Common name: Daffodil

The species of this genus are generally classed as Narcissi.

However, trumpet species that have a corona (trumpet) that is as long as, or longer than the perianth (petals), are usually referred as Daffodils.

For reference purposes once a wild or cultivated species has been allocated a cultivar name, it is asssigned (subject to its characteristics) into Divisions 1-12.

Species that a referred to by their botanical name, are assigned to Division 13.

Division 1


Trumpet Daffodils


One flower to a stem.


The corona is as long or longer than the perianth segments.

Division 2


Large cupped daffodils


One flower to a stem.


The corona must exceed a third of the perianth length, but not exceed the peranths length.

Division 3


Small cupped daffodils;


One flower to a stem.


The corona is less than a third the length of the perianth.

Division 4


Double Daffodils


One or more flowers to a stem.


With either a doubling of the corona or perianth or both.

Division 5


Triandrus Daffodils


These have n.triandrus characteristics.


Usually with two or more pendant flowers per stem and reflexed perianths.

Division 6


Cyclamineus Daffodils


These have n.cyclamineus characteristics.


One short necked reflexed flower placed at an acute angle to the stem.

Division 7


Jonquila and Apodanthus Daffodils


These have jonquilla or apodanthus characteristics.


Stems can bear up to eight often scented reflexed flowers, with either a cup, funnel or flared corona.

Division 8


Tazzetta Daffodils


These have tazetta characteristics.


Stems can bear up to twenty often fragrant flowers with spreading perianths.

Division 9


Poeticus Daffodils


These have poeticus characteristics, and usually have one often fragrant flower per stem.


The perianth is normally white, and the short corona is usually yellow or green trimmed with red.

Division 10


Bulbocodium Daffodils


These have bulbocodium characteristics.


This division is for all Species and wild forms

Division 11


Split corona Daffodils


The cup or corona that is naturally split or separated usually for more than a half of its length.


(Not to be confused with varieties with pronounced frills).

Division 11a

Collar Daffodils

Have the corona segments opposite the perianth segments and the corona segments are usually in two whorls of three.



Division 11b


Papillion Daffodils


Have the corona segments alternate to the perianth segments and the corona segments are usually in a single whorl of six.

Division 12


Other Daffodil Cultivars


Daffodil cultivars that do not fit the definitions of any of the above divisions.

Division 13


For Daffodils Species that a referred to by their botanical name.

Daffodil Colour and Timing System:

To assist in the identification of colours and flowering times, the normal system is to use letters e.g.

W = White

Y = Yellow

G = Green

R = Red

P = Pink

O = Orange


E = Early season


EM = Early mid season


M = Mid season.


LM = Late mid season

L = Late season

W = Winter Flowering


A flower classified as 2W-GYO (EM) can be described as follows;

It is a Div.2 variety with a white perianth (W)

The centre of the corona is (G) green with a yellow (Y) middle zone,and an (O) orange rim, and is an (EM) early mid season variety.

Pests and Diseases:

Attacks by the large narcissus bulb fly and narcissus eelworm can be fatal.

Other less common problems include slugs, basal rot, virus and fungal infection.

Pot/Indoor culture:

Week 38: Pot the bulbs up as soon as they are available. (August/September)

To extend the flowering season, the pot/s can be filled in layers of different flowering season varieties e.g. bottom layer with a late variety, second layer with a mid season variety, and the top layer with an early variety.

Place sufficient bulbs in each layer to allow at least 25mm (1") between the bulbs, (do not let them touch each other).

Ensure the final layer has at least 75mm (3") of compost cover.

Any commercial potting compost will do.

After potting it is essential that the bulbs are kept cool and moist in order to develop the root system

Do this by plunging the pots outside and covering them with a three or four of inches of peat or similar substance.

If outdoor space is not available, store the bowls in a cool, dark well-ventilated cellar or cupboard at a temperature of 4°-8°C(40°-45°F) maximum, keep the soil or fibre moist by watering as required.

A simple rule is to plant early, keep cold, and bring inside to a cool room or conservatory (max 16°C-60°F) when the flower buds are about 75-100mm (3"-6") high.

Bulbs that are subjected to premature indoor warmth, growth will be weak and often the flower will strangle in the neck of the bulb, or the bulb could be severely checked and die.

After flowering, keep well watered and give an occasional feed for about six to eight weeks, then plant outside in the usual way.

Outdoor Culture:

For open ground culture, most garden soils will grow fine daffodils, but the ground should be deeply cultivated and free draining, and ideally sheltered from strong winds.

If manure or compost is required this should be well rotted and worked into the soil a good spade's depth below the surface.

Bulbs should never be in actual contact with manures as this can encourage disease, and could be the cause of rotting.

Circa week 40: plant at one-and-a-half times their own depth, slightly deeper in light soils.

Or to put this another way, plant them out at least 100mm (4") deep and 150mm (6") apart.

The addition of grit to the growing medium can help the general drainage of the area.

Once planted out they can be left undisturbed for several years, or until lifting and dividing is necessary.

Planting out groups/clumps of three -five bulbs in various parts of the border as opposed to planting them in drifts can look quite effective.

If your garden is laid out in a manner where you may want to plant out drifts of Daffodils to be followed by drifts of annual bedding plants, it is beneficial to plant your bulbs in groups of 3-5 bulbs approximately 300mm (12") apart.

Doing it this way allows you to plant your bedding plants between the groups of bulbs without damaging the bulbs.

A little feeding at flowering time, circa week 17, will benefit the bulbs and assist in producing next year's display.

Apply a 70-80gms (3oz) dressing of general fertiliser per sq.m.

Dead head regularly to allow the plant/s to place their energy into the bulbs rather than their seed heads.

Do not remove the leaves until they are beginning to turn yellow, or for at least eight weeks after flowering, circa week 20-22.

Bulbs do not need lifting each year, however if you require to move them to re-arrange the garden layout do this when the leaves have died back.

If you find that you can't wait this long at least wait until the top 25mm (1") of the leaves have yellowed and died back.

Check bulbs periodically between now and planting out time, discarding all diseased or damaged bulbs.

Miniature Daffodils:

Miniature daffodils are particularly suitable for growing in a rockery or outdoor containers and planters.

Plant the bulbs 50mm (2") deep, and 75mm (3") apart in a sheltered spot to encourage early flowering.

Planting in groups of three to five bulbs can look very effective.

They do not always flower perfectly the first year, this time being taken in establishing themselves in their new surroundings.

Once established they are best left undisturbed for a few years.


Choose a well drained site where the foliage can be left for four to six weeks after flowers have faded.

Grass should not be cut during this period, so an unkempt appearance will need to be tolerated.

To achieve a natural random pattern when planting, mark out an area and just drop bulbs randomly within it.

Then all that is required is to trowel them in to twice their own depth at the spot where they landed.

An alternative method is to skim off an area of turf, roll it up then plant the bulbs in a normal manner.

Once planted,roll back the turf to cover the planted area.

Indoor Containers:

Circa Week 45: Plant up bowls of Narcissus Paper White to bloom indoors.

Plant up separate bowls at 3-4 week intervals to prolong the flowering period.


There are lierally thousands of varieties / cultivars available to the general public, if you have around fifteen mimutes to spare, here are a few to be going on with.

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