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Daffodil question


Marge, I will address this to you since you are geographically the nearest to 
the area in question, though I invite anyone's opinion.  We just returned 
from a much-needed week of birding at Bombay Hook and Chincoteague.  Spring was 
not as far advanced as we had hoped or expected, or as our notes of previous 
trips indicated that it had been in other years.  However we did happen on one 
unusual sight (site, too).  The Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge lies to 
the east of Dover, Delaware, and is a large area of marshes and wetlands 
interspersed with fields and woods. Adjoining the refuge is Allee House, an 
eighteenth century farmhouse that has been either restored or preserved.  Since it is 
open to the public only on weekend afternoons, and we always schedule our trips 
during to week, we have never been able to visit it.  However, there is a 
back road from the edge of the refuge to the house that offers interesting 
birding territory so we always take at least one run down that way.  Several years 
we have noticed daffodils growing at one of the overlook sites beside  an 
impoundment, but assumed they had been planted by park staff or volunteers.  I will 
continue that assumption since these are fairly "modern" daffs - large 
cream-colored blooms with darker small cups.  This year when we drove down the Allee 
House road we were astonished to find the woods full of daffodils, too.  
There was one area perhaps 30 feet wide and deep that was just a solid mass of 
daffs, and they appeared at intervals throughout a stretch of maybe half a mile.  
These appeared to be rather small-flowered golden trumpet types - like small 
'King Alfreds' but not that large.  My DH assured me that there had once been 
another house there, and perhaps he is right.  I'd say these are pretty 
old-fashioned bulbs.  But my question is this.  These have obviously spread much 
farther than from an ancient door-yard garden.  How do they spread in such an 
environment?  By seed?  Or do animals spread them?  They are poisonous, so would 
not be eaten, but I suppose the bulbs could be dug and moved, but can't 
imagine why.  The area has very sandy soil, but the woods are fairly open.  There is 
a field on the other side of the road - farmers plant millet and other grains 
for the birds under contract to the refuge - but the area where the daffs 
grow doesn't look as if it has been cultivated for a generation at least - there 
are some pretty large deciduous trees - sweetgum, holly, etc. and a real mat 
of honeysuckle. It would be shaded in the summer but is sunny at this end of 
the year, and I know daffs will grow in such situations.  I also know they 
spread, but if I don't dig and divide mine every five or six years they just crowd 
themselves right out of the ground.  I'm really intrigued by this so would 
appreciate your thoughts.
Auralie

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