Ah, the Tenby Daffodil – the little flower that brings so much joy to the Welsh countryside in the early spring months. With its bright yellow petals and gentle scent, it’s no wonder that the Tenby Daffodil (Narcissus obvallaris) has become an iconic symbol of Wales and its national identity.
But what makes this little flower so special?
Well, for one thing, it’s actually quite rare. The Tenby Daffodil is only found in a few locations in the wild, mainly in the coastal areas around Tenby, Pembrokeshire in Wales. It’s also known by a few other names, including the Tenby Narcissus, and the Welsh Daffodil. Despite its relative scarcity, the Tenby Daffodil is a beloved fixture of Welsh culture, and a source of pride for many.
So, what is it about this daffodil that captures the Welsh spirit so perfectly?
Perhaps it’s the way that it seems to embody the spirit of spring itself – a time of new beginnings, fresh growth, and the promise of brighter days ahead. After all, the Tenby Daffodil is one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, often emerging from the ground in February or March, long before most other plants have even started to wake up.
But there’s more to the Tenby Daffodil than just its pretty appearance and early blooming time.
In Welsh folklore, the daffodil has long been associated with hope, optimism, and good luck. It’s said that if you see the first daffodil of the year, it will bring you good fortune and happiness in the months ahead. And if you give a bunch of daffodils to someone, it’s a sign of affection and friendship.
Of course, the Tenby Daffodil isn’t just a source of superstition and folklore – it’s also a vital part of the ecosystem in the areas where it grows. Like all daffodils, it plays an important role in pollination, providing a source of nectar and pollen for bees and other insects. And because it’s so well adapted to the Welsh climate, it helps to maintain the delicate balance of plant life in the area.
Its said that the Tenby daffodil was first discovered in 1809 by botanist William Baxter on one of his trips to Tenby.
People say that he saw this strange daffodil growing in an old ruin near the beach and was immediately struck by how beautiful it was. Since then, it has become a symbol of Tenby’s rich history and charm.
Wales has had a long history of celebrating the beautiful daffodil! It was even adopted as their national emblem when Lloyd George donned one at an investiture ceremony for Prince Edward in the early 20th century.
So whether you’re a native Welsh person, or just a visitor to the area, take some time this spring to stop and appreciate the Tenby Daffodil. It may be a small and unassuming flower, but it carries with it a rich history and cultural significance that speaks to the heart of Welsh identity. Who knows, maybe a glimpse of this little yellow bloom will bring you the luck and happiness you’ve been looking for all along.
Narcissus obvallaris (13)
N. obvallaris is a bulbous perennial to 30cm tall, with glaucous, strap-shaped leaves and solitary bright yellow flowers with flared trumpets and slightly paler perianth segments, opening in early spring
Narcissus pseudonarcissus subsp. obvallaris
How to grow the Tenby Daffodil
Plant at one and a half to two times its own depth in autumn. Will tolerate most soils but prefers moderately fertile, well-drained soil that is constantly moist during the growing season. Excellent for naturalising. See daffodil cultivation for further advice
Propagate by removing offsets as the leaves fade in early summer
Suggested planting locations and garden types for the Tenby Daffodil
No pruning required
May be affected by narcissus basal rot
Happy Tenby Daffodil season! ???