With their sunshine yellow petals and iconic trumpets, daffodils have long been admired. But, how did the humble spring flower become so iconic in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly?
Daffodil growing dates back well over 100 years and, although Cornwall isn’t the flower’s ancestral home, it is one of the best places in the world to grow it - which is why no other one location can produce different varieties like trumpets, tresambles and tazettas.
Cornwall has also contributed greatly to the daffodil’s development, with many new breeds and scientific advances taking place down here. Our daffodil farms are now some of the largest and most efficient anywhere, exporting throughout the UK, Europe and the USA.
Whilst the resilient yellow flower survived both World Wars and flourished between them, the Transportation of Flowers Act, which came into force in 1942, halted exportation and growing.
Growers from the Scilly Isles, who relied on daffodil cultivation to survive, didn’t give up easily – sending scented narcissi (part of the daffodil family) to the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who declared: “These people must be enabled to grow their flowers and send them to London –they cheer us up so much in these dark days.”
Today, Cornwall is the world’s largest producer of daffodils growing over 30 million tonnes of bulbs each year. Associated with the spring months (although the Isles of Scilly can enjoy them from as early as November) daffodils make the perfect Mother’s Day present, Easter gift and are brilliant for brightening up your home.