Daffodils are out in London. Let’s celebrate.
Daffodils are the common name for plants in the genus Narcissus in the amaryllis (Amaryllidaceae) family. These two names are often used interchangeably, but in the UK we usually use daffodil to mean the completely yellow variety with the extended trumpet flower head. If you want to buy daffodil bulbs for your garden there are hundreds to choose from, as the plant has been cultivated for centuries. Exactly how many different types of Narcissus species there are (i.e. ones you would find growing in the wild) that these cultivated plants have derived from divides opinion, because botanist can’t agree on what actually constitutes an individual species; some see significant differences between specimens, others think they are not different enough, this is then further complicated by an ancient history of hybridisation. More than 50 and less than 80 would be considered a fair estimate. In the UK we have one native species Narcissus pseudonarcissus, the other 25ish that we may commonly find growing wild have been introduced from elsewhere. To see wild daffodils en mass this spring, see The Daffodil Society’s website for suggestions. For slightly more person-orchestrated excitement, see the National Trust’s Daffodil Days garden listing.
All images are abstractions of old artworks from Public Domain texts with publication details listed below.
Title: The production of narcissus bulbs (1924)
Author: Griffiths, David, 1867-1935
Published by: Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Title: Popular garden flowers; anemones: asters: begonias: carnations: chrysanthemums: crocuses: daffodils: dahlias: geraniums: gladioli: hollyhocks: hyacinths: irises: lilies: pansies: phloxes: primulas: sweet peas: stocks: tulips: roses
Author: Wright, Walter Page, 1864-1940
Published by: London :G. Richards ltd.,
Title: Tulips, daffodils and crocuses (1904)
Author: Moore, N. Hudson
Published by: New York: Stokes
Title: Bulbs and hardy plants for autumn : specialties tulips daffodils lilies & choice perennials
Author: Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection.
Published by: Vaughan’s Seed Company. Chicago. Ill. :Vaughan’s Seed Store, 1915
Title: Iris tulips daffodils for 1947
Author: Cooley’s Gardens; Henry G. Gilbert Nursery and Seed Trade Catalog Collection
Published by: Silverton, Ore. : Cooley’s Gardens 1947