- Daffodil Varieties – How Many Types Of Daffodils Are There
- Daffodil Plant Facts
- Daffodil Types
- Trumpet Daffodils (Division 1)
- Large-cupped Daffodils (Division 2)
- Small-cupped Daffodils (Division 3)
- Double Daffodils (Division 4)
- Triandus Daffodils (Division 5)
- Cyclamineus Daffodils (Division 6)
- Jonquilla Daffodils (Division 7)
- Tazetta Daffodils (Division 8)
- Poeticus Daffodils (Division 9)
- Bulbocodium Daffodils (Division 10)
- Split Corona Daffodils (Division 11)
- Miscellaneous Daffodils (Division 12)
- Small Cup Daffodils
- White Daffodils
- Miniature Trumpet Daffodils
- Pink Daffodils
- Fragrant Daffodils
- Split Cup Daffodils
- Double Daffodils
- Cyclamineus Daffodils
- Species Daffodils
- WHY WE LOVE THEM
- THE 13 MAIN TYPES OF DAFFODILS
- DIVISION 1: TRUMPET
- DIVISION 2: LARGE-CUPPED
- DIVISION 3: SMALL-CUPPED
- DIVISION 4: DOUBLES
- DIVISION 5: TRIANDRUS
- DIVISION 6: CYCLAMINEUS
- DIVISION 7: JONQUILS
- DIVISION 8: TAZETTAS
- DIVISION 9: POETICUS
- DIVISION 10: BULBOCODIUM
- DIVISION 11: SPLIT-CUPPED
- DIVISION 12: MISCELLANEOUS OR OTHER TYPES OF DAFFODILS
- Division 13: SPECIES DISTINGUISHED BY BOTANICAL NAMES
- THE BEST WAY TO PLANT ALL TYPES OF DAFFODILS
- John Scheepers2020
- Narcissus Horticultural Tips
- 1. Jetfire:
- 2. Sentinel daffodils:
- 3. Thalia daffodils:
- 4. Quail Daffodils:
- 5. Sorbet daffodil:
- 6. Barrett Browning:
- 7. Jack Snipe:
- 8. Sovereign Daffodils:
- 9. Tahiti daffodils:
- 10. Canaliculatus:
- 11. Petit Four daffodil:
- 12. Hawera daffodil:
- 13. Cheerfulness daffodils:
- 14. Merlin daffodil:
- 15. White Lion daffodils:
- 16. February Gold daffodils:
- 17. Minnow:
- 18. Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation:
- 19. Spellbinder:
- 20. Dutch Master:
- 21. Manly:
- 22. Cassata:
- 23. Golden Bells:
- 24. Narcissus Tete-a-Tete:
- 25. Narcissus Avalanche:
Daffodil Varieties – How Many Types Of Daffodils Are There
Daffodils are extremely popular flowering bulbs that are some of the earliest sources of color each spring. You really can’t go wrong when planting daffodil bulbs, but the sheer variety can get overwhelming. Keep reading to learn more about the different types of daffodils and how to tell them apart.
Daffodil Plant Facts
What are some different types of daffodils and how many types of daffodils are there? Including hybrids, there are over 13,000 distinct daffodil varieties in existence. Those can be divided, however, into about a dozen different types of daffodils that are characterized by the size and shape of their petals (the outer part of the flower) and their coronas (the inner petals that are often fused into a single tube).
Popular Varieties of Daffodils
Trumpet varieties of daffodils are distinguished by a fused corona that is noticeably longer than the petals (like a trumpet). If the corona is shorter than the petals, it’s called a cup. Two varieties of daffodils are known as large-cupped and small-cupped, depending on the size compared to the petals.
Double daffodils have either a double set of petals, a double corona, or both.
Triandus has at least two flowers per stem.
Cyclamineus has petals that flare back from the corona.
Jonquilla has fragrant flowers that appear in clusters of 1 to 5 per stem.
Tazetta has fragrant clusters of at least 4 and as many as 20 flowers per stem.
Poeticus has one fragrant flower per stem with large white petals and a very small brightly colored corona.
Bulbocodium has a very large trumpet with relatively tiny petals.
Split corona has a corona that is not fused and appears as another ring of petals.
Not all daffodils fall into these categories, and each category contains countless specimens and cross-category hybrids. As a rule, though, you can sort the different types of daffodils into these categories to get a better sense of what you’re looking for.
Easy to plant, Daffodils are extraordinarily rewarding every spring with their bright cheery blossoms warming our soul from the previous winter months. Long lived, they naturalize and multiply year after year and offer a wide range of flower shapes and colors to pick from. Versatile, they are perfect for beds and borders, rock gardens, containers or window boxes. They also make gardening easy. Once planted, there is nothing left to do: these bulbs can stay right where they are and produce flowers year after year. As an added, most are fragrant and all are deer and rodent resistant.
- Planted in the fall, they produce their cheerful blossoms from early to late spring, depending on weather conditions and cultivars.
- Hardy, they do very well within hardiness zones 3 to 9.
- Their planting depth is generally 2 or 3 times the size of the bulb and they will thrive in moist soil and full sun.
- After blooming, do not remove their leaves for about 6 weeks to allow the bulb to absorb nutrients and grow for the following year.
Trumpet Daffodils (Division 1)
Trumpet Daffodils are quite traditional-looking with their large flowers, one bloom per stem, and their long trumpets (just as long or longer than the length of the perianth segments). This group offers a wide variety of colors (white, yellow and dramatic color combinations) and shapes (wide, narrow or flared trumpets). Blooming in early to mid spring, they can be grown in any garden setting, sun or shade, or in grass. Plant the smaller one in rock gardens and the taller one in drifts or dotted under trees where they will draw everyone’s attention.
Narcissus ‘W.P. Milner’
Narcissus ‘Mount Hood’
Narcissus ‘Dutch Master’
Large-cupped Daffodils (Division 2)
Large-cup daffodils present one single flower per stem with a cup (trumpet) that is more than one-third but less than equal to the length of the petals. This is one of the most popular group of daffodils. Why? Several reasons account for their popularity. First, they offer a wide range of colors (white, yellow, pink, peach or red) and cup shapes: flat, ruffled or trumpet-like. Adding unique charm and symmetry to the garden or containers, they typically produce large flowers, one bloom per stem, in mid spring. Importantly, they are good for naturalizing and are reliably perennial, multiplying year after year.
Narcissus ‘Pink Charm’
Small-cupped Daffodils (Division 3)
Small-Cupped Daffodils produce medium-sized flowers, one bloom per stem, characterized by a small cup or corona: not more than one-third the length of the petals. Mid season bloomers, this group includes many attractive, bi-colored cultivars, adorned with perfectly formed, white and pale petals, and usually strongly colored cups.
Narcissus ‘Barrett Browning’
Double Daffodils (Division 4)
Incredibly romantic and beautiful, Double Daffodils resemble peonies or carnations more than classic daffodils with their packed rows of petals and all their frills. This group includes either daffodils with a doubled trumpet or daffodils with a double row of petals or even both. Many cultivars are sweetly fragrant. They usually bear one flower per stem, but occasionally may have more. Flower colors range from yellow, white to peach, pink or red and these lovely blossoms are usually expected in mid to late spring. Double Daffodils work especially well under flowering trees and shrubs.
Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’
Triandus Daffodils (Division 5)
Triandrus Narcissi, sometimes called ‘Angels’ Tears’, produce up to 2-3 small to medium-sized flowers per stem in mid to late spring. Their distinguishing feature is that the perianth petals flare back and away from the bell-shaped cup so that the cup is more conspicuous. The delicate-looking flowers, white or yellow, are always angled downward. Usually strongly fragrant, these low-growing little daffodils have a definite preference for somewhat damp habitats. They are also frequently used in rock gardens.
Narcissus ‘Ice Wings’
Cyclamineus Daffodils (Division 6)
Elegant and graceful, the Cyclamineus or Miniature Daffodils feature small flowers, one per stem, with slightly to strongly swept-back petals and straight-sided trumpets. Sometimes, they resemble cyclamen, therefore the name of their group. Among the first hybrid daffodils to bloom, they can be admired from early to mid spring and sometimes later in the season, depending on cultivars and weather conditions. More shade tolerant than most daffodil varieties, these Miniature Daffodils naturalize easily. Great choices for rock gardens, containers and forcing.
Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’
Narcissus ‘Peeping Tom’
Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’
Jonquilla Daffodils (Division 7)
Loved since the 17th century, Jonquil Daffodils produce small flowers, 3 or more per stem, with short, wide petals held at right angles to cups. The cup of these daffodils is not that large: usually half the length of the petals. Strongly fragrant, their foliage is often rush like. Blooming in mid-late spring, they are excellent for naturalizing and prefer sunny locations, warm soils and humid conditions. Their heady fragrance has seduced many generations of gardeners!
|Narcissus ‘Sailboat’||Narcissus ‘Pipit’||Narcissus ‘Bell Song’|
Tazetta Daffodils (Division 8)
The Tazetta Narcissus group includes very short cupped, sweetly fragrant, mid-sized daffodils bearing multiple flowers, up to 3-20 per sturdy stem. Many are not hardy to the more northern climates, but are terrific performers in USDA Zones 5-9. Excellent for forcing (this division includes the world-famous but tender paperwhites), they also naturalize readily in wet-winter, dry-summer climates. Suitable as garden plants or for cutting, most bloom in mid-late spring.
|Narcissus ‘Cragford’||Narcissus ‘Geranium’||Narcissus ‘Paperwhite’|
Poeticus Daffodils (Division 9)
Large and powerfully fragrant, Narcissus poeticus and its hybrids produce elegant and simply beautiful flowers, adorned with glistening white petals, very small red-rimmed yellow cups, and green eyes. Blooming in late spring, usually one flower per stem, these daffodils thrive in damp soil and look wonderful naturalized in tall grasses or next to a few deciduous trees.
|Narcissus ‘Actaea’||Narcissus Recurvus||Narcissus Recurvus|
Bulbocodium Daffodils (Division 10)
Reminiscent of a hoop petticoat caught in the wind in early to mid spring, Narcissus bulbocodium is by far the most widespread of the hoop petticoat daffodils. The main characteristic of this charming daffodil is short, very narrow petals and huge, flaring, funnel-shaped cups. Low-growing, it blooms prolifically, 3-5 blossoms per bulb, over a long season. Its attractive foliage of dark green leaves, resembling clumps of chives, is almost evergreen. Thriving in sunny locations and acid soils, it is excellent for naturalizing as it multiplies quickly and self-seeds as well. Rock gardens and naturalized areas are ideal places to plant these dwarf daffodils.
Split Corona Daffodils (Division 11)
Named after their split trumpet, these daffodils could be further classified as “Collar” if their petals are arranged in 2 rings of 3 or as “Papillon” if the petals are displayed in 1 ring of 6.
|Narcissus ‘Valdrome’||Narcissus ‘Dolly Mollinger’||Narcissus ‘Orangery’|
Miscellaneous Daffodils (Division 12)
This group includes all other cultivars not fitting any of the above groups
Daffodils are one of the earliest signs of spring. I’ve planted hundreds over the years and every year is more exciting than the last. There are dozens and dozens of daffodil varieties available for a stunning spring flower show.
There are so many beautiful daffodil varieties that I could never pick just one. I have them planted all over, in the orchard around the trees, under the grapevines and scattered all over my front lawn.
To be fair, the last option isn’t the greatest. My front lawn gets really wet and the bulbs never took off the way I wanted them too.
That’s what you get for going all in with a planting local before you’ve lived a full 12 months in a spot. I’ve been slowly digging them up and moving them to better locations over the years.
I prefer to plant a mixture of daffodil bulbs for a few reasons. It’s so much cheaper to buy a massive bag of 100 bulbs. At the same time I love chaos in the flower bed so a mix of daffodil varieties makes it possible to break up the ‘sameness’ you get with 100 of something.
My little #daffodil inspectors! They helped me plant two rose bushes and a pineapple quince. Or I planted them and they picked out all the worms and tried to put them in my hair ? #farmkids #springinthegarden #gooutside #smelltheflowers #simplelife
Another check in the pro column for planting a variety of different daffodils is the longer blooming season. If I plant 100 Minnow daffodils (they’re my favorite!) I’ve got one crazy impressive flower display. And then it’s over for the year. But if you mix in different types you can have a more prolonged flower show.
Daffodils are spring bloomers but you actually plant them in the fall. My preferred method is to grab a shovel, dig up a shovel-sized chunk of lawn, drop in a few bulbs and place the dirt back. I have 9 million earthworms and they do a good job getting things knit back together.
I wanted to share some of my favorite daffodil varieties. While I absolutely love a mob of traditional yellow flowers I’m going to leave those off the list and get to the fancy stuff.
Daffodils are officially organized into 13 divisions. The American Daffodil Association has a great breakdown of the divisions. You’ll notice my break down is a little bit different. While I do have some of the divisions listed I’ve added a few of my own.
I don’t think the technical differences are really that important to the average gardener. I know I care more about the unique colors, shapes and the combinations of those than the specific ratio of perianth to corona (petals to cup). You can find fragrant double daffodils or split cup pink daffodils, etc. It’s a wide world of flower bulbs!
Small Cup Daffodils
Small cup daffodils have, you guessed it, small cups. The flowers themselves are the normal size.
The center ‘cup’ is less than 1/3 the length of the outer petals. The little cup gives them a delicate and dainty appearance.
They’re available in many color varieties that over lap into some of the other categories I’ve got listed below. I think they look best when the center cup color stands out from the back petals.
My Picks: Ringtone – Champagne with wavy yellow cup & Altruist – Orange with a red cup
When you hear daffodil you automatically think yellow but I think white daffodils are stunning. They range from completely white to a mix of half white – half yellow (or pink, or orange).
I have several different types but my favorite are the large cupped single flowers. They remind me of tea cups for some reason, a large cup on a dainty saucer. That has to be from a cartoon, any ideas?
My Picks: Stainless – Large cup, all white & White Medal – Double, all white
Miniature Trumpet Daffodils
Tiny flowers are pretty too! Miniature here is about the plant and flower size. You have quite a few options in the world of miniature daffodil varieties but they all have a small stature in common.
Miniature daffodils range from 4-8 inches tall with small flowers. You’ll find a lot of species or wild type daffodils fit into this dainty size category.
One of my favorite things about miniature daffodils are the multiple flowering varieties. Not all miniatures have multiple flowers but it’s more common among the little guys.
I’ve noticed my minis bloom later than the others even though they’re all planted together.
Top picks: Minnow – 3-5 flowers per stem, white with yellow cups & Tête à Tête – 2-3 flowers per stem, yellow with darker yellow cup
Did you know you could get pink daffodils? To be fair it’s not a neon pink, more of a coral. But still unexpected from a flower synonymous with yellow.
There is a trick to getting the most from your pink daffodils and it comes in during planting time. You’ll get the pinkest color if you plant your bulbs in part shade or filtered sunlight.
Take note of where you get filtered sunlight during the day before you plant. Remember that the trees won’t be fully leafed out when the daffodils are blooming so full shade in the summer might be just what you’re looking for!
I get all my daffodils in random mixes so I’ve got pink flowers all over. They look pretty every where but they are visibly pinker when they’re out of the full sun.
Top Picks: Pink Charm – white with large yellow cup with ruffled pink border at the rim & Delnashaugh – white and apricot-pink double that looks nothing like a traditional daffodil
This category covers a wide range of daffodils. You can find fragrant daffodils in just about any category.
Just like my daylily garden I don’t plant daffodils for the fragrance but it’s a nice touch. It’s spring after all and I want my whole world to smell like lilacs.
Going back to those official divisions, there are several divisions of daffodils known for fragrance. They include Poeticus, Jonquilla and Tazetta Narcissi.
Top Picks: Baby Moon – yellow Jonquilla daffodil & Avalanche – white petals with yellow cup Tezetta daffodil with 10 flowers per stem
Split Cup Daffodils
Split cup daffolils are some of the pretties flowers around. The inner cup is split, looking like multiple petals.
There are three kinds of split cup daffodils, Collar, Butterfly and Combination. The differences between them are confusing and you don’t need to know them. If you really want to know you can check the labels 😉
As far as I can tell the Collar type split cup daffodils have split cups and the outer petals organized in offset groups of three, sometimes with cup segments behind a layer of petal. Butterfly or Papillon split cup daffodils have a small, ruffly split cup flower in the center of the whorl of 6 outer petals (see, I told it was confusing and didn’t matter! haha)
Top Picks: Sorbet – Butterfly split cup with white petals and yellow, white and orange cup & Pink Wonder – Collar type split cup with white petals and yellow to pink cup arranged in two layers
Double Narcissi are real show stoppers! They’re stunning flowers, they seems to have an impossible number of flower petals densely packed into each blossom.
Double rows of petals leave the blooms looking more like peonies than daffodils. Depending on the variety you can have a single color like the one shown above or a twisted mix of two tones.
The only downside is the heaviness of the flower combined with the frequent spring rains we get can leave the flowers laying on the ground, just like peonies 😉
Top Picks: Ice King – White with ruffled yellow inner petals & Yellow Cheerfulness – Fragrant all yellow with two flowers per stalk
The daffodils in this group get their name from the resemblance to Cyclamen flowers with recurved petals. Unlike some of the catagories this one is based on biology and breeding not just a color or size.
Some types have the petals pulled back so far the petals are doing in the opposite direction than the cup. Others are less extreme with the petals looking like they’ve been pushed back by a strong breeze
Top Picks: Rapture – all yellow with extremely recurved petals & Cha Cha – white slightly recurved petals with long pink cup with green base
Species Narcissi are the original, wild-type daffodils. I grow a lot of species tulips but I haven’t planted any of the daffodil counterparts yet.
