March Birth Flower, Narcissus or Jonquil.
The march birth flower is the jonquil, also known as daffodil or narcissus (Latin name) or paperwhites. The term paperwhites is generally used for tiny white flowers that grow in clusters and daffodil for single, trumpet-shaped flowers. The name Daffodils includes the white Narcissi and the cluster-flowered yellow Jounquils. There is literally no difference between Narcissus and Daffodils. The two words are synonymous. Narcissus is the botanical or Latin name for the commonly called daffodils. All members of the genus Narcissus is commonly called as Daffodil. The original name of the flower was ‘affodyll’, the ‘D’ is somewhat of a mystery.
Colors and Characteristics
The plant grows from a bulb and has a single, trumpet-shaped flower at the end of each stalk. The trumpet is often in a contrasting color from the background. The stalks are surrounded by five or six wide, blue-green leaves of varying lengths. Daffodils are most commonly yellow but you can also find them white, cream, orange and a pinkish tint either in a single or bi-color pattern. All narcissus varieties contain the alkaloid poison lycorine, mostly in the bulb but also in the leaves therefore this march birth flower is poisonous and can be harmful or deadly if eaten. It is native to the meditteranean, but has been cultivated all over the world as a decorative plant.
Based on its several distinctive forms of the flower, daffodils may be separated into 13 major divisions. It consists of a central whorl of tepals (the corona) that is surrounded by a ring of petals. The center part ranges from a short flattened disc to a long tubular part. The daffodil bulb renews itself through its foliage each year.
They belong to the genus Narcissus. In the early spring, daffodils are one of the first flowers to make their appearance and they are one of the most colorful and vigorous flowers of spring. Natural daffodil has a color of golden yellow all over and the trumpet may appear in a contrasting color.
Daffodils are long lived flowers, the flowers come in many sizes, from 5-inch blooms on 2-foot stems tto half-inch flowers on 2-inch stems. Large bulbs will normally bloom better than smaller ones. Daffodils multiply in 2 ways: sexually (from seed) where new different flowers will result, and asexual cloning (bulb division) where the exact copies of the flower will result.
Daffodil secretes a damaging substance to other flower when they share the same water in a vase. It is advised to keep them separated for at least 24 hours before putting them in the same vase. Change the water often in order to keep the secretion from damaging other flowers.
History and Uses
The earliest record mentioned about daffodils was around 200 – 300 years BC. Romans brought daffodils to Britain, they thought the sap from daffodils had healing powers. The sap actually contains crystals which can irritate the skin. Roman soldiers used to bring a satchel of daffodil bulbs into battle. When they were injured to the point of death, then they would eat those toxic bulbs to relieve pain and hasten death.
A Roman surgeon treated wounds with balm which contained juice of daffodil bulbs. Galenthine in daffodil bulbs is being used for Alzheimer’s disease (even today). The jonquil (N. Jonquilla) has several fragrant golden blossoms and the oil from which is used in perfumes. Daffodils are native mainly to the Meditterranean region, in particular to Iberian Peninsula, as well as the Middle East and Northern Africa.
Meaning and Symbol
The daffodil is a perennial grown from a bulb and it can reach heights of two feet. These Wales' national flower are among the easiest of plants to grow, and many people enjoy making space for them in the garden. They often grow in large clusters, covering lawns and even entire hillsides with yellow. Daffodils have the flower meaning of rebirth, rejuvenation, respect, regard and unrequited love. When letting someone know that you feel the same way towards him as he does towards you, jonquil flowers symbolize affection that is returned. In China, this flower is seen as a symbol of wealth and good fortune. Since they bloom early in the year therefore it has also become a symbol of Chinese New Year. If your narcissus blooms on Chinese New Year, it is said to bring you extra wealth and good fortune throghout the year. On top of that, it has one of the sweetest fragrances of any flower.
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