Plant of the Month - Petersfield Physic Garden

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Plant of the Month

March - Daffodil - Narcissus pseudonarcissus
Daffodils or Lent lilies are now in bloom in the orchard. With the Latin name Narcissus pseudonarcissus the bulb grows throughout western Europe. It is found wild in England and Wales either as a true native or an introduction that has become naturalised growing wild in woods and grasslands. Many of its cultivars and hybrids are also widely cultivated in parks and gardens in most temperate regions.
It is a perennial with upright strap light grey green leaves. A single flower is produced in the spring at the tip of the flattened flower stalk. This consists of a dark yellow trumpet surrounded by a ring of petals which are lighter yellow.
Daffodils contain the alkaloid poison lycorine mostly in the bulb. These on occasion have been confused with onions leading to incidents of accidental poisoning. They are now grown commercially in Wales to produce galantamine a drug used to treat Alzheimer's disease.
The daffodil is the national flower of Wales.


 
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