was very interesting to find out just what they are...
Beautiful shades of yellows, ranging from deep butter to the palest lemon and whites, this is one of the first flowers to give us a sign of rebirth. Rebirth isn’t the only meaning connected with this beautiful scented flower which once originated from Spain and Portugal - there are many others too -
Creativity, Renewal, Inspiration, Awareness and Memory to name a few.
The word 'daffodil' is a term that is used to describe an assortment of flowers that come under the genus "Narcissus". Jonquils, Paperwhites and the little versions of daffodils are all included. We tend to use the term Narcissus to describe the smaller versions and Daffodil to describe the larger ones, but they are all Narcissus. The majority of bulbs now are exported from Holland and they are grown all over the world. There are over 50 species and approximately 13,000 varieties - that is amazing!
Each country has its own symbolism for the daffodil - In China, it means 'Good Fortune'. It’s probably no surprise that its flowering coincides with the Chinese New Year and is therefore deemed a very prosperous flower.
In France, the daffodil is a symbol of hope, in Wales, it is said that the first person to find the first flowering daffodil will be blessed with more gold than silver that coming year.
Medieval Europe believed that if you should stare at a daffodil and it should droop, then you can expect a death in the immediate future. That one isn’t so good!
Moving on to the medicinal properties of daffodil, I was quite surprised to learn that the bulb of the daffodil is, in fact, poisonous and should be used with caution. There are limited uses for remedies because of this, but there are a couple:
A plaster made from the bulb of the daffodil can be used to treat burns, wounds and strains.
Essential oils can be made from this plant too to promote relaxation and reduce stress, but again, caution is advised as too much use can induce vomiting and cause headaches. Daffodil oil can be used in pot pourri or perfume making, which is a safer option in my opinion.
Daffodils are a wonderful flower for your magical workings too. Placing a vase of daffodils in your home or on your altar will attract abundance.
Placing daffodils in your bedroom is said to increase the chances of fertility and if you wear a plucked flower next to your heart, you will attract love and luck.
Daffodil blooms only last for 8-10 days which doesn’t seem that long, but we are fortunate in that these beautiful first signs that warmer weather is on its way, don’t flower at once.
Depending on where they are sprouting up from and also the current weather conditions, these flowers can be seen around for a few weeks, reminding us of the ever increasing warmth of the sun and longer days are on the horizon.
When it’s time for them to sleep, they'll bury down in the earth and await their turn to shine the following year...