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Daffodils: Lost Forever?

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Page 5 of Daffodils: Lost?
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SIDELIGHT, 1940

Rarest, indeed! We can’t find anyone else in the world who’s offering this classic poet’s narcissus by Northern Ireland’s immortal Guy Wilson – and who knows when we’ll be able to offer it again? As sturdy as a pint of Guinness, it has velvety white petals and a golden eye ringed in scarlet. 9 W-GOR, late blooming, 14-18”, zones 4a-7a(9bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2015. A couple of friends in the ADS have questioned the authenticity of ‘Sidelight’ (which came to us from one of the Netherlands’ greatest daffodil collectors), so we’ve stopped selling it while we investigate further.


SIR WATKIN, 1868

True stock! After decades of confusion by US experts (including us), here at last is the true ‘Sir Watkin’. One of the most celebrated daffodils of all time, “The Welsh Peerless” has soft yellow petals that arch forward gracefully around a fluted, golden cup. Almost 70 years after it first rocked the garden world, expert John Wister wrote that it “holds its place well among the best of fine daffodils, and proves once more that we cannot wholly cast aside old favorites.” 2 Y-Y, 16-18”, 5a-8b(10bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2013. Our grower is increasing his stock and we hope to offer it again soon. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SOUTHERN QUEEN, 1927

Don’t be confused! This rare beauty is NOT just for the South. Its name refers to the Southern Hemisphere – New Zealand to be exact – where it was bred by the esteemed Sir Algernon P.W. Thomas. With a frilled trumpet of an unusual, soft, “buff yellow” set against ivory white petals, it’s subtle but a favorite of ours – and we hope you’ll give it a try. 2W-Y, 16-18”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2009.


SULPHUR PHOENIX, CODLINS AND CREAM, 1820Rarest

With white and pale yellow petals, this is the much rarer, towheaded cousin of ‘Butter and Eggs’ (aka ‘Golden Phoenix’) and ‘Eggs and Bacon’ (aka ‘Orange Phoenix’). “Very chaste and beautiful,” said the Barr and Sons catalog of 1907, “much prized for bouquets.” Its folk name refers to a dessert of coddled (gently stewed or baked) coddlins (green or cooking apples) served with sweet cream. Aka ‘Silver Phoenix’, 4 W-Y, mid-season blooming, 18-20”, zones 5b-8a(10aWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2018. Our grower is increasing his stock and we hope to offer it again soon. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SWANSDOWN, 1938

As lovely as its name, this rare, creamy white double has a distinctive shape. Six single outer petals frame a short central rosette all ruffled and frilled like a tiny carnation. It was bred by one of the 20th-century’s greatest daffodil connoisseurs at Scotland’s romantic Brodie Castle, where you can still see it growing today. 4 W-W, 16-18”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2005. Unfortunately we’ve lost our grower and haven’t found another yet who can guarantee true stock. We’ll keep searching, though, and hope to offer it again soon. Stay tuned with our email newsletter.


SWEETNESS, 1939

One of the first winners of the ADS’s top honor, the Wister Award, ‘Sweetness’ has been called “the best daffodil for the South” – and it’s just as good north through zone 6. It’s vigorous and refined, with a fluted cup, thick, weather-proof petals, and the fragrance of its jonquil ancestors. 7 Y-Y, 16-18”, zones 6a-8b(10bWC), from Holland. See all of our Wister Award-winners. Last offered in 2016. Our grower is increasing his stock and we hope to offer it again soon. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


N. x intermedius, TEXAS STAR, 1816

An enduring, cottage-garden classic in the South, this tough little wildflower was once painted by Redouté for Napoleon’s garden-loving Empress Josephine. It’s a wild cross of N. jonquilla and N. tazetta – so of course it’s fragrant – and through the years its many names have included ‘Etoile d’Or’ and “the Cowslip Cupped.” 13 Y-Y, 16-18”, zones 6b-8b(10bWC), from Texas. Last offered in 2010. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.


TREVITHIAN, 1927

“Pre-eminent” and “breath-taking,” Scott Ogden raves about this “refined, modern Campernelle” in Garden Bulbs for the South. It’s “stunningly fragrant,” he says, and – maybe best of all – a few bulbs “will multiply tenfold in three or four years.” With 2-3 neatly rounded flowers per stem, its late-mid blooms extend the jonquil season’s joys. 7 Y-Y, 18-20”, zones 6a-8b(10bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2017. ‘Trevithian’ seems to be commercially extinct, but we’ll keep searching for it!


VERGER, 1930

Since the Middle Ages, mace-carrying vergers have led the grandest processions, hence the name of this majestic daffodil which looks like a pheasant’s-eye but blooms weeks earlier. With stainless petals and a cup as brilliant as a cathedral window, it’s a daffodil to look forward to year after year after year. 3W-R, 18-20”, zones 4a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2013.


VICTORIA, 1897

Named for the Queen and “especially noted for its vanilla-like perfume,” this cream and gold Victorian trumpet was a favorite for decades in the flower markets of London (Kirby, 1909). Its petals are gracefully waved and its bright trumpet is richly frilled. In the 1920s, one bulb of ‘Victoria’ which bloomed with its trumpet split into strips became the beginning of modern split-corona daffodils. 1 W-Y, 18-20” early blooming, zones 5a-7b(9bWC) from Holland. Last offered in 2005. We lost our grower and haven’t found another who offers authentic stock.


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