Daffodils: the March Birth Flower, Fun Facts, and the Mother of all Daffodil Poems

"All parts of the Daffodil are toxic, and the sap is harmful to other flowers, so you must soak them separately for 24 hours before adding them to a bouquet."

The birth flower for March birthdays is the Daffodil.

Daffodils are also the 10th-anniversary flower.

A bouquet of Daffodils means happiness and hope, but a single Daffodil is an omen of bad luck in your future.


In England, in 1889, the Reverend George Herbert Engleheart began breeding Daffodils - some 700 varieties in his lifetime.

Fans of ‘Beersheba,’ ‘Lucifer,’ or ‘White Lady’ have Reverend Engleheart to thank.

George spent every spare minute breeding, and his parishioners would often find a note tacked to the church door saying,

No service today, working with Daffodils.


Daffodils were highly valued in ancient times because the Romans believed the sap could be used for healing.

All parts of the Daffodil are toxic, and the sap is harmful to other flowers, so you must soak Daffs separately for 24 hours before adding them to a bouquet.

Don’t recut the stems after soaking Daffodils because that will release more sap, and you’ll have to start all over.

If you’re wondering, the compounds in Daffodil sap are lycorine and calcium oxalate crystals. These chemicals are found in the Daffodil's leaves and stems. The calcium oxalate crystals can irritate the skin, so be careful when handling Daffodils.

One positive aspect of Daffodil toxicity is that deer and other animals won’t eat them - unlike other spring-flowering bulbs like tulips. So your efforts in the fall to plant Daffodils will not go to waste.


Contrary to popular opinion, daffs can be carefully divided in the early spring.

Once the soil has started to thaw, you can take divisions from large clumps and then pop them into new places in the garden.

If the bulbs are carefully lifted with plenty of soil attached to the roots and promptly replanted, they will still bloom.

Separating and moving bulbs after they bloom is a good idea. This is a garden chore that can wait until a lazy summer day. It doesn't need to be added to the mountain of spring garden todos.


Finally, one poem is regarded as the mother of all Daffodil poems: I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud by the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth.

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.

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.

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Field of Daffodils
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White Daffodils with Yellow Centers
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Peter Barr
Peter Barr
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Peter Barr Blue Plaque

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