NARCISSUS Daffodil

One of the easiest and certainly the most popular of all spring-flowering bulbs – the common name ‘Daffodil’ is used when the central cup is as long as or longer than the petals. Plant the bulbs as soon as you can in the autumn and then leave them undisturbed to spread over the years – tiny ones in the rockery and larger ones in grassland or border. Do not remove the leaves until they are completely brown.

VARIETIES:

TRUMPET NARCISSI (DAFFODILS) One flower per stem – cup at least as long as the petals. Height 1-1.5 ft. Examples are’King Alfred’ (yellow), ‘Beersheba’ (white) and ‘Newcastle’ (bi-colour).

LARGE-CUPPED NARCISSI One flower per stem – cup more than ‘A the length of the petals. Height 1-2 ft. Examples are ‘Carlton’ (yellow), ‘Silver Lining’ (white) and ‘Fortune’ (bi-colour).

SMALL-CUPPED NARCISSI One flower per stem – cup less than Va the length of the petals. Height 1-1.5 ft. Examples are ‘Frigid’ (white), ‘Mahmoud’ (bi-colour) and ‘La Riante’ (bi-colour).

DOUBLE NARCISSI More than one ring of petals – cup and petals indistinguishable. Height 1-1.5 ft. Examples are ‘Golden Ducat’ (yellow). ‘Snowball’ (white) and ‘Texas’ (bi-colour).

TRIANDRUS NARCISSI Usually several flowers per stem – drooping flowers and slightly reflexed petals. Height 6 in.-1.5 ft. Examples are ‘Liberty’ (yellow), ‘Thalia’ (white) and ‘Dawn’ (bi-colour).

CYCLAMINEUS NARCISSI One flower per stem – drooping flowers with long trumpets and strongly reflexed petals. Height 6 in.-1 ft. Examples are ‘Peeping Tom’ (yellow) and ‘Tete-a-Tete’ (bi-colour).

JONQUILLA NARCISSI (JONQUILS) Several flowers per stem – cup shorter than the petals – fragrant. Height 6 in.-1 ft. Examples are ‘Sweetness’ (yellow), ‘Golden Sceptre’ (deep yellow) and ‘Bobbysoxer’ (bi-colour).

TAZETTA NARCISSI Several flowers per stem – cup shorter than the petals which are often frilled – very fragrant. Generally too tender for growing outdoors. Height 1.5 ft. Examples are ‘Soleil d’Or’ (yellow), ‘Paper White’ (white) and ‘Geranium’ (bi-colour).

POETICUS NARCISSI Usually one flower per stem – white petals with a frilled red-edged cup. Height 1/2 ft. Examples are ‘Actaea’ (yellow cup) and ‘Pheasant’s Eye’ (red cup).

DWARF NARCISSI Various species and hybrids which do not grow taller than 8 in. Included here are Hoop Petticoat (N. bul-bocodium), Angel’s Tears (N. triandrus albus), N. minimus, N. cyclamineus and N. ‘February Gold’. The dwarfs are early flowering.

SITE AND SOIL: Any well-drained garden soil will do -thrives in sun or light shade.

PLANT DETAILS: Planting time August-September – the earlier the better. Planting depth 4-7 in. Height 3 in.-2 ft.

Flowering period: March-April.

PROPAGATION: Lift overcrowded or ‘blind’ clumps in late summer – divide and plant offsets.

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