By Katie Stannard, Matthaei-Nichols Summer Intern Coordinator & Front Desk Lead
Perhaps this spring you’ve wandered lonely as a cloud and happened to spy some delightful daffodils… ahhh. Whether a single bloom or captivating cluster, daffodils herald the much-anticipated arrival of spring, right when we need them the most. Even on cloudy, rainy, or snowy days they seem to shine a flashlight of hope in whatever little corner of the yard or garden they occupy.
By the numbers, daffodils come in more than 13,000 known varieties of, 13 classification divisions based on shape and lineage (see the American Daffodil Society for details), and they feature coloration from white to yellow, pink, orange, red, and green.
Dating as far back as the 1200s, daffodils—even some more commonly available varieties such as Pheasant’s Eye (Narcissus poeticus recurvus) and Jonquils (N. jonquilla)—and are also sought after for perfumery.
For midwestern gardeners, daffodils grow best in sunny to lightly shaded sites in well-drained soil. With care or benign neglect, even a small number of bulbs can naturalize readily.
However you count them, here are a few of the many shapes, forms and colors for your enjoyment.
Old House Gardens-Heirloom Bulbs
Gardening Know How
The Perfume Society
The Poetry Foundation
Spring Blooming Bulbs: An A to Z Guide to Classic and Unusual Bulbs for Your Spring Garden. Brooklyn Botanic Garden 21st-Century Gardening Series. Brooklyn, New York, 2002.