Last month, UK national radio and TV broadcast news of a letter sent from Public Health England to supermarkets requesting that daffodils are not placed for sale in fruit and vegetable aisles in case they are mistaken for food. A number of people have been puzzled by this. Mistaking daffodil bulbs for onions in September seems a remote possibility but eating bunches of daffodils in Spring??
Daffodils contain toxic alkaloids that can cause severe vomiting.
In 2012, Bristol’s Chinese community was urged not to eat daffodils after 10 people had to be treated in hospital. It was thought they may have mistaken the green parts of the flower for a chive used in Chinese cooking.
In 2014 there were 27 cases of daffodil related poisoning in the UK. It clearly pays to know your onions……and your chives.