Naturailzing Daffodils With Vegetables
Flowers add beauty and interest to a vegetable garden, and they can be beneficial to your harvest. With their ability to prevent soil erosion and high level of nutrient storage, daffodils are no exception. Plant daffodils along the borders of vegetable beds to fend off animals that might snack on your plants. The above-ground flowers and foliage of daffodils discourage deer and other browsers, and the below-ground bulbs discourage gophers, rabbits, groundhogs, and other diggers.
Vegetable garden tip: Daffodils can cause stomach upset, and some people have mistaken daffodils for onions, so we recommend planting onions and their relatives away from daffodils so that there is no chance for mistaken identity. Onions and Alliums are also unappetizing to critters, so they can serve as a line of defense in the garden as well.
What's In A Name? Daffodils & Their History
Though these spring-blooming bulbs are referred to widely as daffodils, they are all technically of the Narcissus genus. Daffodil is typically used as a common and collective name for all of the plants in the genus, and is most often used to describe the larger-flowered types.
Jonquil is a name sometimes used for this group, but this name actually only applies to a very small subgroup, Narcissus jonquilla, and related hybrids. According to the American Daffodil Society, Jonquils typically have several small, fragrant flowers on each stem with flat petals and foliage that is narrow and reed-like.
The genus name Narcissus is derived from Greek mythology. The story goes that a vain young man named Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection, and drowned in a pond as he tried to embrace himself. It is said that the narcissus plant first established itself where he perished.
Like all cultivated flowers, daffodils originated as wildflowers. The wild narcissus came originally from southern Europe. The genus Narcissus is divided into 13 divisions, each defined by foliage, flower color, and form. Twelve include the cultivated forms, the thirteenth form describes wild species and hybrids.