It's that time of year. And of course, the big yellow Dutch Master (King Alfred) Daffodils are still No. 1. But this year, I'm amazed at the choices of our fall bulb customers. That's "Misty Glenn" at left, a daffodil with a handsome green eye, and guess what? It's one of the top sellers. The pinks, the doubles, and all the beautiful miniatures are all popular. Misty Glenn was a surprise to me. I told our importer I didn't think many people would want a green daffodil, but she insisted we try it. And wow, was I wrong! Our members love it. In our exclusive Biltmore Bulbs, chosen by the expert gardeners at North Carolina's famous Biltmore Estate, the big winner is Rosy Cloud, a really beautiful one with a fluffy pink center. (Right) One of the great doubles is "Smokey Bear", a bright yellow and orange entry. (bottom of the three at bottom) Then there are the "wild" ones. The true Jonquil, "Suzy" (bottom, center) is always a favorite among the little daffodils, and the "Hoop Petticoat" antique (not pictured) is actually what some daffodils looked like before the hybridizers got their hands on them. Everybody loves another ancient one, "Thalia", the famous early-blooming butterfly-like triandrus daffodil in creamy white. (top of the three at the bottom) My personal favorite is Actaea, the most popular version of the "Poet's Daffodil," (Left) Also, often called "Old Pheasant's Eye" for obvious reasons, this is an ancient one. It's the one Linnaeus, the famous early Swedish botanist who designed our botanical naming system, named Narcissus poeticus. He simply decided the Roman poets were writing about this one when they told the story of Narcissus, the handsome young man who gave us the "Narcissus Complex." Don't know that story? Click here to read all about it. And remember, all these flowers are named named Narcissus, botanically. Some narcissus species are named Jonquil. And they're all called by the common name, Daffodil. It's planting time! Make your choices!
September 15, 2008.