The name "daffodil" is derived from an earlier "affodell", a variant of Asphodel. The reason for the introduction of the initial "d" is not known, although a probable source is an etymological merging from the Dutch article "de", as in "De affodil". From at least the 16th century, "Daffadown Dilly", "daffadown dilly", and "daffydowndilly" have appeared as playful synonyms of the name.
In common parlance and in historical documents, the term "daffodil" may refer specifically to populations or specimens of the wild daffodil, N. pseudonarcissus.
A daffodil closeup showing the various parts of the flower in detail
Narcissus grow from pale brown-skinned spherical bulbs with pronounced necks. The leafless stems, appearing from early to late spring depending on the species, bear from 1 to 20 blooms. Each flower has a central bell-, bowl-, or disc-shaped corona surrounded by a ring of six floral leaves called the perianth which is united into a tube at the forward edge of the 3-locular ovary. The three outer segments are sepals, and the three inner segments are petals.
Flower colour varies from white through yellow to deep orange. Breeders have developed some daffodils with double, triple, or ambiguously multiple rows and layers of segments, and several wild species also have known double variants.
The seeds are black, round and swollen with a hard coat.
March 11th, 2013
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