Exploring the science behind everyday plants- Daffodils

Somehow it’s March again and, with the unseasonably warm weather, many flowers are already making an appearance. One of my personal favourites are daffodils, with their bright flowers bringing some colour to early spring.

A field of daffodils growing in Cornwall

The Latin name for this genus is Narcissus and it’s often linked to the Greek myth of the youth falling in love with his own reflection. It’s said that the nodding flowers represent him staring into the pool. However, there is no evidence that this was the original intention of the name, with Pliny writing that it was in fact derived from “narkao”- I grow numb, in reference to the intoxicating fragrance of some of the Greek species. In the modern world these plants are mostly used for decorative purposes, but they have a few chemical surprises up their sleeves!

Read moreExploring the science behind everyday plants- Daffodils