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BOTANICAL NAME properly prepared bulb-flower-food solution ‘Dick Wilden’
Photo: iBulb
Narcissus spp. (nar-SIS-us) prepared with cold nonfluoridated water.
COMMON NAMES Note: Research shows that cut daffodils
Daffodil, Jonquil may not benefit greatly from the nutrients
COLORS (sugar) in flower-food solutions, but
n Petals/Sepals: yellow, orange, peach, they do benefit from the biocides con-
pink, white, cream or greenish tained within, which limit the growth of
n Cups: yellow, orange, peach, salmon, stem-plugging bacteria; therefore, always
pink, white, cream or bicolor use flower foods in storage and arrange-
VASE LIFE ment containers.
Relatively short: three to five days. Vase CARE EXTRA Isolate daffodils from other
life is dependent on variety, stage of flowers because when cut, they exude a
maturity at the time of purchase and gelatinous substance that is detrimental to
care received. some other flowers, especially tulips,
AVAILABILITY Anemones and roses. Keep daffodils in
Late December through early April: separate containers for at least six hours toxicity alert
Greenhouse-grown daffodils are usually after cutting them. Some experts say that n Some types and varieties of daffodils
available from late December through after that time, the harmful sap will have can cause mild to severe contact der-
matitis—an itchy or burning rash, usu-
mid-February; field-grown flowers are leached, and the flowers can be placed with
ally on the hands—in some people.
typically available from late February other flowers, even if recut again, without n All parts of these flowers are toxic to
through early April. affecting the other flowers. Other authori- humans, dogs, cats and other animals,
if ingested, but the bulbs are the most
ties, however, suggest that the stems should
vase-life extenders not be recut prior to arranging them. toxic. They contain lycorine, an alkaloid
known for inducing vomiting and gas-
IMMEDIATE ATTENTION Attend to daffodils REFRIGERATION Immediately refrigerate cut tro-intestinal cramping.
immediately upon their arrival at your facil- daffodils in a floral cooler at 33 F to 35 F
ity. Remove any stem bindings as well as and at 90 percent relative humidity, and
any leaves that may be attached at the bases allow them to remain there during the six- fun facts
of the stems. Thoroughly rinse the stem hour leaching process. Keep stems upright WHAT’S IN A NAME Some references
ends under tepid running water, especially in storage containers. say these flowers were named for the
beautiful youth, Narcissus, of Greek
of field-grown flowers, to remove any dirt DRY STORAGE In an unopened bud stage,
mythology, who, according to one leg-
and debris. these flowers can be stored dry at 32 F to end, saw his reflection in a pool, fell in
STEM CUTTING Cut off at least 1 inch from 36 F for eight to 10 days. love with it and was unable to leave.
He died at the spot, and the gods
each stem with a sharp knife to remove ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Daffodils are moder-
turned him into this flower.
dried out ends as well as dirt, debris and ately sensitive to ethylene gas and usually Narcissus is also said to be derived from
bacteria that may have accumulated in only at extremely high levels; however, it is the Greek word “narke,” meaning sleep
or numbness, in reference to the bulb’s
the vessels. advisable to seek flowers that are treated
narcotic and anesthetic properties.
HYDRATION AND NUTRITION Immediately after with an ethylene inhibitor at the grower or FAMILY MATTERS Daffodils are members
cutting the stems, place the flowers into a during shipping. of the Narcissus genus in the
Amaryllidaceae family. Close relatives
include amaryllis (Hippeastrum), kaffir lily
(Clivia), Guernsey lily (Nerine) and
purchasing checklist n Look for buds that are either straight Eucharist lily (Eucharis).
up (pencil stage) or just nodding (goose- HOME SWEET HOME Daffodils are native
n Purchase cut daffodils when the buds are neck stage)—a 45-degree angle to to Europe and North Africa (France,
showing some color but before the blooms open. the stem. Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Algeria).

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