Spring Begins: discover Hampshire’s wild daffodils

It is finally spring! We can now see daffodils blossoming alongside our roads and paths, but did you know that most of the daffodils you see today have escaped from our gardens and parks? There are only a few places left where you can find wild daffodils in Hampshire.

Studies of narcissus or daffodils, painted by William Herbert Allen, of Farnham, Surrey, 1880s-1940s.

We are joined by our friends from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust who have found some of these fascinating, dainty flowers at Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve:

With wild daffodils still common in the 19th century, it is no surprise that we find preserved specimens in our museum collections. Our oldest example dates back to 1841, when renowned botanist, W A Bromfield, collected wild daffodils from the woods at Centurion’s Copse at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight.

Herbarium sheet, daffodil, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, found at Centurion's Copse, Bembridge, Isle of Wight, 1841.

However, not all our wild daffodil plant specimens are that old. Our most recent Narcissus psydonarcissus, as the wild daffodil is called, was collected at Rookesbury Park near Wickham in 1963. Sadly, that example is not yet digitised, and so to see it you would need to come and visit our Chilcomb stores.

We want to change that! If you love plants and are looking for a new challenge, we are recruiting a specialist team of volunteers to help us digitise and bring more of our plant collection online. We provide equipment and training, so if that sounds interesting to you, please send us an email to collections@hampshireculturaltrust.org.uk or apply via our website here.

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Hampshire Cultural Trust

From museums to galleries to arts centres, we manage and support attractions across the county, welcoming over 740,000 people each year. Our charitable purpose is changing lives through culture.
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