Flower Power

09th March 2017

One flower that stands its head above all other flowers on its power to influence us is the Daffodil, also known as Narcissus or Jonquil. As one of the earliest blooms to pattern the land after the darkness of winter, its vivid colour and beauty are a symbol of hope for the year to come.

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This golden flower has a fascinating history; the first sign of spring, a fragrance, a cure for cancer, a Greek legend, a narcotic, a cure for many ills, as well as an inspiration for literature and art and more recently, an association with Goodwood and Members’ Meeting.

Cultivated from at least as early as the 16th century in the Netherlands, when large numbers were imported, the Daffodil is well known as one of Britain’s most popular garden and wild flower and there are over 30,000 varieties.

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Before this, Narcissi were well known in ancient civilisation, both medicinally and botanically. Although the exact origin of its name is unknown, it is often linked to the Greek myth of the youth of that name who fell in love with his own reflection and drowned. Here the flowers sprang and it was believed that daffodils bent over streams represent the youth admiring his reflection. It has also been associated with the Greek “narke” which means ‘numbness’ because of the flower’s narcotic effect.  

Its medical uses span far and wide, for centuries it was used as a traditional medicine for healing tumours and what was believed to be a cure for cancer (today is is a symbol for a number of cancer charities). It was used as an ointment for wounds and strains, as a decongestant, a contraception, to help epilepsy, bronchitis and even as a stimulant to induce hallucinations. Most recently, and perhaps significantly, it has been exploited for production of galantamine for the treatment of Alzheimer’s dementia.

A larger sea of yellow surrounds the Motor Circuit

The bright striking yellow displays are associated with sunshine, the golden warmth of happiness and a thing of beauty. Wordsworth’s most loved poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ describes a “host of dancing daffodils” and the “ten thousand dancing in the breeze”, a view that certainly resonates with the scene at Goodwood every March. A larger sea of yellow surrounds the Motor Circuit, this year with over 410,000 bulbs planted around the track – all yellow varieties from the ‘California’ species, which is known for its gorgeous sunny colour.

Members’ Meeting is a very special event run exclusively for the Members of the Goodwood Road Racing Club and their guests. As well as being a continuation of the Club Meetings held at the historic Goodwood circuit in the 1950s and 1960s, it is an intoxicating blend of old and new, celebrating high-octane racing action in its purest form. Deckchairs and daffodils, croquet and cakes, hampers and hunting hounds combine with some of the greatest and most exciting racing cars in the world. 

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