University of Illinois Extension
Bulbs & More

History & Lore

Daffodil History & Lore

Daffodils were brought to Britain by the Romans who thought that the sap from daffodils had healing powers. Actually the sap contains crystals that can irritate the skin.

Greek mythology gives us the term narcissus. There was a young Greek named Narcissus. A nymph called Echo was in love with him, but Narcissus broke off the relationship. Heartbroken she hid in a cave and died. Later Narcissus, who was very handsome and quite taken with himself, saw his face in a pool, and as he leaned over to see better, fell in and drowned and became the flower.

Wild hyacinths have letter-like patterns on their petals which look like the 'A' in Greek which indicates the sound of wailing.

Hyacinth History & Lore

According to Greek mythology hyacinth got its name when a young boy named Hyacinth was killed when a discus hit him in the head during a game. A hyacinth sprang from the cut in his head as he lay in the arms of the god Apollo, who was wailing in grief. Wild hyacinths have letter-like patterns on their petals which look like the "A" in Greek which indicates the sound of wailing.

Hyacinths came to Europe from Turkey. A German doctor named Leonhardt Rauwolf, collected samples of hyacinths when he visited Turkey in 1573. By the early 1700s hyacinths were very popular with more than 2,000 cultivars available.

Crocus History & Lore

According to legend the Greek Gods Zeus & Hura loved each other so passionately that the land where they lived burst open with crocuses.

Crocuses were brought to England from France by Jean Robin, a Director of Gardens in Paris. Crocuses came to the United States on ships by settlers who planted them around their cabins.