Narcissus pseudonarcissus (NL: Wilde narcis of Paasbloem / EN: Wild daffodil or Lent lily or Easter lily)
This well-known European flower brings bright swathes of colour to woods and grassland in early spring. Although the daffodil is sometimes known as the Easter lily, it is actually a member of the Amaryllidaceae (the plant family that also includes snowdrops) and hence is not a true lily. The Latin name for daffodil is thought to have been inspired by Narcissus, who was a figure in Greek mythology said to have fallen in love with his reflection in a pool of water. The nodding head of the daffodil is said to represent Narcissus bending down and gazing at his reflection.
Narcissus pseudonarcissus is a bulbous perennial with upright, strap-like, grey-green leaves. The leaves arise from the base of the stem and are up to 35 cm long and 12 mm wide, with rounded tips. A single flower is produced at the tip of the flattened flower-stalk. The flower consists of a dark yellow 'trumpet' (corona) surrounded by a ring of 3 sepals and 3 petals (perianth), which are a lighter yellow. The flowers are up to 60 mm long and the 'trumpet' and ring of petals are roughly the same length. Flowers are usually produced from March to April. The daffodil is clump-forming, but reproduction is primarily via seed production.
The species is native to Western Europe from Spain and Portugal east to Germany and north to England and Wales. It is commonly grown in gardens and populations have become established in many other parts of Europe. Wild plants grow in woods, grassland and on rocky ground. In the south of Belgium there are some huge populations covering almost the entire forest soil with thousands of plants. Just one of the wonders of nature.
Happy Easter for all of you !
Image: Rochefort (BE) - 27/03/2011
© Johan Dierckx
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