Posted March 28, 2010
all photography by Vicki H. Moss
The national flower of Wales is the daffodil. The yellow variety is associated with Easter in some countries - Easter being the celebration of rebirth and the return spring had initiated the flower to be associated due to its early spring bloom. March's birthday flower is the daffodil because of the spring equinox, however, the old hardy bulbs planted by my ancestors bloom in February.
Some hold to the belief that the daffodil also first bloomed during the time of Christ's Resurrection - the reason Christians hold the flower in high regard as an Easter symbol. The legend has it that the daffodil first appeared in the Garden of Gethsemane during the time of Christ's The Last Supper. A sign of great sorrow, it was also hope for better things to come.
The botanic name for the plant is Narcissus. According to Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water causing the gods to turn him into a flower. Also, the Medieval Arabs thought the juice from the wild daffodil cured baldness. Daffodils were carried by Roman soldiers in case they should be mortally wounded in battle. Poisonous, they believed eating the daffodils hastened their journey to the underworld.
In remote areas of the North American South, old homeplaces long grown over from neglect can be spotted in the spring when the daffodils bloom, except in the South, we sometimes call daffodils - buttercups or jonquils.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
Out-did the sparkling leaves in glee;
A poet could not be but gay,
In such a jocund company!
I gazedóand gazedóbut little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils. ---William Wordsworth (1770-1850)