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Natural Products

Periodic Graphics: The Chemistry Of Daffodils

Chemical educator and Compound Interest blogger Andy Brunning explores the molecular makeup of these symbols of spring

by Andy Brunning
April 13, 2015 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 93, ISSUE 15

For a PDF of this graphic click here.

Periodic Graphics is a collaboration between C&EN and Andy Brunning, chemistry educator and author of the popular graphics blog Compound Interest. To see more of Brunning’s work, go to Check out all of C&EN’s Periodic Graphics here.



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spencer burrows (April 14, 2015 1:19 AM)
Funny, I was walking dogs up the canal and I stood and looked at some daffodils and wondered what compounds might be hidden in them. Good stuff!
Sam Gellman (April 15, 2015 1:39 PM)
This kind of information is really helpful to those of us who teach undergraduate organic chemistry. This summary will allow me to try to connect organic chemistry with the day-to-day lives of my students when I lecture in a few minutes. (Our daffodils are just starting to emerge.)

Providing this type of information (for educators and others) is a great use of ACS resources.
Robert Leonetti (April 15, 2015 4:13 PM)
No wonder deer avoid them, while munching on tulips right next door.
Tony Martin (April 17, 2015 12:51 PM)
That why they recommended in this New Mexico mountain community with a large population of deer. Deer eat all the rest of the spring flowers.
Trench (April 26, 2016 2:50 PM)
I know that lycorine and galantamine are in the bulb of the daffodil, but what are the levels and concentrations of these compounds in the flowers themselves?

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