I’ve got my eye on the somewhat crazy looking Narcissus bulbocodium to plant this fall. They’re short, 6-8 inches tall and I’m going to plant them in clumps along the border of my front flower bed.
Do you grow any daffodil varieties in your garden? I’m still planning out my fall bulb order but I know I’m getting a few of these to plant this fall.
Check out my Garden page for more ideas or start here:
Next week, I’ll be planting my daffodils in what has become for me an annual tradition. Why, you may ask, since they multiply so quickly? Well nowadays, daffodils come in an astonishing array of colors, shapes and sizes. So each year, I add a few more varieties to my garden, while savoring the list of further possibilities.
WHY WE LOVE THEM
Botanically speaking, they’re known as narcissus, but most of us refer to these beautiful spring flowers as daffodils. It may surprise you to learn that the name daffodil is a derivative of asphodel. In Greek mythology, asphodels are said to carpet the Elysian Fields of the afterlife. No one knows, though, how or why the initial ‘D’ was added.
The real asphodel, however, is a mortal flower. Although it shares the daffodil’s linear, grassy green leaves, its flower stalks are much taller, often reaching 3 to 4 feet. And it doesn’t bloom in early spring, but in May through June.
A bog asphodel
The word narcissus, on the other hand, is generally believed to be derived from the Greek narke, meaning ‘sleep or numbness,’ which is also the root of narcotic. This may be due to its intoxicating fragrance, although others associate narke with the toxicity of the plant’s bulbs and flowers. The exact origin of the name, however, is unknown.
Daffodils in early spring
That being said, the appeal of the daffodil for most lies not in its name, but in the flower’s many forms, its fragrance and quite possibly the color yellow. Sunny and bright, yellow represents happiness and renewal. Still, the traditional flower is only one in an expanding array of cultivars now available to the consumer. See below if your garden wouldn’t benefit from one or more of these spectacular types of daffodils.
THE 13 MAIN TYPES OF DAFFODILS
Depending on who you talk to, there are currently between 40 and 200 different daffodil species and over 32,000 registered cultivars. For horticultural purposes, all narcissus are split into 13 divisions. The list of divisions is known as the Official Classification System and it categorizes daffodils depending on the size and shape of their cups as compared to their petals.
Here’s a rundown of the divisions and links to some of the standout varieties in each one.
DIVISION 1: TRUMPET
Characterized by large blooms and only one flower to a stem, these cultivars have trumpets that are as long or longer than their petals. Some of the earliest to bloom, trumpet daffodils come in a wide variety of shapes and colors including Mount Hood, King Alfred and 4U2.
Trumpet daffodil ‘King Alfred’
DIVISION 2: LARGE-CUPPED
These cultivars have cups that are more than one third, but less than equal to the length of their petals. Each stem bears a single flower. Large-cupped daffodils come in a wide range of colors and have flat, ruffled or trumpet-like shapes. Great varieties include: Salome, Ice Follies and the exquisite, soft yellow Day Dream.
Large-cupped daffodil ‘Salome’
DIVISION 3: SMALL-CUPPED
These daffodils have cups that are not more than one third the length of their petals. Each stem carries one medium-sized flower. Popular selections include the exquisitely-shaped Eleanor Auchincloss, Ringtone and Barrett Browning.
Small-cupped daffodil ‘Barrett Browning’
DIVISION 4: DOUBLES
Not everyone’s a fan of these unusually-shaped flowers with their frilly rows of petals that resemble carnations. Nevertheless, these types of daffodils have a sweet fragrance and look great under flowering shrubs and trees. Each produces one or more blooms to a stem. Try pink and white Replete, tropical-colored Tahiti or soft pink Angélique.
Double daffodil ‘Tahiti’
DIVISION 5: TRIANDRUS
Tiny and low-growing, these daffodils have petals that flare back and droop downwards, like columbines. Triandrus daffodils prefer wetter conditions and produce 2 or more pendent flowers to a stem. Great varieties include: the dainty white Thalia, soft yellow ‘Angel’s Breath‘ and bright yellow Hawera.
Triandrus daffodil ‘Thalia’
DIVISION 6: CYCLAMINEUS
Cyclamineus daffodils have smaller-sized trumpets and petals that flare back from the cup. Prized for their early flowering and diminutive size, they’re perfect for naturalizing in large masses. Great varieties include: Wisley, Peeping Tom and February Gold.
Cylcamineus daffodil ‘February Gold’
DIVISION 7: JONQUILS
Instead of the flat leaves found in most daffodils, jonquils have dark green, tube-shaped leaves that resemble rushes. Strongly fragrant, they feature 3 or more small blooms to a stem. Although they are traditionally yellow, jonquils are also now available in white/yellow combinations. Great for naturalizing. Try Pueblo or Bell Song.
Yellow jonquil daffodils
DIVISION 8: TAZETTAS
Producing fragrant clusters of up to 20 flowers to a stem, tazetta daffodils are prized for their strong scent and heavy flower bearing. Great varieties include Geranium, Grand Primo and one of my personal favorites, Minnow.
Tazetta daffodil ‘Minnow’
DIVISION 9: POETICUS
It doesn’t get cuter than this! Also known as Pheasant’s Eye, Poet’s daffodils have very shallow, red-rimmed cups that look like an eye, especially when silhouetted against their bright white petals. One flower to a stem. Poeticus are one of the latest types of daffodils to flower. Great varieties include: Actaea and Recurvus.
White Poet’s daffodil
DIVISION 10: BULBOCODIUM
Also known as Petticoat daffodils for their lampshade-shaped cups, bulbocodiums grow to just 4 to 6 inches. The smallest of all the narcissus, the species is unusual in that its trumpet is exceptionally large in relation to its petals. Check out Yellow Hoop and Spoirot.
Yellow ‘Petticoat’ daffodils
DIVISION 11: SPLIT-CUPPED
Also called Butterfly daffodil, split-cupped daffodils have cups that splay out, which makes them appear as if they have another ring of petals.
Look for Apricot Whirl, Lemon Beauty and tiny coral-pink Shrike.
DIVISION 12: MISCELLANEOUS OR OTHER TYPES OF DAFFODILS
This division Includes all those daffodils that don’t fall into the above classifications. Many are natural species’ variants and hybrids.
Mesa Verde, a new cultivar developed in California by Bob Spott/Photo: RHS Flower Show
Division 13: SPECIES DISTINGUISHED BY BOTANICAL NAMES
Often left off of other lists, according to The Daffodil Society this division is nonetheless a part of the official daffodil classification system.
THE BEST WAY TO PLANT ALL TYPES OF DAFFODILS
I realize that for we East Coasters, time is running out for planting spring bulbs. However, many parts of the country still have ample time to get some of these great cultivars in the ground before frost. All varieties need to be planted sometime in the fall before the ground freezes.
Plant your bulbs with the pointy end up and the flat end down. And make sure the hole is twice as deep as the size of the bulb. Back fill with soil and water well.
Once planted, all daffodil varieties are maintenance free and will naturalize year after year. Deer won’t touch them (due to the above-mentioned toxic properties.) Just make sure to respect your bulb’s requirements. They’ll flower best in full sun, but will tolerate part shade. And in my experience, they do fine in deciduous woodlands.
While there are many theories on when to remove the leaves, I ascribe to the one that advocates leaving the leaves on for about 6 weeks after blooms until they yellow. This allows the plant to absorb energy from sunlight which it redirects back down into the bulb to feed next year’s flowers.
Bulbs coming up too early? Check out my post, What To Do If Your Spring Bulbs Come Up Too Early.
Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’
These beloved bulbs mainly bloom in late winter and early spring, breaking the spell of winter with their large blossoms saturated in cheery tones. Narcissus naturally occur in meadows, woodlands, along watercourses, and in rocky outcroppings up to subalpine altitudes. The mainly yellow or white flowers are comprised of 6 petals surrounding a corona. Narcissus are classified into 13 Divisions according to different flower forms or by botanical name: 1 Trumpet; 2 Large-cupped; 3 Small-cupped; 4 Double; 5 Triandrus; 6 Cyclamineus; 7 Jonquilla; 8 Tazetta; 9 Poeticus; 10 Bulbocodium; 11 Split-corona; 12 and 13 Miscellaneous. The term “heirloom” refers loosely to bulbs existing before 1940. Narcissus make superb companions to herbaceous and woody plants, and their uses in the landscape are numerous: in formal spring displays, mixed herbaceous or shrub borders, deciduous woodland plantings, rock gardens, naturalized in large scale meadow plantings or lawns, and in containers or greenhouse displays.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsMost are hardy to Zone 5, and a cold treatment is necessary to initiate bloom. They can be forced, and make excellent cut flowers, but their sap can cause other flowers in the same vase to wilt prematurely.
