Plants - Flower Bulbs

A nod to fragrant daffodils

By
Stephen Westcott-Gratton
Photography by
Jerry Pavia

Learn how to care for your narcissus and choose a few sweet-smelling cultivars to plant in the fall


Eight fragrant favourites
Here are eight of my all-time fragrant favourites; all are available at nurseries and through mail-order outlets.

‘Actaea’ daffodil (Narcissus ‘Actaea’)
A white perianth with a shallow yellow corona edged with vivid red; 8.5 cm wide.
Height (cm): Division 9, Late-season, 40 cm
Notes: Larger, earlier flowers than its look-alike relative, old pheasant’s eye (N. poeticus var. recurvus). Raised by G. Lubbe & Son (Holland), pre-1919. Highly scented, AGM 1993

‘Cheerfulness’ daffodil (N. ‘Cheerfulness’)
3 or 4 double white flowers per stem, with a creamy yellow centre; 5.5 cm wide.
Height (cm): Division 4, Mid-season, 40 cm
Notes: A sport of N. ‘Elvira’ (1902) discovered by J. B. van der Schoot (Holland), pre-1923. Scented, AGM 1995

‘February Gold’ daffodil (N. ‘February Gold’)
Perianth is vivid yellow with a slightly darker golden corona; 7.5 cm wide.
Height (cm): Division 6, Early season, 30 cm
Notes: A cross between N. ‘Golden Spur’ (1885) and N. cyclamineus, raised by the de Graaff Bros. (Holland) pre-1923. Lightly scented, AGM 1993

‘Geranium’ daffodil (N. ‘Geranium’)
Up to 6 flowers per stem with a white perianth and bright orange-red corona; 5.5 cm wide.
Height (cm): Division 8, Mid-season, 35 cm
Notes: The progeny of the Poetaz daffodil (N. x medioluteus), introduced by J. B. van der Schoot, pre-1930. Scented, AGM 1995

‘Hawera’ daffodil (N. ‘Hawera’)
6 to 8 flowers per stem with canary yellow perianth and slightly paler, shallow corona; 4 cm wide.
Height (cm): Division 5, Mid-season, 20 cm
Notes: A hybrid between N. jonquilla and N. triandrus raised in New Zealand by Dr. W. M. Thomson, pre-1938. Scented, AGM 1996.

‘Little Gem’ daffodil (N. ‘Little Gem’)
Vivid yellow perianth and a bright yellow corona with darker gold rim; 4 cm wide.
Height (cm): Division 1, Early season, 14 cm
Notes: A selection from N. minor, registered by J. Gerritsen & Son (Holland), 1959. Lightly scented, AGM 1997.

‘Quail’ daffodil (N. ‘Quail’)
2 to 3 flowers per stem with a golden yellow perianth and a long, slightly darker gold corona; 4 cm wide.
Height (cm): Division 7, Mid-season, 40 cm
Notes: A hybrid between N. ‘Daydream’ (1960) and N. jonquilla, bred by Grant E. Mitsch (Oregon, USA), 1974. Scented, AGM 1998.

‘Tête-à-Tête’ daffodil (N. ‘Tête-à-Tête’)
2 to 3 flowers per stem with a brilliant yellow perianth and a slightly darker corona; 6.5 cm wide.
Height (cm): Division 12, Early season, 15 cm
Notes: Alec Gray (Cornwall, U.K.) selected this hardy, open-pollinated progeny from the tender N. ‘Cyclataz’ (pre-1922), and introduced it as ‘Tête-à-Tête’ in 1949. Lightly scented, AGM 1993.

 

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