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Celebrated in gardens for over 400 years, ‘Maximus’ or ‘Trumpet Major’ is an especially fine form of N. hispanicus with a wild, primeval look. Its trumpet is boldly scalloped and flared, its petals make a dramatic star, and it lifts up its face as if worshipping the sun. It’s been treasured by Elizabethan, Victorian, and Arts-and-Crafts gardeners alike – and now it’s your turn! 1 Y-Y, 14-16”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
Often the first tazetta to bloom in the new year, this sturdy pass-along plant has narrow, pointed petals that make its clustered blooms look like fistfuls of stars. As Texas bulb expert Thad Howard wrote, it’s “enduring, sweet-scented” and “deserves more respect and popularity.” 8 W-Y, 20”, zones 8a-9b(10bWC), from Louisiana. Chart and care.
Swans-Neck, Goose-Neck, Silver Bells – if you’re looking for that elusive Southern heirloom, this form of the wild N. moschatus may not be 100% identical but probably even your granny couldn’t tell them apart. It’s short and sweet, with creamy white blooms that nod demurely, the epitome of spring. (See also the very similar ‘Colleen Bawn’.) Aka N. cernuus, 13 W-W, 10-12”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart, care, and learn more.
This refined, up-town cousin of everybody’s favorite ‘Thalia’ sets the hearts of daffodil connoisseurs aflutter. It’s sublimely graceful, with smoother, thicker, more shapely petals of a white that expert Michael Jefferson-Brown calls “dazzling in its purity.” 5 W-W, 18-20”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
The poet’s narcissus grows wild in alpine meadows from Spain into the Balkans and is pictured in English herbals of the early 1600s. This form is the oldest available and, though it dates officially to 1831, it’s indistinguishable from those in colonial gardens. It’s famously fragrant and late-blooming, with sparkling white petals that arch back from a “green eye and crimson-fringed crown” (William Robinson). Wister Award winner (see more), 13 W-YYR, 12-14”, zones 4a-6b(8bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
Although it’s disappearing from the marketplace, this sparkling white daffodil is just too good to let go. Its broad white petals surround a tiny, ruffled cup that opens citron yellow and matures to pure white with a cool glimmer of spring green deep in the center. 3 W-W, mid-late blooming, 14-18”, zones 4a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
Extra-early and extra-beautiful, this wildflowery trumpet daffodil is a bicolor N. pseudonarcissus (see Lent lily). Millions were once harvested for bouquets sold in London’s Covent Garden, and it’s great for naturalizing. As daffodil connoisseur Alec Gray wrote in 1955, “a drift of it is a thing of... lightness and grace.” 1 W-Y, 14-16”, zones 5a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
With her elegant, snow-white petals and fluted lemon cup, this ‘Queen’ is as cool as a frosty glass of lemonade. “Certainly one of the most beautiful of all daffodils,” the great Pennsylvania plantsman John Wister wrote in 1930, and she’s still winning blue ribbons in daffodil shows all across the country today! 3 W-Y, 16-18”, zones 4a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
‘Rip’ is a definite cutie. Early and dwarf, its spiky little blooms look like tiny yellow suns, cactus dahlias, sea anemones, or even mop-headed elves – depending on your imagination. It’s also cheap and wonderfully easy to force. 4 Y-Y, 6-8”, zones 4a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
This RHS Award of Garden Merit winner caused a sensation when it was first introduced, and although increasingly hard to find, it’s still a remarkably beautiful daffodil. More richly colored than our older “pinks,” it has sparkling white petals and a short, lobed cup that opens peach-to-coral and gets rosier every day. 2 W-P, late-mid, 16-20”, zones 4a-8a(10aWC), from Holland. Chart and care.