By Bailey Wright
MERIDEN — Hubbard Park’s illustrious daffodils have begun to sprout, providing an early sign of spring and warmer weather. Temperatures on Wednesday are expected to reach 65 degrees – which would be a record high for Feb. 21. The current record of 63 degrees was set in 1930, according to Gary Lessor, meteorologist with the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University.
Daffodils typically begin to sprout in early April and bloom by the end of the month. In 2016, a mild winter meant the daffodils at Hubbard Park bloomed early and did not remain in bloom for the annual Daffodil Festival in late April.
Hubbard Park has long been known for its approximately 600,000 yellow daffodils. The 40th annual Daffodil Festival will be held on April 28 and 29.
Lessor said it’s normal for the daffodils “to germinate once you get a warm period during the winter season when the ground begins to warm.” The beginning of March is expected to bring above normal temperatures, but temperatures are expected to drop to below normal at the end of the month.
Daffodils are a spring bulb and will usually start sprouting in late winter and early spring. Even if there is a frost after they’ve begun to pop up, the flowers are typically not damaged, according to Longfield Gardens in New Jersey.
Extreme cold and drying winds may cause the tips of the daffodil leaves to turn brown, but as long as the flower buds stay below ground, they are protected and will continue to grow, according to Longfield Gardens.