Meet the Dixon’s “Star” Flower: The Daffodil

DSC_0371.2With its unique trumpet-shape and a ring of glowing petals resembling a star-shaped pattern, the daffodil remains to be one of the most popular flowers this time of year. Symbolizing friendship, new beginnings, and happiness, it’s no surprise that this colorful harbinger of spring has a way of lifting your spirits. And if it’s true that the daffodil really is the “friendship flower”, then the Dixon might just be the friendliest place around.

Daffodils are divided into 13 divisions according to their flower shape and heritage and the Dixon Gardens has them all. In last Friday’s Commercial Appeal, Dixon Director of Horticulture, Dale Skaggs, discussed the daffodil as this year’s spring flower focus:

“The early varieties typically bloom here in February. The first to bloom at the Dixon, though, typically in January, is the appropriately named ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation,’ which has a large yellow trumpet. The mid- and later-season varieties will continue to provide blooms into late March.” (To read more, CLICK HERE)

This month, the Dixon invites everyone to celebrate and experience the beauty of its star flower with any one of these events:

More about the daffodil…

What’s in a name?daffodil blog

Daffodil is a common English name of the narcissus, a genus of mainly hardy, mostly spring-flowering bulbs in the Amaryllis family.  The Latin name Narcissus is derived from the legend of the handsome Greek God Narkisso who drowned in a pool while admiring his reflection and narcissus flowers sprang up on the bank where he died. In the southeastern part of the U.S., “jonquil” is often used for daffodil because the early colonists from England brought with them the jonquilla-type bulbs.  In the Midwest and also the South, daffodils are also called “buttercups”.


The garden daffodil’s ancestors come from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East.

It’s a cultural thing

The earliest records mentioning daffodils date from two or three hundred years BC.   Mohammed in the 6th century AD wrote, “Bread is food for the body, but Narcissus is food of the soul”. The Romans used daffodils decoratively in their homes and at banquet tables.  The Egyptians used daffodils in funeral wreaths and Christians often used them to symbolize both Christ’s death and resurrection.  In China and Eastern culture, the narcissus is revered for its sweet fragrance and is perceived as a symbol of wealth and good fortune.  In the West, however, the narcissus is perceived as a symbol of vanity.

Art After Dark and the Daffodil Lecture are generously sponsored by Anne and Mike Keeney.

For more information about what’s going on at the Dixon Gallery & Gardens, please visit our website at