Daffodils arrive on the Upper West Side

daffodils in Roosevelt Park

There are more than 50 species of Daffodils, and most have yellow or white flowers. Daffodils grow easily and they are not only tolerant to cold, but they need to experience cold for the flowers to bloom. For this reason, they don’t naturally grow in climates that never have frost. Daffodils will grow in shade after they have finished flowering.

Daffodil History

Daffodils are native to the Mediterranean, and were cultivated by the ancient Greeks and Romans. The Romans believed that the sap from Daffodils had healing powers, but daffodils are actually toxic. Eating them can cause symptoms that include nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. Daffodils are also poisonous to squirrels, cats and dogs.

Daffodils in New York City Parks

In response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, Hans van Waardenburg, a Dutch bulb supplier, and the city of Rotterdam sent New York City a gift of one million daffodil bulbs. The Parks Department, New Yorkers for Parks, and landscape architect Lynden Miller started the Daffodil Project, and volunteers planted the bulbs in parks across the city. In 2007, Mayor Michael Bloomberg named the daffodil the official flower of New York City. Today, there are millions of daffodils in New York City Parks.