Spring Blooming Bulbs – Types of Narcissus (Daffodil Bulbs)
The daffodil bulb is by far the most popular of all spring blooming bulbs, and certainly there are no other spring bulbs that can provide the same quantity or quality of flowers, and no others that come in such a brilliant range of yellows and creams.
Today over 10,000 named varieties have been registered and at least 500 varieties are easily obtainable. This embraces a range of flower colour and shape that goes far beyond the normal yellow trumpet-shaped flower or the starry white pheasant’s eye narcissus; indeed so wide is the range now that it is little wonder that an increasing number of gardeners are making a hobby of collecting and growing the different sorts. There are flourishing daffodil societies in Britain, the USA, Holland, New Zealand and Australia.
Narcissi are among the easiest of bulbs to grow, they will tolerate both chalk and acid soils, and grow well in both heavy soils and light ones – provided they are well-drained. They are equally at home in beds and borders or naturalised in , meadows, woodlands or orchards. They prefer sun or slight shade, and should be planted as early in the autumn as possible. The larger daffodil bulb varieties of these spring blooming bulbs should be planted 5-6 inches deep, and smaller bulbs 3 inches deep. The species can be propagated by seed, but the named varieties will only come true from offsets. There are so many named varieties that only a selected list can be given here: catalogues should be consulted regularly, as new varieties appear on the market every year.
Trumpet Varieties of Daffodil Bulbs
‘King Alfred’, very large deep-golden-yellow, still one of the largest of the daffodil bulbs and one of the best: ‘Golden Harvest’, golden-yellow trumpet of enormous size; ‘Beersheba’, magnificent pure white with broad segments and a very long trumpet of perfect shape; ‘Music Hall’, white petals and deep yellow trumpet: very striking; ‘Rembrandt’, a uniform deep golden yellow, even larger than ‘King Alfred’ and flowers a perfect shape.
Large Cupped Varieties of Daffodil Bulbs
‘Armada’, a very large and outstanding spring blooming bulb, of great substance; golden petals and vivid orange cup: ‘Carlton’, enormous flower of clear yellow, cup frilled; ‘Grulleman’s Giant’, a giant indeed, with creamy yellow petals and a huge cup fringed and crowned with orange, withstands severe weather very well; ‘Red Marley’, deep golden-yellow petals and fiery red cup: good in full sun; ‘Scarlet Elegance’, a deep golden yellow flower with a deep red cup: an unusually brilliant colour combination.
Small Cupped Varieties of Daffodil Bulbs
Pink Varieties of Daffodil Bulbs
These are relatively expensive, but their unique colour makes them well worthwhile, especially for floral decoration. ‘Lady Bird’, large flared trumpet with ruffled edge, outside pale apricot, inside orange apricot: petals white. ‘Mrs. R. O. Backhouse’ – the original pink daffodil, and still one of the best; trumpet long and slender, blush pink with a deep edge; petals white.
Double Varieties of Daffodil Bulbs
‘Yellow Cheerfulness’, a very popular double creamy white; ‘Inglecombe’, bright lemon yellow, late flowering; ‘Mary Copeland’, white intermixed with brilliant orange; ‘Texas’, yellow and orange intermixed. Jonquil Varieties: these spring bulbs are highly prized for their scent, their graceful habit and their profusion of blooms; charming as cut flowers. ‘Trevithian’, two or three flowers per stem, pale lemon yellow, overlapping perianth lobes, and shallow cup ‘Golden Sceptre’ and ‘Golden Gleam’ are both similar, but of a deeper yellow.
Poeticus Varieties of Daffodil Bulbs
Species and Miniatures of Daffodil Bulbs
These are all diminutive plants, suited either to theor to naturalising in lawns: Narcissus bulbocodium, the Hoop Petticoat Daffodil, this consists almost entirely of a broadly conical trumpet, the perianth being reduced to a few tiny segments: the typical form is deep yellow. Narcissus b. ‘Citrinus’ has pale lemon-yellow flowers; Narcissus b. ‘Tennifolius’ is more dwarf and earlier flowering; Narcissus b. ‘Obesus’ has a wider open trumpet; all about 6 inches, and prefer a light, sandy . Narcissus cyclamineus, rich yellow, narrow trumpet and reflexed petals, 6 inches, likes moist, boggy ground. Narcissus triandus, a charming dwarf with reflexed perianth and cup-shaped trumpet, 6 inches. There are various colour forms ranging from pure white to deep yellow.
For the lover of the unusual there are also a couple of little-known autumn-flowering species, and one even takes originality so far as to produce, green flowers. These are Narcissus serotinus, a dwarf plant producing in September short stems each bearing one or two flowers each nearly an inch across, greenish-white with a short, wide-open yellow trumpet. The leaves appear in the spring. Narcissus viridiflorus: also a small plant, producing on top of a 6-7-inch stem 1-5 flowers, rather like those of a small, olive-green narcissus: it is not very hardy.