More Information About Daffodils

 Daffodil or Narcissus?

All daffodils are Narcissus.  Narcissus is the latin or botanical name and daffodil is the common name for all flowers within the genus Narcissus.  Both names refer to the same group of flowers.

Daffodil Classification

This is Narcissus 'Trigonometry' which is in division 11a - Split-Cupped Collar Daffodils. W-P refers to the colours of the daffodil flower - W = white P = pink
This is Narcissus ‘Trigonometry’ which is in division 11a – Split-Cupped Collar Daffodils. W-P refers to the colours of the daffodil flower – W = white P = pink

In daffodil catalogues you’ll often see combinations of letters and numbers listed by the name of the daffodil; this is a helpful code to help the reader to quickly learn more about the daffodil listed.  Known as the RHS Daffodil Classification System, it is a colour coded, descriptive system that is used when registering or describing daffodils.  Developed by Dr Tom Throckmorton, an American from Iowa, this system was adopted by the RHS in 1975 and has been used ever since.  You’ll see the RHS Daffodil Classification System used in daffodil catalogues and it’s used when registering daffodil varieties.  This clever code can quickly give you a rather detailed insight into the appearance of the daffodil listed; simple codes are used to describe the division of the daffodil being described, the colour of the daffodil petal, or perianth as it’s known in more technical terms, and the colour of the daffodil’s cup or corona.  The daffodil’s petal is not just described as one colour, but by three colour codes from different areas of the petal – the colour of the outside edge of the petal is represented by one letter, then another letter is used to describe the colour of the middle of the petal and another letter will be used to describe the colour of the inner petal, next to the daffodil cup.  It’s the same for the daffodil cup or corona, which is also described by three different letters to describe the colour of the corona from the base, the middle, to the tip.  It’s a useful system, there’s nothing to be daunted or worried by, it’s quite straightforward: W stands for white, G for green, Y for yellow, P for pink, O for orange and R for red!

All daffodils are classified into one of thirteen different divisions.  Twelve of the divisions are groups defined by the appearance, or form, of the daffodil’s flower, the thirteenth division contains daffodils that are only distinguished by their botanical name.

Here’s some helpful guides explaining the Royal Horticultural Society Daffodil Classification System:

Narcissus 'Honeybird'
Narcissus ‘Honeybird’ is in Division 1 – Trumpet Daffodils Y-W The Royal Horticultural Society’s Guide – taken from a Show Schedule.

The Royal Horticultural Society’s Daffodil Classification System, taken from a Show Schedule.

The Daffodil Society’s Guide to the Daffodil System of Classification.

Publications

The Royal Horticultural Society International Daffodil Register and Classified List
The RHS is the International Registration Authority for the Genus Narcissus.  Using the register you can find daffodils by their name, the originator or registrant.

If you’d like to register a daffodil, here’s a link to the daffodil registration form.

The Daffodil, Snowdrop and Tulip Yearbook – an annual edition for amateurs and specialists growing and showing daffodils, snowdrops and tulips.

Online
Daffnet
– International daffodil discussion forum.

DaffSeek – A Daffodil Photograph Database.

The Daffodil Societies and Groups
Established in Birmingham as The Midland Daffodil Society in 1898, The Daffodil Society is the specialist society of Great Britain for all who are interested in the Genus Narcissus, by way of exhibiting, breeding or just those who love and appreciate daffodils.  If you’d like to join the Daffodil Society, please click here.  If you’d like to learn more about daffodils, here’s a link to the Daffodil Society’s website.

If you’re thinking about joining a daffodil group to meet other daffodil enthusiasts, I hope these links will help you find a group in your area.

Here’s a link to the Daffodil Society’s Mid Southern Daffodil Group Page.

Here’s a link to the Daffodil Society’s Northern Group Page.

Here’s a link to the Daffodil Society’s Wessex Group Page.

Here’s a link to the Lincolnshire Daffodil Society‘s website.

Here’s a link to the Scottish Rock Garden Club.

Here’s a link to the Northern Ireland Daffodil Group.

Narcissus ‘Dorchester’ is in Division 4- Double Daffodils. W-P refers to the colours of this daffodil’s flower – W = white, P = pink. So this daffodil would be listed as Narcissus ‘Dorchester’ 4W-P

Showing Daffodils

Have you thought about entering your daffodils into a local or national spring show?  If you’d like to enter your daffodils into one of this year’s spring shows, here’s some advice and showing tips for novice exhibitors from the Daffodil Society’s Chairman, Jackie Petherbridge.

Here’s some information from the Daffodil Society about the Judging of Exhibition Blooms.

The Daffodil Society, Society regional groups and some affiliated societies may have some restricted classes in their show schedule, here’s the 2015 list of the Daffodil Society’s Approved Cultivars For Restricted Classes.

Here’s the 2016 list of the Daffodil Society’s Approved Intermediate Cultivars.

Here’s the 2016 list of the Daffodil Society’s Approved Miniature Cultivars and Species.

For a list of 2016 Daffodil Shows and Competitions, please click here.

For a list of garden and exhibition quality daffodil bulb suppliers please click here.

Daffodils In Memory

Sponsoring one of Wakehurst Place’s bulb displays is a special way to celebrate the life of a loved one or mark a special anniversary or event.  More information can be found here.

Daffodils for Hope – Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal

Daffodils are the symbol of the Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal.  If you would like to donate or volunteer for the Marie Curie Daffodil Appeal, here’s a link to their website.

For information on beautiful Daffodil Gardens and Events to visit in 2016, please click here.

For information on places to buy exhibition, heritage and garden daffodils, please click here.

To read more about daffodils, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you………………..

To read about The Daffodil Society Mid Southern Group Spring Show at Cobham in Surrey, please click here

For information, dates, and details of 2017 Daffodil Shows and Competitions, please click here.

To read about The RHS London Spring Plant Extravaganza 2016 and see pictures of a new daffodil – a double flowered sport of Narcissus ‘Tête-à-tête’, please click here.

For information on beautiful gardens, with large collections of daffodils, to visit and daffodil events to attend in 2017, please click here.

For dates and details of specialist plant fairs, sales and swaps being held in 2017, please click here.

To read the results of my 2015 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

For tips on long flowered, easy to grow, container plants, that also benefit bees and butterflies, please click here.

For tips on protecting your plants from slugs and snails without using slug pellets, please click here.

To read about buying British-grown, seasonal cut flowers, please click here.

To read about growing indoor mushrooms, please click here.

For helpful ideas if you’re gardening on a budget, please click here.

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