Blooming Plant of
Daffodil, Jonquil, Trumpet Narcissus
Daffodil blossoms are trumpet shaped, with petals fused to form
a corona (aka crown cup or trumpet). There are double,
multiflowered, small-cupped and large-cupped
Daffodils are available in hues of yellow, white, orange and
green. Many daffodils are also bicolored.
Daffodil plants will last five to 14 days, depending on variety
and interior temperature. Plants last longer if they are kept in
are more than 12,000 varieties of daffodils, grouped into 13
divisions, each containing tall, medium and miniature (below six
inches) daffodils. Here are descriptions of the most popular
DIVISION 1 Narcissi in this
division are called trumpet daffodils, because the cup, or
corona, is as long or longer than the petals and looks like a
trumpet. These have one floret per stem. Popular varieties
include ‘Primeur’, with golden-yellow, late-blooming flowers;
the golden-yellow ‘Dutch Master’; and the canary-yellow ‘King
DIVISION 2 These large-cup
daffodils have one flower to a stem. The cup is smaller (at
least one-third but not as long as the length of the petals). An
example is ‘Avalon’, which is a “reversed bicolor”—the cup
matures to white while the petals stay yellow (opposite of the
normal coloration for daffodils). ‘Coquille’ has a coral-pink
cup, and ‘Paracutin’ has a bright orange-red cup.
DIVISION 3 Small-cup
daffodils have one flower to a stem, and the cup, or corona, is
quite small (not more than one-third the length of the petals).
‘Audubon’ is one of the loveliest daffodils in this division.
Its glistening, perfectly pressed, white petals, tiny
coral-pink-rimmed cup and sturdiness make it a favorite.
4 These double-flowered daffodils have one or more
flowers to a stem, with doubling of the petals or corona or
both. ‘Sunheat’ looks as if it should be blooming in the tropics
while fragrant, multiflowered ‘Sir Winston Churchill’ has
strong, 15- to 16-inch-long stems.
DIVISION 7 The Jonquilla
daffodil, or small jonquil, group includes short-cupped,
sweet-scented species, often with two or more flowers per stem.
Principal varieties include the golden-yellow ‘Baby Moon’, the
golden-yellow-petaled/orange-cupped ‘Suzy’ and the lemon-yellow
DIVISION 8 Tazetta daffodils
have clusters of sweetly scented flowers and cups that are small
and straight sided, with broad, often frilled petals. Narcissus
papyraceus, commonly called “paper-white Narcissus,” is a
cultivar in the Tazetta group as are ‘Grand Soleil d’Or,’ a
miniature yellow-bloomed variety, and the lemon-yellow-petaled/golden-yellow-cupped
Daffodils become prevalent on most markets in November. Peak
supplies are seen in February and March. Crops will extend
IN-STORE AND CONSUMER CARE
LIGHT Narcissi prefer bright
light, or the stems will become weak, yellowed and elongated.
Keep interior light levels at 50 to 100 foot-candles or higher.
The plants can be kept in or near windows where the light is
WATER Check the plants
frequently, and water to keep the soil moist at all times. Avoid
TEMPERATURE Provide a cool
location away from heat sources. Cooler temperatures of no
higher than 65 F during the day and 45 F to 55 F at night will
ensure maximum longevity. Store at 33 F to 35 F for no more than
These plants prefer medium humidity.
FERTILIZER Narcissi don’t
need fertilizer because all of the food they need is stored in
Plants should be purchased and marketed in the “pencil” stage,
which is the straight-up position of the flower relative to the
Some information provided by:
Carol and Don Garibaldi, Año Nuevo Flower Growers Inc. Half Moon
Chain of Life Network®,
Northern California Daffodil Society,
SAF’s Flower & Plant Care manual
San Francisco Wholesale Flower Mart,
Some photos courtesy of the Netherlands Flower Bulb
Reach “Fresh Flower of the Month” writer Steven W. Brown, AIFD,
or (415) 239-3140.
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