CareGrow in average, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade (see individual species for specific requirements). In autumn, plant bulbs from 1.5 to 5 times the bulbs’ height (3 inches or more in cold climates). Under glass, grow in 1 part grit and 2 parts soil mix. Deadhead seed heads (except those of species, for dispersal) and allow leaves to photosynthesize for 6 weeks before cutting back, including plantings in turf. Lift and divide clumps if they become overcrowded or perform poorly. Bulbs may be forced in autumn in a cold frame; plant with tops visible, keep moist, and when rooted, move to a cool greenhouse (less than 64°F).
PropagationSeparate bulbs and replant in early summer or early fall.
ProblemsNarcissus bulb fly, narcissus nematode, bulb scale mite, slugs, narcissus basal rot, other fungal infections, narcissus yellow stripe virus, and other viruses.
Most daffodils have a fragrance, some will miss it completely, and others will delight in its light, cool, spring-like notes. However there are some narcissi that are deliciously fragrant, a scent that is sweet, captivating and unique. This is a fragrance that has been treasured since ancient times; Narcissus tazetta var. orientalis was grown in Ancient Egypt and Israel for the perfume of its flowers. Known as the Chinese Sacred Lily, it has been used in China for New Year’s celebrations for generations; a gift of life and good fortune.
Narcissus tazetta is a native of the eastern Mediterranean and gives its name to a host of varieties grown for their fragrant blooms; small cupped flowers that are carried several on a stem. Probably the best known, and most widely grown is Narcissus ‘Paperwhite Grandiflora’. This is the one usually grown for indoor decoration that grows quickly, flowering just weeks after planting. Like the species it is not hardy enough for those of us living in cool, temperate climates to grow outdoors. But it is ideal for forcing and for production as cut flowers.
Similar in habit, but more vibrant in colour, is the yellow and orange Narcissus ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’. A few years ago this would have ranked in popularity alongside ‘Paperwhite’, but today the white flowered narcissus is preferred. Nonetheless this is another good one to grow for forcing. Varieties of Narcissus tazetta are grown commercially in the south of France for the production of the essential oil. This is used in perfumes and is also attributed with medicinal properties, apparently in the treatment of influenza. The fragrance is sweet, powerful with notes of bitter orange; what I would call an addictive scent, once sniffed you came back for more.
However, for me that fragrance is one I prefer on cold air, rather than in a warm room. Narcissus ‘Martinette’ is an excellent, hardy variety of tazetta narcissus that succeeds in a well-drained soil in the garden. The flower is similar to ‘Soleil d’Or’ and it flowers early in the season. A great choice to add to beds and borders and lovely for cutting.
Narcissus ‘Geranium’ is a much stockier multi-headed narcissus with rounded blooms, white petals and deep orange cups. It is strongly fragrant and striking, and is probably closer in colouring to the wild Narcissus tazetta than most widely grown cultivars. You can grow it in pots for indoor or outdoor use and it responds well to gentle forcing, in other words bringing the pots of bulbs into gentle warmth once the buds have emerged from the bulbs.
Today the scented variety you will come across most frequently for indoor cultivation is the double, cream flowered, Narcissus ‘Bridal Crown’. It is richly fragrant, almost jasmine-like, and long lasting in a cool room. It is strong and compact with stout stems and upright foliage. The colour is lovely and so is the scent. Personally I find its habit inelegant and I prefer it as a cut flower.
In the garden Narcissus ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ is similar, but with larger, looser flowers, two or three on a stem. The petals are light cream in colour and the blooms have a lovely yolky centre, something like a cream egg. This is a really good garden narcissus for pots, or for the open ground; one that will reliably perform year after year.
Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’ has stood the test of time, both as a garden flower bulb and as a cut flower. It tends to bloom later in the narcissus season and comes in two shades: cream and yellow, the latter about the colour of fresh custard. Both sit well in the garden; particularly delightful surrounded by blue forget-me-nots. As cut flowers the scent of the double flowers, two or three on a stem, is delightful, and not as heavy as the small cupped tazetta narcissi. The neat, but elegant double flower form seems to sit more happily with a wide variety of plants than many other daffodils and narcissi.
Narcissus ‘White Lion’ is one of a host of large, double flowered narcissi; many are double forms of single, cupped varieties. Strangely these double forms are usually very fragrant, more so than the single-flowered counterparts. ‘White Lion’ has been described as having “gardenia-like” blooms because of its flower form and layers of lemon and cream petals, and of course it’s delicious scent. I find it a useless garden plant. Like most large flowered doubles the stems tend to bend and break under the weight of the flowers, especially after rain. I would grow it, but I would grow it for picking; it makes an excellent cut flower.
Most of the pink trumpet daffodils and narcissi are fragrant. The oldest of the pink trumpet daffodils, Narcissus ‘Mrs. R.O. Backhouse’ is one I remember from my days in a florist more than 40 years ago. The owner of a local estate picked them and brought them in when the blooms were fully open. That is when the trumpet is true salmon pink. The fragrance is light but lovely, quite unlike yellow daffodils.
The pheasant eye narcissi, with their tiny cups are also renowned for fragrance. Narcissus ‘Actaea’ has broad white petals and a small dep red, golden-eyed cup. It is sweetly scented and a good garden variety which also naturalises well in grass. In recent years stocks have been lacking, perhaps due to disease problems.
These narcissi with tiny, flattened cups are known as poeticus narcissi. The true pheasant’s eye, or poet’s daffodil is Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus, one of the latest narcissi to flower. It is more graceful than ‘Actaea’, creamier in the petals and powerfully fragrant. It is one of the oldest narcissi in cultivation and is grown in the Netherlands and South of France for the production of perfume. The scent is reminiscent of jasmine and hyacinth; sweet and heavy; perhaps less orangey than Narcissus tazetta.
Although there is a species of narcissus that specifically relates to it, the term jonquil is used for any multi-headed, single flowered narcissus. It is also used for a pale yellow colour and a sweet but delicate fragrance. Narcissus odorus is one of the so called “jonquils” with narrow leaves, bright green flower stalks and in the case of Narcissus odorus ‘Double Campernelle’, small, double, golden-yellow flowers with a wonderful fragrance. I obtained this one by accident, thinking I had bought a larger flowered variety and I have it naturalised in grass. It has a fine and delicate habit, normally only one flower stem and is delightfully scented. It seems to be rarely offered commercially but it is well worth looking out for.
Narcissus Horticultural Tips
It’s really wonderful to plant historic heirloom varieties around homes, botanical gardens and parks of similar age. We are also intent on preserving plant diversity as much as possible. The varieties of heirloom flower bulbs included in this listing are all dated in the 1950s or earlier and are grown commercially in the Netherlands and considered to be horticulturally viable.
1952 Trumpet Daffodil Goblet
1930 Trumpet Daffodil Mount Hood
1943 Trumpet Daffodil Rijnveld’s Early Sensation
1950 Large Cupped Narcissus Bantam
1917 Large Cupped Narcissus Fortune
1940 Large Cupped Narcissus Flower Record
1945 Small Cupped Narcissus Barrett Browning
1934 Small Cupped Narcissus Dreamlight
1906 Tazetta Narcissus Avalanche
1930 Tazetta Narcissus Cragford
1914 Tazetta Narcissus Silver Chimes
1940 Double Narcissus Bridal Crown
1923 Double Narcissus Cheerfulness
1940 Double Narcissus White Lion
1937 Double Narcissus Yellow Cheerfulness
1928 Triandrus Narcissus Hawera
1916 Triandrus Narcissus Thalia
1923 Cyclamineus Narcissus February Gold
1949 Cyclamineus Narcissus February Silver
1949 Cyclamineus Narcissus Tête à Tête
1919 Poeticus Narcissus Actaea
1850 Poeticus Pheasant’s Eye
1861 Species Miniature Narcissus albus plenus odoratus
1915 Species Miniature Narcissus canaliculatus
1796 Species Miniature Narcissus obvallaris
Narcissi, Daffodils or Jonquils?
Commonly, Narcissi are referred to as Daffodils or as Jonquils, reflecting the types of Narcissi historically grown on a regional basis over time.
Daffodils, or Narcissi, belong to the horticultural genus Narcissus, which is broken down into 13 divisions by the Royal Horticultural Society, the International Registration Authority for all cultivars. (Please note that we have paraphrased the definitions.) For more information, one may consult the Royal Horticultural Society’s International Daffodil Register and Classified List).
Division 1: Trumpet Daffodils
One flower per stem. The corona or trumpet is as long as or longer than the perianth segments (flower petals).
Division 2: Large Cupped Narcissi
One flower per stem. The corona or cup is at least one third as long as but not as long as the perianth segments (flower petals).
Division 3: Small-Cupped Narcissi
One flower per stem. The corona or cup is less than one third the length of the perianth segments (flower petals).
Division 4: Double Narcissi
One or more flowers per stem with a doubling of the perianth segments (flower petals) or corona (cup), or both.
Division 5: Triandrus Narcissi
Two or more pendant flowers per stem. The perianth segments (flower petals) are usually reflexed (arched back) to varying degrees.
