Division 13:
Species Daffodils, Wild Variants, and Wild Hybrids

This division contains different daffodil species in their wild (or reputedly wild) forms and hybrid daffodils derived therefrom (which are distinguished solely by their Latin botanical name).

With a few exceptions, most of these daffodils don't look like much. They are usually fairly short, and normally come only in basic yellow. They are primarily of interest to gardeners who cultivate heritage gardens.

However, some of these daffodils have fragrances that are practically intoxicating. Look for the ones that I've marked with two asterisks. Also, since they are wild (or close to wild), they are excellent for naturalizing (i.e. they will come back year after year, and slowly multiply). In fact, many will even naturalize by reseeding.

However, you should know that many of these Species Daffodil bulbs are no larger than the tip of your little finger; plant these only 2 to 3" (5 - 8 cm) deep. On the other hand, since these bulbs are all grown by commercial breeders, some nurseries produce quite normal-sized bulbs, which should be planted 4 to 6" (10 - 15 cm) deep.

These bulbs can be very difficult to find. I suggest that you start your search with some on-line catalogues like McClure & Zimmerman, Fraser's Thimble Farms, or Paul Christian Rare Plants .

As I stated, most of these Species Daffodils do have a wonderful fragrance; I have indicated which ones by putting an asterisk (*) after the name of the species. Those which are particularly fragrant have two asterisks.

Latin name Common name Colour Flowering time Height Hardiness zones Shape/form Notes
Narcissus bulbocodium var. conspicuusYellow Hoop Petticoatgolden yellowmid spring4 - 6" (10 - 15 cm)4 - 9the cup is shaped like a funnel, or an old-fashioned hoop petticoat; the petals are tiny, twisted and almost non-existent; the leaves look like grassgood for containers, under trees and shrubs, and the fronts of borders; it is easily grown, and increases rapidly once established; native to Spain and Portugal
Narcissus jonquilla**Jonquil**deep yellowlate spring5 - 8" (12 - 20 cm)5 - 9has 2 to 3, or more, flowers per stemwill naturalize in zones 9 and 10; native to Portugal and Spain
Narcissus obvallaris The Tenby Daffodilrich yellowvery early spring8 - 10" (20 - 25 cm)3 - 9, but requires thick fall mulching in zones 3 & 4small, up-facing trumpet-form daffodilexcellent for indoor forcing; naturalizes well
Narcissus odorus plenus**Queen Anne's double jonquil**yellowearly spring10 - 12" (25 - 30 cm)4 - 9double daffodil, sometimes resembles a yellow rose very fragrant and a reliable perennializer
Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus*Pheasant's Eye*white petals, with yellow and red cupvery late spring10 - 16" (25 - 40 cm)3 - 7petals are reflexed (bent back); small disc-shaped cup is rimmed with red, and eyed with gold and greenexcellent for naturalizing; has a pleasantly spicy fragrance; one of the very last daffodils to bloom
Narcissus x odorus (campernelli)**Single Campernelle**golden yellowearly spring10 - 12" (25 - 30 cm) suitable for zones 4 - 9, but prefers zones 5 - 9blossoms with twisted, rounded petals and a flared, scalloped cup; 2 - 3 flowers per stemvery fragrant; terrific perennializer; will often naturalize in southern gardens

The Tenby Daffodil Queen Anne's double jonquil Single Campernelle


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Last modified: October 12, 2008