Tuesday, 13 March 2018
Heralds of Spring
The sight of the first daffodil never fails to lift my spirits. When I see that hint of yellow, I know spring is on the way. They've often featured in art, from delicate botanical paintings to wild explosions of colour and life.
Much prized by the Romans who believed the sap had healing powers, they then went out of fashion as cultivated plants until the early seventeenth century. Interestingly, the sap is poisonous to many animals and to other flowers. If you want to put daffodils in a mixed arrangement, first soak the stems in water for 24 hours to remove it.
It's said to be bad luck to give one daffodil, so always give a bunch. In season, daffodils are cheap, so you shouldn't need to stint.
Daffodils have been found to contain a substance called narciclasine. Scientists believe it may help in the treatment of brain cancer.