Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Spring has sprung in the piney woods of east Texas

Little Sweetie
The many teeny tiny springy wildflowers have been in bloom for some time now, but it seems as if overnight the daffodils have popped. Nothing says spring more than the daffodil.

Daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus and are one of the most popular bulb flowers in any garden. The word "Narcissus" is derived from the Greek word narke, meaning numbness or stupor. Some attribute the naming of the flower to its narcotic fragrance while others debate that it is associated with the poisonous nature of the Narcissus bulbs. Daffodils have been recorded in history as early as the second century B.C.

Courtesy of Wikipedia
According to classical mythology, the young lad, Narcissus, was so enamored with himself that he stared at his reflection in a pool of water until he eventually turned into his namesake flower. And this is how Narcissus flowers came into being! I would like to say something here about men being enamored with themselves but that is not news!

Many homesteaders in the westward migration of the early United States felt that daffodils were an essential plant to have on the homestead. Many abandoned home sites can be recognized today by the clumps of daffodils growing in the fields.

We are blessed here in the piney woods of east Texas to have the species "Little Sweetie daffodil"(Narcissus jonquilla) that grows in abundance along our roadsides. These little yellow spring ephemerals with their unruly rush-like foliage are quite fragrant, deep yellow in color and have multiple florets to a stem.

In fact, along our State Highway 14 is a place known as Daffodil Hill showcasing thousands of these buttery yellow blooms.

Another little known daffodil paradise is Mrs. Lee's Daffodil Garden near Gladewater. Each spring Mrs. Lee's farm becomes a golden haven of beauty with millions of  daffodils in bloom throughout the 28 acres of farm land. These flowers are the offspring of the boxcar load of bulbs that Mrs. Lee purchased and had planted. For more information check out:

So, I leave you with this one last photo and poem. The lovely daffodil is my favorite spring-time flower. What is yours?

When the winds of March are wakening the crocuses and crickets,
Did you ever find a fairy near some budding little thickets?
And when she sees you creeping up to get a closer peek,
She tumbles through the daffodils, a-playing hide and seek.
Marjorie Barrows

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