Division 6: Cyclamineus Narcissi
One flower per stem. The perianth segments (flower petals) are significantly reflexed (arched back) and the flower is at an acute angle to the stem with a short pedicel (neck).
Division 7: Jonquilla and Apodanthus Narcissi
One to five flowers per stem. The perianth segments (flower petals) are spreading or reflexed (arched back). The corona is shorter and shaped like a cup or a funnel. The flowers are usually fragrant.
Division 8: Tazetta Narcissi
Three to 20 flowers on a stout stem. The perianth segments (flower petals) are spreading. The flowers are usually fragrant.
Division 9: Poeticus Narcissi
One flower per stem. The perianth segments (flower petals) are usually white. The corona is very short or disc-shaped, usually with a green and/or yellow center and a red rim. The flowers are usually fragrant.
Division 10: Bulbocodium Narcissi
One flower per stem. The perianth segments (flower petals) are insignificant compared to the dominant corona (cup).
Division 11: Split Corona Narcissi
The corona or cup is split for more than half of its length. There are two types of Split Corona Narcissi.
Collar Types: The corona or cup segments are usually in two layers (whorls) of three segments that can almost cover the flower petals.
Papillon (Butterfly) Types: The corona or cup is split into two layers sandwiched in between two layers of flower petals, or over one layer of six flower petals.
Division 12: Other Narcissi
This division includes cultivars that do not fall into other divisions.
Division 13: Daffodils Distinguished Solely by Botanical Name
One should select healthy, top-size Narcissus bulbs based on their individual hardiness for the horticultural zone of the planting site. Generally, Trumpet Daffodils and Large Cupped, Pink Large Cupped, Small Cupped, Double, Poeticus and Cyclamineus Narcissi are all good for colder areas, from horticultural zones 3 through 7. Small Cupped, Double and Cyclamineus Narcissi are also suitable for planting sites through horticultural zone 8. Miniature Trumpet Daffodils and Split Cup Narcissi are hardy from horticultural zones 4 through 8, while Triandrus Narcissi are good for zones 4 through 9. Tazetta and Jonquilla Narcissi are best for moderate and warmer areas from horticultural zones 5 through 9.
We normally recommend selecting larger and taller Narcissus varieties for planting sites enjoyed from a distance. Smaller, more diminutive varieties, are good for spots that can be enjoyed intimately, like along a well-traveled path to one’s home, naturally clustered along a prominent stone wall, in a rock garden or in a spot clearly visible from windows. It is wise to consider where they will best be enjoyed during their bloom time.
We prefer to plant Narcissi for a more natural look; en masse in clusters or swaths of individual varieties in gardens beds among shrubbery and perennials, rather than in straight lines like soldiers. Naturalizing Narcissus Mixtures are perfect for plantings enjoyed from a distance and for woodland drifts. Most of our Naturalizing Narcissus Mixtures offer the benefit of early, mid and late varieties for prolonged bloom times. Others offer an explosion of blooms at one time, like our Double Narcissus Mixtures and our Sparkling Spring Narcissus Mixtures.
In days gone by, natural Narcissus plantings may have been randomly designed by actually throwing the bulbs around to avoid any linear or geometric pattern. We don’t think that is necessary, since it is followed by a bulb-hide-and-seek planting process, but it is nice to space them around with little discernible pattern.
Reserve Your Narcissus Bulbs in Advance
Our collection includes special, rare Narcissus varieties that may be grown by just one nursery in the Netherlands. It is wise to reserve your Narcissus bulbs well in advance of the fall shipping season to make sure you can secure exactly what you want. This is particularly important for new varieties or those marked limited supply. (We don’t charge credit cards until we prepare orders for fall shipment, so there is no cost associated with reserving your favorites in advance.)
If any of your personal favorites are sold out or unavailable for horticultural reasons, just give us a call. We do not ever make automatic substitutions. We would be happy to suggest good alternate varieties for your consideration.
Order Enough Narcissus Bulbs!
The general rule of thumb for deciding how many Narcissus bulbs you need for each planting site, is to plant four bulbs per square foot. (There are just a handful of Narcissi that make a top size smaller bulb that should be planted at the rate of about nine bulbs per square foot, like N. bulbocodium Golden Bells or N. jonquilla simplex that should be spaced 4″ to 5″ apart.)
The square footage of a planting site is determined by multiplying the width by the length. For example, a bed that is 5′ wide and 20′ long would be 100 square feet for which one would need 400 Narcissus bulbs (or up to 900 small Narcissus bulbs). If there is other plant material in the planting site, you can estimate the space involved and decrease the square footage proportionately.
No matter how well we ourselves estimate the number of bulbs required for a particular planting site, we always manage to run out and need more. If this happens to you, too, just call us and we will ship more out to you as soon as humanly possible: usually the same day, if you call by noon.
Plant Narcissus Bulbs in the Fall
All Narcissus bulbs should be planted in the fall once the soil has cooled down to 60°F to 55°F (after two weeks of sweater weather), normally just before or slightly after a killing frost. Narcissus bulbs do everything in response to soil and ambient air temperature and sunlight. Planting Narcissus bulbs too early, before the ground has really cooled down, can cause the bulbs to begin top growth rather than root growth, resulting in immature root development and diminished vitality. Narcissus bulbs can benefit from being planted a bit earlier than Tulips and other bulbs. To plant Narcissus bulbs later in colder soil retards root growth and may result in reduced foliage production and few, if any, flowers in the spring.
If you live in a colder zone, you may want to refer to our Flower Bulb Protection in Colder Areas section.
Planting Narcissus Bulbs in Warmer Zones
If the planting site is in horticultural zone 8 or warmer, you may decide to precool your Narcissus bulbs to help them best develop a thorough, mature root system the first year. If you have any specific questions about precooling Narcissus bulbs, it is best to consult a local horticultural expert familiar with your microclimate. You may want to refer to our Precooling Flower Bulbs section.
Order Shipment, Inspection and Storage
We will ship your order to you so that you may plant your Narcissus bulbs at the proper time for your horticultural zone. You may want to refer to our Order Shipment, Order Inspection and Flower Bulb Storage sections.
Prior to planting, open all exterior and interior boxes and inspect your Narcissus bulbs. Discard any that are not firm. The papery sheath surrounding the narcissus bulb may or may not be intact: it has no bearing on the vitality or performance of the bulb.
Each Narcissus variety produces its own annual top size bulb that can range from 6 centimeters in circumference, in the case of Species Miniature Narcissus jonquilla simplex, to 15/17 centimeters in circumference, in the case of Trumpet Daffodil Marieke. (A measurement of circumference is taken by measuring around the widest girth of the bulb, as if one were measuring one’s waist: not a straight line measurement from left to right.) Individual Narcissus varieties may have different bulb shapes too.
Many varieties may have attached to the “mother” bulb a baby bulb or two, known as bulblets or offshoots. They need not be broken off from the mother bulb prior to planting. If they break off, plant them at the same depth and space apart as the mother bulb. In any one package of Narcissus bulbs, you might find some different sizes. Rest assured that the smallest of them is at least the size specified for that variety: the others are larger than the size specified: kind of like a bulb bonus.
Store the bulbs in a cool, dry spot (50°F to 70°F) with good air circulation and low humidity, away from heat, frost and strong sunlight. Poor storage conditions may cause bulbs to dry out, or to become moldy. They must be planted in the fall that you receive them.
Prepare the Planting Site
With few exceptions, all flower bulbs require the same sort of planting site: well-draining, neutral pH soil that is free of disease with at least six hours of daily sunlight. Since Narcissi are rarely, if ever, snack food for deer or marauding rodents, wildlife avoidance need not be a consideration. You may want to refer to our Soil Good for Flower Bulbs section for more information.
If Narcissus bulbs are planted along a road or driveway, they should be away from any plowed snow accumulation that may include road salt or other de-icing compounds, which are harmful to bulbs.
Narcissus bulbs should be planted away from aggressive tree and perennial plant root systems that can strangle bulb root systems, compete for limited water and nutrition, and actually push bulbs up from the proper planting depth.
Narcissus bulbs hate to get “wet feet”. They should never be planted in areas with poor, excessive or continuous water drainage, or standing water. Moisture-ridden soil causes a healthy bulb to rot. If planted near a body of water, bulbs must be planted well above the high water mark. If planting along a stone wall, make sure that water drainage is away from the Narcissus planting. Narcissi planted on hills or slopes often sustain water damage as water drains and settles in pockets (planting holes).
Do not plant new Narcissus bulbs in previously diseased soil or in areas containing previously planted, diseased Narcissus bulbs. Healthy flower bulbs can be infected by existing soil-borne diseases that can cause stunted, yellowed foliage, no flowers and eventually rot.
Never Use Acidic or Alkaline Soil Amendments
Never use top dressings of mint compost, horse manure, chicken droppings, mushroom compost, other “hot” manure, garden compost, household compost or commercial soil amendments for Narcissus flower bulb planting holes or beds. They are not usually neutral pH. These top dressings or soil additives may create acidic or alkaline pH levels that prevent or retard root growth, and can actually rot the bulbs themselves.
