The Daffodil Legacy Trail
As a senior class project, our environmental science instructor Michael Aitkenhead, and the Sustainable Solutions Club at Weston High School, initiated the 2022 Daffodil Legacy Trail in support of a new educational opportunity for students: a course on Sustainable Living. Sustainable Solutions is raising funds through the sale of daffodil bulbs which will be planted this fall in honor of the Class of 2023 graduates; each year additional bulbs will be planted to honor subsequent graduating seniors until the entire district campus a carpet of cheerful yellow daffodils.
Initiating the first pop of color in spring, the fragrant daffodil is associated with the concept of rebirth and new beginnings. This popular northern European native is grown successfully throughout North America and best known for a its frilled trumpet or bell-shaped yellow crown. I’m fond of spring daffodils, or Narcissus in Latin, because I associate them with Easter and all the sugary sweetness that is associated with my childhood memories of egg hunts and bunny baskets.
According to legend, the Greek God Narcissus died while staring love-struck at his own reflection in a pool of water, and daffodils bloomed to mark the place of his passing. Perhaps the daffodils mourned the death Narcissus, or perhaps this legend alludes to the dark side of daffodils: they’re poisonous. The plant contains lycorine, a toxic chemical that can cause vomiting and abdominal distress if consumed, and oxalates, which are tiny needle-like protrusions which can cause severe irritation to the skin and throat. These ominous features actual make the daffodil popular choice in gardens because they are seen as effective deer deterrents. In fact, daffodils are beneficial for a variety of reasons. First, the plant spreads its roots which helps prevent soil erosion. Second, as early risers in spring, daffodils help return nutrients to the soil that would otherwise be washed away in spring rains. Daffodils around the base of a fruit tree may increase yield. And most importantly of all, the Daffodil’s enticing scent attracts pollinators which is vital to the process of plant reproduction and key to ecological survival.
The Global Preservation Society is proud to announce that the Daffodil Legacy Fundraiser for the Sustainable Living class at Weston High School is our November GPS Grant recipient. If you or someone you know is interested in donating to this worth effort, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are a few fun “facts” about daffodils:
(borrowed in part from Tim Goodwin, Daffodil Meanings and Symbolism, March 3, 2022, almanc.com).
In Wales, those who see the first daffodil of the season will be blessed with wealth that year.
In China, good fortune and wealth will result if a daffodil blooms on New Year’s Day.
During the Middle Ages, a daffodil could foretell death if its crown drooped upon looking at it.
In France, the daffodil signifies hope.
In the Middle East, the daffodil was thought to cure baldness.
Never give a single daffodil, it foretells misfortune, only give it in bunches.
The daffodil is the traditional gift of a 10th wedding anniversary.