Daffodils Arrived Here With the Colonists
History of the Daffodil in Gloucester County
Native to parts of Europe and Northern Africa, daffodils were introduced to Britain by the Romans after they invaded and captured the country in AD 43. Daffodils (also known as "Lent Lilies") spread naturally and eventually became the favorite flower of England. After the establishment of the Virginia Company in 1606 and the settlement of Jamestown colony in 1609, daffodil bulbs were transported by sailing ships from Britain to America, often by women colonists who brought them along as a reminder of home. The bulbs adapted readily to the climate and conditions of the Virginia Tidewater region, and particularly the area known as the Middle Peninsula, which includes Gloucester and Mathews counties.
I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils
—William Wadsworth, published 1807
In his famous poem Wordsworth could have been referring to Gloucester and Mathews Counties, Virginia, where by the 1800's naturalized and planted daffodils bloomed
Daffodil is the common name given to plants making up the genus Narcissus. There are many references to daffodils throughout history. In 609 Shakespeare wrote in his play The Winter's Tale, "Daffodils, that come before the swallows dare, and take the winds of March with beauty."
The diversity of the naturalized species, the ease with which natural hybridization occurs, and extensive cultivation and breeding over centuries has made the Narcissus family difficult to categorize. The Royal Horticultural Society of Great Britain has grouped daffodils into 13 Divisions. The American Daffodil Society (ADS), founded in 1954, works with The Royal Horticultural Society to maintain the classification system.
Erected by Gloucester County, Virginia.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Colonial Era • Horticulture & Forestry • Settlements & Settlers • Women. A significant historical year for this entry is 1606.
Location. 37° 24.922′ N, 76° 31.75′ W. Marker is in Gloucester, Virginia, in Gloucester County. Marker is on Main Street (Business U.S. 17) just west of John Lemon Lane, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Gloucester Continues to Celebrate the Daffodil (here, next to this marker); The Daffodil Industry (here, next to this marker); A Sacred Place (a few steps from this marker); Werowocomoco (within shouting distance of this marker); The Birdsall Building (within shouting distance of this marker); Court House (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memoriam John Clayton (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named In Memoriam John Clayton (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Gloucester.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 28, 2021. It was originally submitted on June 27, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 251 times since then and 123 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 27, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.