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Irish Florists > Flowers > Daffodil

Daffodil / Narcissus

Daffodil Description

Daffodils, or narcissi, are hugely popular springtime flowers. In recent years they have been used extensively to decorate public spaces and the verges of motorways. They are inexpensive, easy to grow, and look spectacular in large drifts. William Wordsworth even wrote a famous form about this attractive flower.

Narcissus is the latin name for all varieties of the genus however the name Daffodil only applies to trumpet-types where the corona (trumpet) is as long, or longer than the flowers petals. The varieties where the corona is shorter than the petals are known as narcissi.

The first display of narcissi begins in late winter and the final displays finish in the early summer. A judicious choice of varieties can mean that gardeners can have a five month long display of narcissi.

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Cultivation of Daffodil Plants

Daffodil Flowers

Daffodils and narcissi in general do well in well-manured ground in full sun but will tolerate poorer soil and some shade. For best results fertiliser should be spread over the soil before planting. Bulbs should be planted just as soon as they are available from later summer into the autumn.

For best effect gardeners should try to achieve a natural look by planting bulbs in irregular groupings but keeping individual bulbs at least 10cm apart. Bulbs should be planted to a depth of approximately three times the height of the bulbs.

Daffodils will happily thrive when planted in lawns and other grassy areas. It is important, however that the foliage is allowed to die off naturally after flowering rather than mowing it down with the lawn mower. At the very least the foliage should be allowed to turn yellow before it is removed. Also avoid tying up the foliage as this inhibits the development of the bulbs underground and reduces the floral display in the following season.

To propagate daffodils bulbs can be lifted once the leaves have died off, usually from mid summer to early autumn. Bulb offsets should be detached and planted out in a nursery bed. The offsets will reach flowering size within two or three years.

Popular Varieties of Daffodil

The following lists some popular varieties of Daffodil.

Golden Harvest Trumpet, golden yellow flowers, very early

Trumpet, yellow blooms, early

Actaea Narcissi, yellow cup blossoms, mid season
Angels Tears Narcissi, white flowers, mid season

Narcissi, yellow double blooms,

Yellow Sun

Trumpet, yellow flowers, narrow cups, very early


Narcissi, yellow & orange double/multiple blooms

Daffodil Pests and Diseases

Daffodil and narcissi are usually problem-free but occasionally they may be subject to root rot which may stunt the growth of the bulbs.

Height 5 - 45cm

Daffodil - Scientific Classification

Planting distance: 8 to 20cm Kingdom Plantae
Flowers from late winter to early summer Order Asparagales
Well-drained, moist & humus-rich soil Family Amaryllidaceae
Sun or light shade Genus Narcissus
Bulbs available late summer to late autumn    
Flowers Index Cornflower Hyacinth Pot Marigold
African Daisy Crocus Lily Primula
Ageratum Daffodil Lily of the Valley Snapdragon
Alstroemeria Dahlia Lobelia Snowdrop
Anemone Daisy Marigold Stock
Babys Breath Delphinium Pansy Sunflower
Begonia Forget-me-Not Pelargonium Sweet Alyssum
Bells of Ireland Freesia Petunia Sweet Pea
Busy Lizzie Gladiolus Phlox Tulip
Chrysanthemum Hollyhock Poppy Wallflower

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