Garden and household composts often fail to decompose fully due to insufficient heat generation, and can be a breeding ground for damaging fungus and weeds.
Planting: Depth, Spacing, Which-End-Is-Up
Check the planting instructions and plant each bulb to at least the proper spacing and proper depth. It is a good idea to dig 2″ to 3″ below the planting depth to loosen the soil to promote thorough root growth. The planting depth and spacing is so very important for the long term health and vitality of Narcissus plantings.
Most Narcissus bulbs must be planted at least 6″ to 8″ deep, and 6″ apart from each other so that their own root systems do not strangle each other or compete for water and nutrients. As the original ‘mother’ bulbs grow, they develop baby bulbs on their sides, commonly known as bulblets or offshoots. The little bulblets grow, and eventually break off of the mother bulb. Over time, they continue to grow, sending up foliage at first, and then flowers, as they mature. Narcissus bulbs naturalize by thickening underground. This is why it is so important to plant Narcissus bulbs the proper spacing apart.
At a certain point in time, a Narcissus planting may become so dense, with root systems so entwined, that they will start to yield more foliage than flowers. Whenever this happens, it means that there is a problem with the root system. In this case, it means that the bulbs need to be dug up, gently separated with as little root destruction as possible, and replanted to the proper depth and original spacing. The best time to transplant Narcissus bulbs is in the fall, at the normal planting time. In the spring, mark the area and photograph it to make fall transplanting easier.
Other reasons for foliage-only and few if any flowers are acidic or alkaline soil, insufficient cold temperatures over the winter, temperature spiking over the winter, shallow planting or prior spring foliage that was prematurely cut, braided or covered by other plant material. If a Narcissus planting doesn’t even yield foliage, it usually indicates poor water drainage, excessively acidic or alkaline soil or diseased soil.
It is also essential to plant Narcissus bulbs as deep as instructed, normally 6″ to 8″ deep (with the exception of some of the smaller bulbs). Narcissus bulbs planted too shallow can suffer from temperature spiking in both colder and warmer climates, which in turn can cause root system damage, poor flower production and poor long-term viability. Narcissi planted too shallow can also split into smaller, nonproductive bulbs.
Place each bulb firmly in the soil with the pointed end up, and the basal plate, or root base, down. The general rule of thumb is to cover the top of each Narcissus bulb with 3″ to 4″ of soil, taking care to not break off any sprout growth. The existence or amount of top growth varies by variety. Never put anything in the bottom of a planting hole. This is the best way to avoid the possibility of root burn.
Fertilizing Narcissus Bulbs
The truth is that the Narcissus bulbs you receive from us are perfect little packages that contain everything they need for glorious blooms the following spring following the development of mature root systems. But it doesn’t hurt to start fertilizing three times a year after you plant them.
Top dress Narcissus plantings with a 4-10-6 organic granular fertilizer three times a year. This means to broadcast the fertilizer like one would birdseed, at the rate of about one teaspoon per bulb.
First, top dress fertilize in the fall to promote root growth. Second, fertilize in the spring when the sprouts emerge to help grow the foliage and flower, and third, fertilize when the flower starts to die back to help nourish the bulb itself. If there is a prolonged dry period after fertilizing, you may water it in lightly.
Bone meal is not recommended because it can attract animals and it is incomplete nutritionally. (The 4-10-6 fertilizer composition refers to 4 parts nitrogen, 10 parts phosphorus and 6 parts potassium.) Avoid root burn by never adding anything to a planting hole.
One should apply no more than a 2″ layer of mulch only after the surface of the ground freezes. The mulch is intended to trap the cold in the soil (not warmth), retain moderate soil moisture and protect the bulbs from temperature spiking. Some good mulching mediums include straw, salt marsh hay or oak leaves. The mulch should be loosened or removed prior to sprout emergence in the spring.
Avoid Planting in Exterior Containers or Raised Beds
Narcissus bulbs should never be planted in outdoor containers, window boxes or raised beds where bulbs experience temperature spiking and repeat cycles of freezing and thawing. This results in root growth failure, root system destruction, frozen bulbs and/or bulb rot from poor water drainage. Narcissus bulbs must have a consistent cold winter temperature with good water drainage in order to produce a mature root system that will permit foliage growth and flower production in the spring.
Bloom Times, Size and Color
The bloom time listed for each variety is for horticultural zone 5 in ‘normal’ spring conditions. The warmer the horticultural zone, the earlier Narcissi will bloom in the spring. The colder the horticultural zone, the later Narcissi will bloom in the spring.
Flower bulbs do everything in response to temperature, sunlight and site conditions. Bloom times, heights and colors are approximations affected by temperature and site conditions regardless of the calendar date. If it is a warm spring, bulbs will bloom earlier. If it is a cold spring, bulbs will bloom later. If it is a long cool spring, followed by rapid warming, you may find odd bedfellows: earlier blooming Narcissi flowering right along side later blooming varieties. Each spring can offer a different sort of garden surprise party.
In the event of a mild winter or a warmer-than-usual spring, Narcissi that have emergent stalks with set buds may bloom early, small and short, although they will likely grow taller and larger as long as temperatures moderate. Temperature spikes can also affect mature root development, the actual form of the flower or the process of flower color maturation. An example would be Large Cupped Narcissus Fragrant Breeze. In normal or warm temperatures, the flower has a flattened cup, whereas in a cooler spring, the cup would be more bowl-shaped. Generally, cooler weather inhibits fragrance, whereas warmer weather incites fragrance.
New Narcissus bulb plantings can bloom as much as two weeks later than established, mature plantings. Over time, they will catch up.
Spring Enjoyment and Care
Before the Narcissus sprouts emerge, loosen or remove any mulch, and as the sprouts first poke through the soil, broadcast a light top dressing of a granular, organic 4-10-6 fertilizer on top of the soil. This will help to grow the foliage and flowers. You may lightly water it in if rain is not forecast.
Enjoy every moment of Narcissus blooms in the spring, for it will be a whole year before you can luxuriate in their beauty and spirit again.
When the flowers start to die back, broadcast another light top dressing of a granular, organic 4-10-6 fertilizer to help grow the bulb itself. After the flowers die, dead-head them an inch or two under the flower, if possible, to avoid the development of an unnecessary seed pod in the neck of the stem.
Allow the stem and foliage to thrive unfettered for six to eight weeks, until they die back naturally for maximum photosynthesis and chlorophyll production that nourishes the bulb. Do not braid foliage, have other plant material grow to cover the foliage or allow it to be mowed down prematurely. Insufficient photosynthesis results in malnourished bulbs that will fail to thrive. Once the foliage has yellowed- or browned-out, it is dead. Then, it may be raked up and discarded. The bulbs are best left in the ground to regenerate.
Plant a Separate Cutting Garden
If you intend to cut Narcissi for bouquets, you should plant a separate cutting garden, rather than cutting your display Narcissi. If you do cut from your display beds, do so sparingly without decimating any one cluster or drift. Cutting Narcissus stems can impact the vitality of the bulb for subsequent year blooms.
Cut Narcissi stems should not be mixed with other cut flowers because their stems secrete a viscous substance that clogs up other stems and prevents water absorption. Even individual stems in bud vases are spectacular indoors. We like to fill fireplace mantels with all different sorts of bud vases and special varieties for close up inspection and enjoyment.
Top 25 Most Beautiful Daffodil Flowers Arshi Ahmed Hyderabd040-395603080 November 1, 2017
The daffodil is one of the most well-known, colorful and popular flowers in the world. It is an attractive, trumpet-shaped perennial flower that blooms from the bulbs every spring. They have a cheerful and gorgeous appearance and a bright sunny color. In the language of flowers, daffodils symbolize spring, rebirth, new beginnings and friendship.
Daffodils belong to the Amaryllidaceae family from the genus, Narcissus. There are more than 50 species in its variety and more than 1300 hybrid varieties. Daffodils flowers are native to the Mediterranean region and are cultivated all across the world. They grow naturally in woods, grasslands and rocky grounds. Daffodils are divided into 13 categories. The popular ones include Golden Harvest and Rijnveld’s Early Sensation; Recurvus etc.
Daffodils come in a wide range of colors like yellow, pink, apricot, orange, lime green, cream and white. Daffodils are very easy to grow and are quite hardy. But care should be taken as daffodils secrete a sap that can harm other flowers if not properly conditioned. There are more than hundreds of varieties to choose from and these are the top 25 daffodils of my choice.
Top 25 Beautiful Daffodil Flowers
cc licensed ( BY ND ) flickr photo shared by Dean Morley
Jetfire is one of the most beautiful daffodils, well known for its bold color combination. The flower has clear golden petals surrounded by a contrasting orange trumpet. The flower blooms in early spring in full or partial shade and well-drained soil. The flower would make an amazing cut flower and would look amazing when planted in groups in the gardens.
