Will Daffodil Shows Welcome Nameless Historics?

Even if it lost its name, ‘Princeps’ would still be a treasure.

In 1989 when a few friends and I proposed adding a section for historic daffodils to all ADS shows, people said it would never happen. But it did, and since then historic daffodils have become a very popular part of those shows.

Now the chair of the ADS Historic Daffodils Committee has suggested expanding the section to include nameless daffodils – the kind that grow by the millions in backyards, old cemeteries, and abandoned sites all across the country

Writing in the June 2020 Daffodil Journal, Ian Tyler explains that recently at a show he was asked to identify three nameless historics. One he could, one matched a labeled flower in the show, but the third remained unknown.

“My mind started looking for an answer to this situation as fewer and fewer people now remember these old flowers,” he writes. “We need to expand the exposure of historic flowers to a greater audience, as the more people see them the better the chance will be of jogging a fading, faded memory!

“My idea is to allow un-named Historics to be entered into an Unknown Historic class ..., thus allowing a larger public/audience to see them and more exhibitors to show them.

“Judges assigned to Historics would be expected to give special attention to the Unknown class but would invite all judges and all viewers with experience to feel free to comment. The Unknown class would not be about winning ribbons but about getting information on the blooms…. Naming, of course, would not always be possible, but at least the flowers would be seen….

“To my mind this would be a win-win situation for Historic daffodils. Currently, if no one can identify them, these beautiful flowers [can’t be exhibited]. They need to be seen by as many people as possible, not hidden in buckets in the back room never to be seen again at a show! Something to think about – or better still, take some action!”

As you might expect, we totally agree. Let's make it happen, Ian!