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Daffodils: Lost Forever?

From America’s Expert Source for Heirloom Flower Bulbs
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Page 5 of Daffodils: Lost?
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ORNATUS, 1870

This is not your usual pheasant’s-eye! It’s the earliest blooming of that season-ending clan, two weeks ahead of the traditional pheasant’s-eye, N. p. recurvus (below). And though it’s hardy to -15° F, it also thrives in Southern heat that’s often death to its kin. With snowy white petals, a small yellow eye ringed with red-orange, and spicy fragrance. 9 W-YYR, 16-18”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2019. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


N. jonquilla ‘Flore Pleno’, QUEEN ANNE’S DOUBLE JONQUIL, 1611

True stock! Looking like prom dresses for honeybees, these tiny, exquisite double jonquils are fluffy with extra petals and swooningly fragrant. Don’t be fooled by sources that sell the much larger, much cheaper ‘Double Campernelle’ as ‘Queen Anne’s’. Although that’s a fine flower, the true ‘Queen’ is absolutely heart-stopping. 4Y-Y, 8-10”, zones 6b-8b(10bWC), from Holland’s greatest daffodil collector. Last offered in 2014. 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.


RED DEVON, 1943

True stock! This fiery jewel won major awards in 1950, 1968, 1977, 1985, and the RHS AGM – one of gardening’s highest accolades – in 1993. With a broad, ruffled cup dipped in incandescent orange, it gives the spring garden a joyful jolt of intensity. It’s named for the historic “red” cattle of Devonshire, and we get a kick out of that, too. 2 Y-O, 24-26”, zones 5a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2015. 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.


SAINT KEVERNE, 1934

Winner of the Wister Award, the ADS’s highest honor, this Cornish beauty blooms vigorously from Canada to the Gulf. As Bill Finch of The Mobile Press-Register says, it’s “perfectly sculpted,” and with its slender proportions it always seems to blend in beautifully. 2 Y-Y, 16-18”, zones 4b-9a(11bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2015. 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.


SHIRLEY TEMPLE, 1937

Named for the curly-haired moppet who brightened spirits during the Great Depression, this award-winning double is more commonly known as ‘Snowball’ today. With an ivory ruff of outer petals and a center rosette touched by sunshine, it’s informal, refreshing, and lightly scented. 4 W-W, 18-20” late-middle blooming, zones 4a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2009. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


SHOT SILK, 1931

An improved ‘Thalia’ (is that possible?), this rare, silky-smooth beauty has a creamy white cup and starry petals that arch back like ballet dancers. “Most graceful,” wrote McFarland in his 1938 best-seller Garden Bulbs in Color, and “just about perfection.” We think you’ll agree. 5 W-W, 14-16”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2005.


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(10aWC), from Holland. Last offered in 2009.


STELLA, 1869

A familiar relic in old gardens from Williamsburg to Yakima, ‘Stella’ is a graceful, enduring flower with a crinkled cup and wavy petals of primrose to white. Until recently it was widely mis-identified in the US as ‘Sir Watkin’. (please help us set the record straight), but there’s no doubt about this: ‘Stella’ is terrific. 2 W-Y, 16-18”, zones 5a-8b(10bWC), from Louisiana. Last offered in 2018. Unfortunately our grower lost his stock and we haven’t found another yet who can guarantee true stock. If you’d like to be notified the next time we offer this treasure, sign up for an email alert.


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