In honor of Bartlett's Farm hosting the Nantucket Garden Clubs 37th Annual Daffodil Show we thought it was only fitting that this weeks garden guru be... all about Daffodils.
To some people Daffodils are just that cute little flower that signals the start of spring and the end of winter, but to others the Daffodil is a highly prized bulb that comes in may different colors, sizes, bloom times, divisions and classifications.
How many types of Daffodils are there?
Well, that depends on who you ask.
Most botanist believe there are between 40 to 200 species or varieties and over 25,000 different cultivars (names hybrids)!
What class of Daffodils should I plant in my garden?
Daffodils are classified as to when they bloom, either early, mid-season or late-season. Because a Daffodil bloom usually lasts two to three weeks in the garden, gardeners can extend the blooming season by selecting different varieties from each grouping to maximize bloom time.
What does the term Division mean when referring to a Daffodil?
The American Daffodil Society has divided Daffodils into thirteen divisions based on the Daffodils form, size, trumpet and color. For a complete list of daffodil divisions please visit the American Daffodil Society.
Is there a difference between a Daffodil and a Narcissus?
No, the two words are synonymous. Every plant has a Latin name and a common name. Narcissus is the Latin name and Daffodil in the common name.
What do all those letter and number refer to when classifying a Daffodil?
We have already learned that Daffodils are classified into 13 different divisions.
Daffodils are are given a color code to describe both the perianth (petal) color and the corona (cup) color.
W-White or Whitish
When looking at a 'daffodil code', the first number is the division. The letter or set of (up to three) letters that follows the number, represents the perianth (petal) color. The petal color is described by beginning at the outside edge of the petal, then the middle, and lastly the inside part next to the cup. The second letter or group of letters represents the color of the corona (trumpet or cup) starting from the inner-zone or "eye", then the mid-zone and lastly the outer edge or rim.
The following diagram is of "Patois", a Division 9 W-GYR daffodil:
Where does the name Narcissus derive from?
There are several different versions of where the name Narcissus derives from and they vary in origin with the majority of them rooted in Greek mythology. The most popular story is a young man named Narcissus died of starvation and thirst from sitting by the edge of a pool gazing at his reflection until he died. A Narcissus plant first sprang from where he died.
Are Daffodils native to the US?
No, Daffodils are native mainly to the Mediterranean region, in particular to the Iberian Peninsula, as well as Northern Africa and the Middle East.
Many homesteaders in the westward migration of the early United States felt that daffodils were an essential plant to have on the homestead. Many abandoned home sites can be recognized today by the clumps of daffodils growing in the fields.
Want to learn more about Daffodils?
Stop by the Nantucket Daffodil Show at the Farm this weekend!
Saturday 04/30/2010 2-5 PM with a shuttle running from the Greenhound
Sunday 05/01/2011 10am-4:30pm