2. Sentinel daffodils:
cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Alan Levine
Sentinel daffodil flower is a fabulous pink daffodil. The flower has beautiful ruffled petals, with contrasting strong stems. It has a very large cup and a clear white perianth. The blooms open on stems 14 to 16 inches high. The flowers starts out apricot and changes to a lovely pink. The flower thrives in full sun and well-drained soil. It blooms every year in mid to late season. The flower will look good, both planted in gardens and in containers.
3. Thalia daffodils:
cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by Rob Glover
Thalia is a cheery, bright white daffodil and has a lovely scent. This small bell shaped flower has slightly reflexed petals and blooms every year from March to May. This medium- headed trumpet has a light, feathery quality with narrow petals and a delicate cup. Thalia will create a gorgeous display in your garden. The flower blooms best in moist soil and is a very easy to grow plant. These pure white flowers are incredibly beautiful.
4. Quail Daffodils:
cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by anneheathen
This bold bloomer has clusters of bright yellow flowers on its stem. Its scientific name is Narcissus ‘Quail’. The flower is quite long-lasting and is highly fragrant. It has a very delicate appearance and the stem bears 2 to 3 golden flowers on stems, 40 cm high. The flower is 4 inches in size with neat petals and dark green leaves. The Royal Horticultural Society has even awarded this beautiful flower with the Award of Garden Merit (AGM). It is a good choice for containers, rock gardens and dainty spring bouquets.
5. Sorbet daffodil:
Sorbet daffodils are yellow split cup daffodils with bright yellow orange centers that give the flower a very fancy look. It offers white petals with contrasting cream, yellow and orange cups. The flowers are large and substantial on sturdy stems. The color combination is amazing and the split cup adds to its beauty. The flower is exceptionally fragrant and adapts well to most conditions.
6. Barrett Browning:
Diego Delso , via Wikimedia Commons
Barrett Browning has been around for 50 years and is named after Elizabeth Barrett Browning, wife of famous poet, Robert Browning. It is a clump forming, bulbous perennial flower with star-shaped leaves. The flower has pure white petals with orange-red cups. The color is very bright and has a striking color combination. The flower is long-lasting and is rodent proof. It blooms in fall winter till mid-spring.
7. Jack Snipe:
By Cillas (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons
This miniature trumpet daffodil has petals that open up and curl backwards which makes the flower look like it has grown in a wind tunnel. The flower has white petals with a yellow center. It forms wonderful clumps and performs best in full sun and well-drained soil. Its white petals are swept back and stick straight out at a 90 degree angle from the stem. The flower has a pleasant fragrant and is good for cut flowers.
8. Sovereign Daffodils:
This regal named daffodil is a large flower with white petals and a bold orange split cup. Split cup daffodils have a central cup that is cut usually for more than half its length. They are even called butterfly daffodils as the cup folds back against the petals, giving it an appearance of butterfly. The plant bears one flower per stem. Sovereign daffodils are one of the showiest daffodils. It looks best in the spring season. The flower grows best in semi-shade and prefers medium levels of water.
9. Tahiti daffodils:
cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Dwight Sipler
Tahiti Daffodils are rounded, double orange and yellow flowers which has won many prestigious awards in Europe. They add a spectacular color and form to the flower exhibition. This alluring flower has deep yellow petals surrounding an orange ruffled cup. This magnificent flower blooms in late spring and has a great staying power. You can even grow this flower in containers on a window sill, indoors. It is particularly great for cutting.
By Meneerke bloem (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons
Canaliculatus flowers bloom every year in March and April in well-drained soil and partial sunlight. This variety of daffodils produces several flowers on each stem which makes it look very beautiful. The flower has white petals and a small yellow cup. Its fine fragrance and small size make it an amazing addition to your garden.
11. Petit Four daffodil:
This is an award-winning daffodil which offers white petals and a double apricot pink trumpet. It is a double cup of rosy peach highlighted by cream colored petals with strap-shaped leaves. The flower has a great fragrance and would look amazing as cut flowers. The flower is long-lasting and is one of the world’s finest pink daffodils. It is easily grown in slightly acidic and sandy loamy soil. This flower can even revert to single form over time.
12. Hawera daffodil:
cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Peter Corbett
Hawera is a petite daffodil which grows only up to 18 cm. It has a strong, musky smell and is quite long-lasting. It is a pale yellow flower that emerges from grassy stems and leaves and its petals curl back to give it a shuttlecock kind of look. Each bulb produces several stems and is topped with around 2 nodding flowers. The flower symbolizes new beginnings and ensures happiness and well-being. It is also considered as a 10th anniversary flower. The flower thrives in partial shade or full sun and grows beautifully in pots and containers.
13. Cheerfulness daffodils:
Cheerfulness is a double narcissus that looks great in small drifts in a mixed or shrub border. They grow in fertile, well-drained soil in winter and spring. The plant bears several flowers per stem. It has a sweet fragrance. The blooms of cheerfulness have creamy white petals with white centers, brushed with slight yellow.
14. Merlin daffodil:
Merlin daffodil has creamy white petals with a yellow cup, tinged with orange red. The flowers last a very long time and have a very appealing color combination. It has star-shaped leaves and bright green foliage.
15. White Lion daffodils:
This one is another creamy, full white bloom of impressive size and has soft yellow petals which contain a few whites sticking out here and there. The flower has a strong and wonderful fragrance. The amazing double daffodil adds a touch of luxury to spring borders. You can grow this flower both outdoors and in containers. This is an official flower for March and December and 10th wedding anniversaries.
16. February Gold daffodils:
By Meneerke bloem (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons
February Gold daffodils are eager-looking little flowers which have swept back golden petals. The flower grows up to 30 cm and blooms during March and April. This golden yellow flower has long, slender trumpets and is one of the most desirable trumpets. This is the official flower for March and December and for 11th wedding anniversaries. Even though it is an old variety of daffodil, it is still very popular. This cheery flower should be planted in big clumps for maximum impact.
Minnow is a cluster of cup and saucer flowers on top of a pencil length stem. This daffodils flower has a very sweet fragrance and clumps up rapidly. Minnow prefers full sun and moist soil. The flower fades from yellow to cream as it ages. This petite flower will add charm to your garden.
18. Narcissus ‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation:
This one is a classic yellow trumpet and is one of the early growing daffodils. The flower can very well tolerate cold and snowy weather and has a long blooming period. This is a two-toned yellow daffodil and is sure to capture the attention of the onlookers.
Spellbinder is a long flowering, traditional yellow trumpet which gradually fades to white with time. The large trumpet opens greenish yellow against a backdrop of lemony yellow petals. The flower blooms every year in March and April and is a terrific naturalizer. It is excellent as cut flowers. This flower is easily grown in medium moisture, organically rich loam and in partial or full sun.
20. Dutch Master:
By Cillas (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons
This magnificent yellow trumpet is believed to be the successor to the venerable “King Alfred”. This bold bloom has petals drawn slightly forward. It is yellow in color with a single trumpet and has serrated edges and a sturdy green stem. This is a perennial growing flower which grows every year in April. This flower has been given the prestigious Award of Garden Merit by the RHS. Dutch Master loves the sun and partial shade and will do well in beds and containers. It is a true classic flower and is well-known for its simplicity.
This daffodil has been named Manly because of its masculine moniker with a thick, sturdy stem and is extremely robust. The flower is five inches wide and comes in a warm yellow color. The flowers are huge, around 5 inches wide and are borne on 12 to 14 inches stems. It is a double daffodil and has velvety petals which are so thickly layered that they appear as a triple daffodil. The flower opens to a creamy yellow with an orange center and then turns soft white and yellow over time. The flower is richly fragrant and blooms late in the season.
Cassata is a lightly scented daffodil with its split corona opening in a burst of yellow. It matures to almost pure white, folds back against the pristine white petals, almost completely covering them. This flower is perfect for the border and broad sweeps. It can be easily grown in average, medium and slightly acidic soil in full sun. This flower has striking unusual shapes and has a sweet scent to it.
23. Golden Bells:
Golden bells daffodil is a 5 to 6 inches tall, late blooming daffodil and has an unusual bell shape. It is also known as the Yellow Hoop Petticoat narcissi. The cups are large, bell-shaped with small pointed petals. Each bulb produces around 15 blossoms. The flower has a fine, grass-like foliage and would make a good cut flower. It is a late mid-season bloomer.
24. Narcissus Tete-a-Tete:
By Meneerke bloem (Own work) , via Wikimedia Commons
This is a timeless, cute and petite bloom. It is a perfectly formed bloom that stands erect on an 8 inches long stem. The flower, if handled properly, can bloom for almost a month. This flower is suited for smaller containers and will add great beauty to your drawing room. The sweet-looking daffodils are sturdy, dependable and adorable. It is one of the favorite flowers amongst the gardeners for its sunshine yellow color and petite proportion. The flower is of deep golden color with slightly reflexed petals and deep yellow cups.
