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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

15 March, 2016

Wild Daffodil: true or false

Once upon a time our countryside in spring would graced with the lovely yellow wild daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus); now I am not absolutely certain there are any true wild daffodils left in Dorset. I have found some that display the characteristics and have recorded them as the real thing but I have a feeling I may be wrong!
As is slowly happening with primroses and bluebells, imported species and cross bred species that we like to have in our gardens are slowly inter-breeding with the wild stock and changing the wild species forever. Virtually all daffodils you see along roadsides and waysides in March and April are there as a result of dumped garden rubbish or by cross-pollination by insects going about their normal business.
The wild daffodil is generally a more delicate flower than the bold specimens we have in gardens although now, of course, there are small varieties of narcissus too which are becoming popular. The wild daffodil has a darker trumpet that the surrounding petals and the flower heads tend to point gently downwards rather shyly than look you boldly in the eye. It is sad that the real thing is not seen more often.
Wild Daffodil: true or false