March Birth Flower: Daffodil/Jonqui

Like birthstones which are placed in jewelry and trinkets, everyone has a specific flower which symbolizes birth to signify the month they were born in. The birth flower for March is daffodil, also called Jonquil or Narcissus. In the language of flowers, daffodils symbolize chivalry, respect, modesty, faithfulness, friendship and domestic happiness. The hidden message of daffodil, so favored during the Victorian era was “You are an angel”.

Daffodils are always given to to celebrate St David’s Day on March 1, St Patrick’s Day on March 17 and Mothering Sunday, or Mother’s Day ( the 4th Sunday of Lent). The Jonquil is used prominently for decorating during the Chinese New Year in both China and festivals celebrating this holiday around the world. The Jonquil, is referred to as the Daffodil in Wales and is considered to be the flower of Wales, where a small area of Tenby grows their own, unique variation. St. David’s Day is celebrated in Wales on March 1st and Daffodils are often worn for that holiday.

The name of the flower is derived from an earlier “affodell”, a variant of asphodel. The reason for the introduction of the initial “d” is not known, though from at least the sixteenth century “Daffadown Dilly” or “daffadowndilly” has appeared as a playful synonym of the name. What a fancy March birth flower.

Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus. Daffodil is the common English name for them all, and Narcissus is the Latin, botanical name for them all. Some people refer to daffodils as “jonquils”, derived from the Spanish word ‘jonquillo’ meaning a rush which refers to the rush-like leaves of the plant.

Daffodils form a group of large-flowered members of the genus Narcissus. Most daffodils look yellow, but yellow-and-white, yellow-and-orange, white-and-orange, pink, and lime-green cultivars also exist. Daffodils grow perennially from bulbs. In temperate climates they flower among the earliest blooms in spring: to this extent daffodils both represent and herald spring. They often grow in large clusters, covering lawns and even entire hillsides with yellow. The Jonquil blooms from February to May. Jonquills are poisonous and can be harmful or deadly if eaten.

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