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DAFFODIL, the common name of a group of plants of the genus Narcissus, and natural order Amaryllidaceae. (See generally under NARCISSUS.) The common daffodil, N. Pseudo-narcissus, is common in woods and thickets in most parts of the N. of Europe, but is rare in Scotland. Its leaves are five or six in number, are about a foot in length and an inch in breadth, and have a blunt keel and flat edges. The stem is about 18 in. long, and the spathe single-flowered. The flowers are large, yellow, scented and a little drooping, with a corolla deeply cleft into six lobes, and a central bell-shaped nectary, which is crisped at the margin. They appear early in the year, or, as Shakespeare says, " come before the swallow dares, and take the winds of March with beauty." The stamens are shorter than the cup, the anthers oblong and converging; the ovary is globose, and has three furrows; the seeds are roundish and black. Many new varieties of the flower have recently been cultivated in gardens. The bulbs are large and orbicular, and have a blackish coat; they, as well as the flowers, are reputed to be emetic in properties. The Peruvian daffodil and the sea daffodil are species of the genus Ismene. (For derivation see ASPHODEL.)

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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