Flower Spotlight - Daffodil


Not Your Ordinary Daffodil

Daffodils. The ultimate flower of spring. The March Birth Flower. A symbol of hope.  Even the English romantic poet William Wordsworth have expressed appreciation to this bright and cheery bloom.

For oft, when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude; And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils.  

  • William Wordsworth, I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud   

What’s not to love about daffodils? Always a welcomed sight in the garden, easygoing daffodils will grow almost anywhere and they multiply quickly. They’re present every spring and will bloom reliably for years and years. Some floral designers will cringe at the “common” beauty of daffodils only because they instantly think of the typical and easily recognizable yellow-colored trumpet bell blooms. But did you know that the American Daffodil Society has 13 different official classifications or divisions of this flora from the genus Narcissus? Yes, daffodils do come in many incredible shapes, sizes, forms, scents, and colors. Get to know four of the more unusual and uncommon daffodils and see why these varieties deserve more attention than they have so far received.

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Most daffodils have flat leaves but jonquils have thinner, tube-shaped, rush-like leaves in dark green. These are strongly fragrant daffodils with at least one to five flowers per stem. The petals are wide and swept back and the cups are short. This showy daffodil requires full sun and a moist but well-drained soil. Jonquils or jonquilla narcissus come in different varieties. The petals of jonquils only grow in yellow shades. The cups can be pale pink, yellow, white-rimmed cream-colored, or orange to orange-red.  



These are not carnations. Double daffodils come with an unusual shape for a daffodil. Consider them the show-offs in the Narcissus world. The petals are filly with doubling of segments or corona/cup, or both. These come in charming shades of peach and pink, also in white, and some are bi-colored. Their incredibly romantic look makes them perfect for your home’s garden. Grow them in borders, around shrubs, in containers, or even in indoor pots. Check out Narcissus ‘Delnashaugh’ for its creamy white outer petals interspersed with ruffled apricot-pink segments. Another eye-catching double daffodil is the Narcissus ‘Flower Drift’ with a warm orange-yellow center. The sweetly scented Narcissus ‘Replete’ is another must-plant for its pinkish coral center and double rows of white petals. 


There is also the Narcissus ‘Tahiti’ which is an award-winning double daffodil with prolific large flowers and golden yellow petals plus ruffled interiors in striking vermillion.  



Prized for their heavy flower bearing of up to 20 flowers to a stem and a strong scent, tazetta daffodils would make a lovely addition to any garden. You’ll most likely catch its fragrance first before you see the blooms. These only grow up to 18 inches tall and they can thrive on most soils under full sun or light shade. Plant them in beds, borders, or containers, in naturalized areas, or under deciduous trees. 


The popular The Paperwhite Daffodil is a tazetta narcissus.  



Also called Pheasant’s Eye, Poeticus Daffodils feature petals in pure white with a short disc-shaped corona or central cup. The corona usually displays a light yellow center with slightly green tinge and a red rim. This unique daffodil is very fragrant. In southern France and the Netherlands, poet’s daffodil is cultivated for its essential oil to be used in perfumes.  Great in the garden, this daffodil type is easy to grow. It will grow in full sun or partial shade in moist, well-drained soil. Narcissus ‘Actaea’ is a poeticus daffodil that makes excellent cut flowers. Another poeticus variety is Recurvus with reflexed petals and a spicy fragrance.


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