The appeal of daffodils lies in their beauty and durability. Their flowers come in a range of colors (yellow, of course, but white, too, often with contrasting cups of orange, yellow or apricot) and in a variety of shapes and sizes. And they ask little in return. Planted in a sunny location where the soil drains well, most daffodils are willing to come back year after year. Perhaps best of all, deer and rodents leave daffodils alone. That’s because all daffodils contain a bitter toxic substance called lycorine.

    Botanically, all daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus, which explains why some people refer to daffodils as “narcissus.” In the South, “jonquil” is often used. Technically, it refers only to Narcissus jonquilla and its hybrids, but there is no right or wrong with common names. However you know these tough and attractive bulbs, they are an essential part of the spring landscape.

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