Fun Facts About Our Favorite Springtime Flower
Daffodils are classified officially into 13 Divisions (classes) according to their characteristics.
- Division 1—Trumpet Daffodil
- Division 2—Large Cupped Daffodils
- Division 3—Small Cupped Daffodils
- Division 4—Double Daffodils
- Division 5—Triandrus Daffodils
- Division 6—Cyclamineus Daffodils
- Division 7—Jonquils Daffodils
- Division 8—Tazettas Daffodils
- Division 9—Poeticus Daffodils
- Division 10—Bulbocodium Hybrids
- Division 11—Split Corona or Split Cupped Daffodils
- Division 12—Miscellaneous
- Division 13—Natural Species, Variants, and Hybrids
- Miniatures are not a division but can be found in all the divisions. Blithewold has daffodils from each of the 13 divisions.
- There are between 40–200 daffodil species and subspecies, and over 25,000 registered cultivars (named varieties). Blithewold has dozens of different varieties and more than 50,000 daffodils all together.
- Daffodils are perennial, blooming every year and known for their longevity. Blithewold’s owners began planting daffodils at the turn of the 20th Although it’s hard to know exactly how old they are, some clumps could be 100 years old. We still plant new daffodils each year.
- Daffodil is their common name; narcissus is their Latin name. They are one in the same, all daffodils are narcissi. Jonquils are a type of daffodils and are classified in Division 13. They are characterized by having several yellow flowers on a stem, a strong scent, and rounded foliage.
- Blithewold’s earliest daffodils to bloom are ‘Little Gem’, ‘Ice Follies’ and ‘King Alfred,’ and the last to bloom are ‘Thalia’, ‘Mrs. Backhouse’ and poeticus ‘Actaea’. The blooms of the first to last daffodils usually last a month long, depending on the weather. Cooler temperatures, and especially cool nights, keep the flowers blooming longer.
- All parts of the daffodils are poisonous. Deer and other critters don’t eat them.
- We purchase daffodil bulbs in the fall from local nurseries or order from catalogs, including Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, John Scheepers bulbs, Van Engelen flower bulbs, and Old House Gardens Heirloom Bulbs.
- Enriching the soil with compost or an organic fertilizer is recommended when planting in the fall, and again when the green leaves appear in the spring, top dressing the soil each time. At Blithewold we do not fertilize the bulbs (there are just too many!), but we do let the foliage die back naturally to restore the bulb’s energy for the next year. Some foliage hangs on for six to eight weeks.
- Daffodils make great cut flowers. However, their stems release a substance that can harm other cut flowers arranged with them. Keep cut daffodils separate and their stems soaking for a couple of hours before adding to other flowers.
- A gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness and good fortune, especially when given in bunches. The more, the merrier!