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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 Alabama. 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.
Known for decades as THE pink daffodil, ‘Mrs. R.O. Backhouse’ is one of the landmark bulbs of the 20th century. She’s more truly ivory and apricot, but so beautiful – a veritable sunrise for those who watch closely – that most modern pinks just can’t compare. 2 W-P, 16-18”, zones 4a-8a(10bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
Named for the wife of one of Holland’s greatest bulb-growers – so you know it has to be good – ‘Mrs. Ernst H. Krelage’ was once sold for a whopping $162 per bulb. Lost to American gardeners for years until we reintroduced it in 2011, it’s a sturdy, buxom flower of creamy white and palest lemon. 1 W-W, 18-20”, zones 4a-8a(10bWC), Holland. Chart and care.
This extra-rare, white-on-white beauty completes the Copeland Family Double-Daffodil Trifecta. Mrs. Copeland was the mother of the lovely Irene and Mary Copeland, and the wife of the greatest breeder of double daffodils the world has ever known. (Read the family’s story here.) We imported a few bulbs of ‘Mrs. Copeland’ from Australia many years ago, and ever since then we’ve been looking forward to this beautiful mother and child reunion. 4 W-W, early-mid season, 18-20”, zones 4a-7b(9bWC), from Holland. Chart and care.
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.
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. 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.