Friday, April 4, 2014

D is for Darling Dandelions and Depressing Daffodils

If you are doubting that Daffodil or Dandelion are official colors, check out this list. And be glad I didn't pick "Dollar green."
We will circle back to Yellow at the end of the month, but I wanted to give you a taste of flower shades, mostly because it is pouring ice cold rain outside my window and there is no spring in sight. So. Flowers.

I love dandelions. Their Hungarian name is 'pitypang' which is a lot of fun to say. There is also a story I like to tell especially to small children in the spring. I am not entirely sure it is a folktale (it sounds kind of too sugary) bit it is darling none the less.
In the story an angel (or a fairy) visits all kinds of flowers in turn, looking for one that can get a special favor from her. She asks all the flowers where they want to live and what they want to do, and all of them sound really snobbish and selfish. In the end she asks the dandelion, and all the little flower wants is grow all over the place and play with children. The wish is granted, and ever since then, neighbors all over the world have been spending the spring on their hands and knees, weeding tiny yellow bobbing flowers out of their perfect lawn.
(In an extended version of the story the dandelion is originally a wish-granting star that comes down to earth to carry the wishes of children.)

Daffodils have a fairly well-known connection to mythology. In many languages (like Hungarian) they are named after Narcissus, a Greek youth most well known for falling in love with his own reflection. Interesting to note though that while most people know the image of Narcissus gazing at himself in a pond, not many know the full story. 
Narcissus' story actually starts with Echo, the nymph who used to be a storyteller before she got cursed into never uttering her own words again (Greek gods have a cruel knack for punishment...). Echo in turn fell in love with this incredibly handsome young man who was in the habit of spurning both men and women who lusted after him. Echo withered in her sadness and pined away, only leaving her voice behind. The other nymphs, in order to punish the youth's indifference, made him fall in love with his own reflection in a pond. Narcissus, in turn, also pined away in the end, and turned into a bobbing yellow flower that likes to dip its head and admire itself in a pond or stream.

Enjoy the yellow flowers, and happy spring to those who have it! :)


  1. My grandmother told me the story of the dandelion as a wish-granting star and I've always been fond of them myself. i much prefer violets to dandelions.

  2. I'm one of those that didn't know the whole tale of Narcisus (until now :P)
    Shere y Paul: C is for Canary Islands, Bodegas Monje

  3. Yellow is such a happy colour. I've given your blog a shout out from my own A to Z post today

  4. I love the idea of dandelions being wishing stars. I'll have to use that in a story someday.

  5. I like dandelions, and that is a lovely little tale, plus what a great name, pitypang.
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
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  6. That's such a sweet story about the dandelion and explains why you can never get rid of it :). I have to admit that I'm not a daffodil fan; I just have this irrational dislike of them. Clearly there is something buried in my psyche there :)
    Tasha's Thinkings - AtoZ (Vampires)

  7. We always called Dandelions "Wet the Beds", being told as children that if we picked them that would happen. Wet the bed!
    Nice to read a more charming tale, however. :)

  8. I knew the story of the Daffodil and Narcissus, but I didn't know the one about the Dandelion - love that one!

  9. What a beautiful story about dandelions. I have now gained a totally new appreciation for these flowers.

  10. I knew the story of Narcissus and Echo, but I'd never heard the dandelion story. Thanks for sharing something new with me today!

    Visiting via the #AtoZChallenge

  11. The greens are beautiful. Pitypang! Visiting on the A-Z.
    Katy Did

    Life's Ride In Between

  12. Lovely - the color, the flowers, the stories. :-)
    Pam []

  13. "Dandelion" in Swedish is "maskros". Literally translated, though, it means "worm rose", which I think is really cool because it sounds like something that goes in a witch's brew.

    Thanks for sharing the lovely stories. Greek mythology is always a favorite, and I hadn't heard the dandelion one. :)

  14. I don't think that I have heard the story of the fairy blessing the dandelions before. That is a rather sweet story and certainly explains why they grow pretty much everywhere.

    A-to-Z Challenge 2014
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  15. I love dandelions! And daffodils are one of my favorites too. People think I'm crazy that I like dandelions but they're such a nice burst of color when one pops up in the middle of a green lawn...

  16. Yellow the happy color and it was very nice reading about the colors and flowers.

    I am your newest follower. if you don't mind could you please return the favour:

    Vikas Khair

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    Thank you very much in advance.

  17. I have done dandelions too for D! Hugs :)

  18. Lovely stories! Joe Wos does a telling of the dandelion story with cartoon illustrations that was great fun!
    I love them, too. A relative used to make dandelion wine. As Robert Fulghum wrote, if they were hard to grow and rare, people would appreciate their beauty more.

  19. I've not heard the story about dandelions before although I know the Narcissus one. Personally I like both flowers, although my guinea pigs (cavies) are currently enjoying their favourite flower - the dandelion (to eat!)
    Lovely blog posts!
    Blogging from Alpha to Zulu in April

  20. I've always rather enjoyed dandelions, though as a middle-class American homeowner, I have been indoctrinated to get rid of them from my lawn. But I really love the daffys.

  21. Daffodils have a special meaning in our family. We place a bunch of daffodils on our family gravesite every Easter season. I love the idea that they are wishing stars.. very appropriate! I just found you from A to Z and enjoy your writing style.

  22. Daffodils are one of my favorite flowers! And I do still wish on dandelions . . . ~MPL

  23. haha -- my neighbors hate me because every spring when the dandelions cover our yard, I can't bear to mow them down. I don't care that they are weeds; just looking at them makes me smile, for they are truly beautiful, especially in contrast to the green field upon which they grow. I think people take landscaping a bit too seriously. Who ever decided that a plant which grows with ease and abundance must be a pest? That's silly! I say, let us enjoy this free and simple gift! Like I said, my neighbors hate me, haha! Oh, well.

    I'm participating in AtoZ, too.
    See you around!

  24. Whenever I see daffodils, I'm reminded of that wonderful poem by William Wordsworth, The Daffodils... it contains amazing images.
    I'm not sure if you are familiar with it...