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Daffodil

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Historical accounts suggest narcissi have been cultivated from the earliest times, but became increasingly popular in Europe after the 16th century and by the late 19th ... Read more century were an important commercial crop centred primarily on the Netherlands. Today narcissi are popular as cut flowers and as ornamental plants in private and public gardens. The long history of breeding has resulted in thousands of different cultivars. For horticultural purposes, narcissi are classified into divisions, covering a wide range of shapes and colours. Like other members of their family, narcissi produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide some protection for the plant, but may be poisonous if accidentally ingested. This property has been exploited for medicinal use in traditional healing and has resulted in the production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer's dementia. Long celebrated in art and literature, narcissi are associated with a number of themes in different cultures, ranging from death to good fortune, and as symbols of Spring. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales and the symbol of cancer charities in many countries. The appearance of the wild flowers in spring is associated with festivals in many places.

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