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Gardening Articles: Flowers :: Bulbs

Painting with Daffodils (page 2 of 3)

by Michael MacCaskey

Gene's Favorite Daffodils

Gene's Favorite Daffodils

Gene Bauer didn't start out as a daffodil expert, but over the years she couldn't help making observations -- such as the time all 1,000 of one variety failed to bloom. (It was double-flowered 'Texas'; the buds "blasted," meaning they turned brown and failed to open.) While she grows more than 500 different varieties of daffodils, 15 varieties account for the majority of those you see. Although she doesn't have one favorite, she does count the following nine as star naturalizers in her garden. (To help you locate the same or similar varieties, I've included the name of the daffodil type.)

'Daydream'. This is a tall (14 to 16 inches) translucent yellow daffodil that matures to white. A "large-cupped" type, it produces one flower per stem. This strong garden plant blooms midseason to late season.

'Jenny'. Creamy yellow-white at first, this daffodil matures to pure white and grows 10 to 12 inches tall. A cyclamineus with the typical flared-back petals, it is a good naturalizer. Bloom is early to midseason.

'Jetfire'. Like 'Jenny', this daffodil is about two inches taller and is notable for its cups, which combine red-orange with yellow. It often produces more than one flower per bulb. Bloom comes early to midseason.

'Peeping Tom'. This daffodil produces a yellow flower with an extremely long trumpet. It's excellent for forcing in pots as well as naturalizing. It grows 12 to 14 inches tall and blooms early to midseason.

'Pink Charm'. This is a tall, sturdy daffodil with white petals accented by a wide orange cup banded in dark orange-pink at its edge. A vigorous plant, it often produces two flowers per stem. This large-cupped ty

Another large-cupped daffodil, 'Salome' is ivory white with a light yellow, almost pink cup. This excellent naturalizer wins its share of awards at daffodil shows. It grows 16 to 18 inches tall and b late midseason.

'Tahiti'. A "double" type, 'Tahiti' doesn't have the distinct central cup or trumpet. These roselike flowers are mostly sulfur yellow, but the petals in the center are nearly red. It grows 12 to 14 inches tall and produces one extremely large flower per stem. It blooms in late midseason.

'Thalia'. This daffodil was first offered for sale 80 years ago, making it a bonafide heirloom. Why has it been so popular over the years? It is a superb garden perennial that grows 12 to 14 inches tall, it's snow white and it's fragrant. 'Thalia' belongs to the triandrus category, which typically produce two or three pendulous flowers per stem. Bloom comes late midseason.

'Unique'. A double like 'Tahiti', this daffodil's flower is very heavy, so the stems are strong. The sepals (the petallike outer parts of the flower) are ivory white, and the petals are golden yellow. It grows 16 to 18 inches tall and blooms in late midseason.

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