25. Narcissus Avalanche:
By LaggedOnUser (Avalanche daffodilUploaded by uleli) , via Wikimedia Commons
This daffodil was once called “Seven Sisters” because it bore 12 to 20 flowers on each sturdy stem. The flower is vigorous, fragrant and is a dainty yellow cup, surrounded by pure white petals. The flower thrives in full sun and well-drained soil and blooms every year in March. It is an old-fashioned variety of daffodil and is full of charm.
Hope you enjoyed the compilation of daffodils flower pictures along with daffodil flower information. Do drop in your comments below.
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Not all daffodils are yellow!
Golden yellow daffodils are an iconic spring flower, but these cheerful flowering bulbs do come in other colors. Numerous cultivars of daffodils are available in various combinations of white, pink and orange, with or without yellow, in intense and pastel shades. Daffodils also come in a variety of flower shapes, bloom times and heights, so there are many choices if you want something other than just a standard yellow daffodil.
Daffodils can be separated into 12 divisions in the current system of classification. This system describes the configuration of the perianth segments (or petals) and the corona (trumpet or cup).
Division 1: Trumpet daffodils of garden origin
One flower per stem, corona as long as or longer than the perianth segments.
Division 2: Large cup shape daffodils of garden origin
One flower per stem. Corona more than one third, but less than equal to the length of perianth segments.
Division 3: Small cupped daffodils of garden origin
One flower per stem. Corona less than one-third the length of the perianth.
Division 4: Double daffodils of garden origin
One or more flower per stem, with doubling of the perianth segments or the corona or both.
Division 5: Triandrus daffodils of garden origin
Two or more pendent flowers to a stem. Perianth segments reflexed.
Division 6: Cyclamineus daffodils of garden origin
Usually one flower to stem. Noted for long trumpets and swept back petals. Flower at an acute angle to the stem, a very short pedicle (neck).
Division 7: Jonquilla daffodils of garden origin
These are known for their perfume, tubular leaves and yellow flowers up to 5 cm across.
Division 8: Tazetta daffodils of garden origin
Bunched flowers, with 3-20 flowers to a short stem. Leaves broad. Flowers are fragrant. Majority of hybrids are tender and used for forcing or container cultivation except in mild climates.
Division 9: Poeticus daffodils of garden origin
These are characterized by the white petals and the flat frilled bright red cup of scented flowers; they usually appear after the other narcissi have finished blooming.
Division 10: Wild forms
This section includes all the wild forms and wild hybrids, all the miniature and less spectacular narcissi. It also includes wild variants with double flowers.
Division11: Split corona daffodils of garden origin
Corona of the flower is split, usually for more than half its length.
Division 12: Miscellaneous daffodils
Those daffodil that do not fall into any one of the above divisions.
The first white daffodils were developed in England in the 1600’s when this wildflower native to Northern Europe began to be grown as a garden flower. Breeders have continued to select and hybridize daffodils ever since. Unfortunately many white or reverse bicolor cultivars (any with ‘Madame de Graff’ in their ancestry) are very susceptible to root rot, so do not perform as well as many yellow types. White daffodils have been developed within nearly all of the divisions.
All white daffodils may not have the same colorful punch as yellow ones, but they can be a stylish addition to many gardens. Many of these cultivars have names reflecting the similarity of their color to the ice and snow of winter, even though most of us are ready to leave all that behind by the time spring-flowering bulbs come into bloom.
‘Ice Wings’ daffodil.
Some all white cultivars include:
- ‘Cassata’ is a Division 11 cultivar considered all white, even though the corona has yellow in it. The split cup is bright yellow when the flower opens, but that turns to white after a couple of days. It is very floriferous, easy to force and equally good in the garden.
- ‘Ice Wings’ offers multiple small flowers per stem, each with long trumpets and reflexed petals. This reliable Division 5 selection grows about 12″ tall.
- ‘Jenny’ is a good Division 6 garden performer with milky-white petals and a yellow trumpet when it first opens, but quickly fades to creamy white. This short selection (8-10″) blooms in early spring.
‘Mt. Hood’ daffodil.
‘Misty Glen’ is a pearlescent white with a green eye deep inside the cup. This sturdy, late-blooming English-bred Division 2 cultivar introduced in 1976 also makes excellent cut flowers.
- ‘Mount Hood’ is an older (around since the 1930s), but still popular all-white cultivar with long trumpets. Some flowers may start a very pale yellow but quickly fade to white, especially in full sun. This reliable Division 1 daffodil grows 10-16″ tall and blooms in mid-spring.
‘Thalia’ is a triandrus type (Division 5) with one to three pure white flowers per stem in mid-spring. The delicate pendant flowers have narrow petals and a small cup. The 10-16″ plants look best planted in groups and tend to perennialize well. This cultivar is an heirloom variety that is among the few daffodils that grow well in the Deep South.
Some examples of cultivars with white perianth segments and yellow or orange coronas include:
‘Actea’ is a popular cultivar from Division 9, with large, flat white perianth segments and a shallow yellow cup with a red edge. These are fragrant with a very sweet scent and are good for cutting.
‘Ice Follies’ daffodil
- ‘Ice Follies’ is a 10-12″ tall Division 2 daffodil with large flowers. The broad flattened cup is frilly or crinkled on the edges, with the creamy, lemon-yellow color fading to white when mature. It is good for forcing or naturalizing, and blooms in mid spring.
- ‘Ice King’ is essentially a double form of ‘Ice Follies’ with the same pure white perianth but double lemon-yellow corona. The pleated trumpet also fades with age to a creamy white.
‘Las Vegas’ daffodil.
‘Las Vegas’ is very similar to ‘Ice Follies’, but with a longer and darker yellow trumpet. This Division 1 cultivar has fragrant flowers on plants 18-24″ tall.
- ‘Sovereign’ is a Division 11 daffodil whose broad, ruffled yellow-orange split-corona almost obscures the white perianth. This is an improvement over the well-known ‘Orangery’, with bigger flowers and better color and shape.
Pink daffodils are really closer to salmon or peach in color.
If you want a pink daffodil, you may have to use your imagination, as most of the cultivars described as “pink” in catalogs tend to have a touch of yellow so they are more of an apricot or peach color than true pink (despite the photos). Plant the bulbs in light shade for the best color, as many pink daffodils fade rapidly in full sun. Many companies offer blends or mixes of 5 or more cultivars of pink daffodils. Here are a few cultivars that are readily available with white perianth segments and a pinkish corona:
- ‘Accent’ (right) has a pink to salmon trumpet with a frilly rim that remains strongly colored even in full sun. It is a good naturalizer that grows 16-18″ tall and blooms in mid-spring. It was the winner of the RHS’s Award of Garden Merit in 1995.
- ‘Bell Song’ produces two fragrant flowers per stem with pink cups. It grows 8-14″ tall and makes a good cut-flower in late spring.
- ‘Mrs. R.O. Backhouse’ is an heirloom daffodil, introduced in 1921, as the first pink cultivar. It was developed by Englishman Robert O. Backhouse who named it for his wife and fellow daffodil breeder, Sarah Elizabeth. The cup is a soft peachy pink that fades with age to a lovely blush.
‘Pink Charm’ offers a soft white ruffled cup rimmed in coral-pink and surrounded by pure white perianth segments. The 3-4″ flowers bloom on 12-16″ plants in mid spring. This variety is good for naturalizing.
- ‘Precocious’ is an American-bred cultivar with large, dark rose pink cups. It has won several prizes at the Keukenhof display garden in The Netherlands and is a vigorous grower.
- ‘Replete’ is a double with salmony-pink splotches on the double ruffled corona parts. As with most “pink” varieties, they start out with yellow-orange hues that soften to something closer to rose-pink. Plants grow 12-16″ tall with 4″ wide flowers.
‘Salomé’ is another older variety with an apricot to coral trumpet. The pastel color, which changes with age, is still nice against the ivory-white perianth. This mid-spring bloomer grows 14-16″ tall.
And if you do want yellow, but not just plain yellow, there are many varieties that combine yellow perianth segments with orange or “red” coronas (“red” daffodils are ones that have orange-red cups):
- ‘Berlin’ has very wide and flattened, frilly, orange-edged cups.
- ‘Fortissimo’ isan extra large Division 2 daffodil with a slightly frilly brilliant deep orange trumpet on 16″ plants.
- ‘Tahiti’ is a Division 4 selection with double golden perianth segments and smaller double orange corona.
- ‘Unsurpassable’ is a Division 1 cultivar similar to ‘Fortissimo’
Of course there are MANY, MANY other cultivars of daffodils in colors other than yellow besides these mentioned here, and new varieties are constantly being developed and offered for sale.
Daffodil cultivars, from left to right: ‘Obdam’, ‘Redhill’, ‘Flower Record’, ‘Lapwing’, and ‘Foundling’.
– Susan Mahr, University of Wisconsin – Madison