By Lois Weiss

It’s official – this year’s Daffodil Project has been quarantined and another annual September 11 tradition is being abandoned to the pandemic.

The New Yorkers for Parks and NYC Parks’ Daffodil Project spokeswoman emailed, “New Yorkers for Parks will not be distributing any daffodils this year. NY4P looks forward to continuing The Daffodil Project when it can be done safely.”

The bulb distribution started after the city was gifted with 1 million daffodil bulbs shipped over by a Dutch supplier, Hans van Waardenburg and the City of Rotterdam. The gift to the former Dutch colony was made after the Twin Towers fell, and 10,000 people helped plant them around the city.

When that spring came in 2002, those creamy-yellow, orange, and white daffodils sprouting along the highways provided a jolt of new life and hope against the browns and death of winter grass. In some spots they poked their nodding heads and green stalks from under the lingering white snow. 

The color of remembrance is yellow and the flowers still provide an ongoing living memorial to remember the victims of 9/11.

There were so many daffodils that by 2007, then-Mayor Bloomberg made it the official city flower.

Each year until now, the original bulbs and their offspring were divided up and distributed by the dozens each fall through the Daffodil Project so that other city gardeners could spread them around the town.

These bulbs, however, won’t forget that day and have survived squirrels, droughts, and floods to keep growing, rising, multiplying and making their yearly appearance.

And while they will still bloom next spring, they are now relegated to their current spots and can’t spread their joy further — just another victim of the pandemic.