Daffodil Facts and Terminology


Daffodils are among the easiest plants to grow, and the rewards far outweigh the work. Of the major groups of bulbs, daffodils are the only truly reliable perennials, and the blooming season can be as long as two months if the right varieties are chosen.

Even seasoned gardeners will experience a treat with the fascinating variety of colors, forms and sizes available in today's daffodils. Gardeners with greenhouses can have a six-month season, beginning in October, and going through winter, when the daffodils planted outdoors begin their season of bloom.

Daffodil Terminology

NARCISSUS - DAFFODIL - All Daffodils are members of the genus Narcissus. Daffodil is the common name for all Narcissus, and preferred name to use, except when referring to a particular species, i.e. Narcissus triandrus.

JONQUIL - is a term used incorrectly in some parts of the country to refer to all daffodils. A jonquil hybrid is descended from and resembles one of the Narcissus jonquilla group.

CULTIVAR - a cultivated variety, a hybrid, originated (bred) in someone's garden. All but the species are considered cultivars and all have non-Latin names.

PERIANTH - the three petals and three sepals (back petals) of a daffodil.

CORONA, CUP or TRUMPET - all refer to the same part of a daffodil's anatomy, being that part which protrudes from the perianth. Cup and corona are used interchangeable for most divisions, while trumpet is used exclusively for Division 1 daffodils. Also, large or long-cup are both used interchangeably for Division 2, and small or short-cup for Division 3.