Welsh and Tenby daffodils

There are types of daffodil unique to Wales - the Welsh daffodil or Lent lily and the Tenby daffodil.

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Last updated: 07 April 2008

We've our Victorian ancestors to thank for the fact that we pin daffodils to our lapels instead of leeks on St David's Day.

A common vegetable such as the leek wasn't considered glamorous enough to be the Welsh national emblem and the daffodil, whose flowering coincides with the Welsh patron saint's holiday, seemed like a fitting replacement.

These days thanks to global warming you can find daffodils appearing as early as December and January and are no longer exclusive to spring.

Here in Wales there are two varieties unique to Wales - the Tenby and the Welsh or Lent daffodil. Both species have suffered decline over the years as a result of property development on land where they once thrived.

Tenby daffodils suffered in Victorian times from being too popular as they were regularly dug up and became quite scarce but replanting has helped and nowadays you'll see plenty in the spring time around Tenby.

Tenby daffodils are all one colour, whereas the Welsh daffodil or Lenten lily are two toned in colour with a different shade of yellow/ orange on the trumpet to that of the petals.

The flower's trumpet helps keep the rain out which in turn allows insects to fly in and pollinate straight away.

Tenby daffodils are not only found in South Pembrokeshire, but also in Carmarthenshire and parts of Ceredigion. The Welsh variety is more widespread, but still scarce.

One of the biggest displays of Welsh daffodils can be seen at Coed y Bwl Wood, at Castle Upon Alun, near Bridgend.

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