Unusual Daffodils to Try
Love the look of daffodils blooming in spring, but want something with a little more personality? There are numerous narcissus you can plant in your garden. All do not have to look like the typical yellow daffodil.
Narcissus come from parts of Europe and northern Africa, so they appreciate a dry summer, tolerating rain in autumn and winter. For the majority of these bulbs, our East Texas climate is perfect. These bulbs generally tolerate almost any type of soil, and most appreciate a neutral to acidic pH. Most narcissus will take full sun to part shade. Plant them under trees that are late to leaf out, next to flowering quince, forsythia, spirea, or other spring-blooming plants.
In general, daffodils have six outer petals, called the perianth. These petals surround a middle trumpet or cup, called a corona. It is the variation differences of the perianth and/or corona which make some daffodils look so different.
Narcissus ‘Butter and Eggs’ is an old variety of daffodil. Lots of curved petals growing in the middle of its bloom makes this daffodil look like it has been scrambled. It grows to around 18 inches tall. It is also just a fun name to say.
Narcissus ‘Erlicheer’, as its name suggests, is an early-blooming variety. Though it is cream colored, what makes this daffodil so unique are the multiple layers of petals, surrounding multiple blooms on each stem. These blooms are often compared to the look of a camellia, gardenia, or rose. They are also fragrant, so they are a delight to cut and bring inside. They grow 10-14 inches tall.
Rip Van Winkle’ Wakes Up
Narcissus ‘Rip Van Winkle’ wakes up with bed-head hair – multiple pointed petals that stick out everywhere. It reminds me of a mum. It is an early to mid-season bloomer, but is very short, growing only 5-8 inches tall.
Narcissus ‘Thalia’ is a dainty daffodil. Its form looks like the ubiquitous yellow daffodil, with a regular perianth and a small corona, except instead of yellow, Thalia is a pure white. It grows 12-18 inches tall and blooms fairly late.
The daffodil I most look forward to blooming in my garden is Narcissus bulbocodium, or petticoat daffodil. Its bloom is so unique, you might not recognize it as a daffodil. It has miniature petals which surround the corona like rays of a sun. The corona is enlarged, looking like a hoop petticoat. Growing to around one foot tall, it blooms late, but is worth the wait. Mine have just begun to bloom this past week.
If you are looking for more unusual daffodils to try, there are numerous others. Some have split or double coronas, some are peach or pink in color. They will all help you welcome spring to your garden.
Certified as a landscape design consultant, Lydia Holley is past President of Henderson County Master Gardener Association. Lydia lives on land that has been in her family for five generations, and like many gardeners, she tries to grow one of everything. A member of East Texas Writers Guild, Lydia’s short story, Three Dreams and An Angel, will be published this fall.