Start of Spring heralded by Wild Daffodils

Joe Costley

Joe Costley

Nature Reserves Manager

30th March 2017

One of the joys of managing Plantlife's nature reserves is getting to see the seasons change. Just the other day, the start of Spring was heralded by the discovery of Wild Daffodil flowers (Narcissus pseudonarcissus ssp pseudonarcissus) at our Joan’s Hill Farm reserve in Herefordshire so we thought we'd share a photo:

Once one of the most common wildflowers to be found in the English and Welsh countryside, this wild daffodil declined mysteriously in the mid-nineteenth century. Picking by passers-by doesn't seem to have been the cause as daffodils are quite resistant to this practice so the truth is more likely a mix of reasons: a decline cash-crops grown by locals, the rise of agricultural intensification and mismanagement of the places they grew.

Despite wild populations becoming rarer and rarer, its good to know it still survives in patchy populations, often scattered across the western side of Britain - our reserve in Herefordshire being one of them.

How can we be sure these are true wild daffs? Well, they are smaller and daintier (approx 25cm tall) than horticultural varieties with narrow leaves. The flower also has a pale outer whorl and darker trumpet.

Providing a safe haven for unique flowers like the wild daffodil - not to mention more common wild flowers that provide food and shelter for wildlife - is only possible because of donations from our supporters. If you are a member, thank you very much for helping us. If you aren’t, please consider giving a donation to help cover our costs. You can do this by clicking below:

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