Wednesday, 6 May 2009


Aberdeenshire, in the north-east of Scotland is where John and Mairi and the 2 babes went camping at Easter. John took these colourful photos of the fields of daffodils at Edzell.

Why would there be row upon row of daffodils in this northern latitude? And they are all in bloom! Is it for the bulbs?

Having searched a bit on the web it seems that in Wales there are growers who harvest daffodils in order to extract a chemical for use in the pharmaceutical industry. The chemical in question is a compound called galantamine which is used to produce a drug to fight Alzheimer's Disease.

The Daily Mail here says: "Experts say growing daffodils at heights of over 1000ft above sea level in the Welsh mountains exposes them to 'stressful' conditions which lead to galantamine being produced as a self-defence mechanism .... The flowers are the source of galantamine, one of only a handful of drugs known to help delay symptoms of the condition [Alzeimer's]."

Snowdrops (genus Galanthus) also produce this compound. (All daffodils belong to the genus Narcissus.)

1 comment:

Vagabonde said...

A very informative post. I had no idea that daffodils were so useful- I’d love to see a field full of their yellow blossoms. The color effect of the field with the mountain and clouds is especially lovely.