FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 20, 2007
The Daffodil Named The Official Flower Of The City Of New York
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced today that the daffodil has been honored as the official flower of New York City.
"I am pleased to announce that the daffodil has been selected as the official flower of the City of New York," said Mayor Bloomberg. "This flower has earned the distinction, the Daffodil Project makes the City a more beautiful place every year, and bring us all together by serving as a living memorial to the victims of September 11th."
Once humble wildflowers, mostly native to the Mediterranean, daffodils were first noticed in the 1570s by botanist Carolus Clusius. He founded the Dutch bulb industry, which led to the hybridization of daffodils in thousands of colors from golden yellows and whites to bright oranges and even pinks. Daffodils arrived in New Amsterdam with Dutch settlers and are now a part of New York City’s horticultural fabric.
In October 2001, the Parks Department teamed up with New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P) and landscape architect Lynden Miller to launch the Daffodil Project, a citywide initiative to create a living memorial of hope after the tragedies of September 11. Since the inception of the Daffodil Project, over 20,000 volunteers and Parks staffers have planted over three million bulbs in 1,200 parks, playgrounds, schools, community gardens and patches of green space throughout the City.
"One of the most brilliant and dependable harbingers of spring is the annual re-emergence of three million daffodils," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. "Thanks to the energy and generosity of our many partners, communities throughout the City have been united through the act of planting this hope-bearing flower. As the official flower of our City, daffodils will continue decorating our landscape with fields of gold."
"After the attacks of 9/11, New Yorkers for Parks was honored to work with the City of New York to create the Daffodil Project," said Christian DiPalermo, Executive Director of New Yorkers for Parks (NY4P). "The blooming daffodils represent a living memorial of hope and we are delighted that Mayor Bloomberg is recognizing the its significance as New York City's official flower."
The Daffodil Project is the largest volunteer planting effort in New York City’s history. The Daffodil Project is made possible in part by the generosity of Dutch bulb supplier, Hans van Waardenburg of B&K Flowerbulbs. He has pledged to donate 500,000 daffodil bulbs to the project each year as long as there are volunteers willing to plant them.