Best Daffodil Varieties & Species (Popular Types)
You can categorize daffodils on the basis of their flower shape and structure. There can be hundreds of hybrids and cultivars within each flower kind.
The diversity in Daffodil’s Narcissus genus is so massive that it perplexes even experienced gardeners. You can find a dozen different types of daffodils, characterized by the petals’ size and shape and the coronas.
As per the reports by the American Daffodil Society, the primary classification of daffodils is by their flower shape. Typically, the flowers have a similar two-part basic structure – A cup and a Trumpet, backed by a ring of six petals.
But beyond the flower shape, there are thirteen different classifications, which have many commonalities within them.
We will categorize them into different types based on their shape and structure but before that some important details.
Daffodil Flower Information Overview
|Native||North America and Europe|
|Plant Type||Perennial, Bulb|
|Scientific name||Narcissus spp.|
|Other names||Narcissus, Jonquil|
|Height||6 to 30 inches|
|Spread||6 to 12 inches|
|Bloom time||Late winter or spring|
|Flower color||Orange, cream, yellow, gold, white, pink, and salmons|
|Growing zones||Four through Eight|
|Toxic||To humans and pets|
Native to China, Europe, Northern Africa, Japan, and Afghanistan, Daffodils are beautiful, carefree spring flowers. They are not bothered by rodents or deer and can grow almost anywhere.
One of their standout features is that they multiply rapidly, return every spring in greater numbers, and bloom reliably for several generations. There are different types of daffodils in various shapes, colors, and sizes.
Daffodils usually grow from bulbs and look like shallots or onions in hues of orange, cream, yellow, gold, white, pink, and salmons. These are the perfect antidote to the dreary, long winters. They all have long, narrow green leaves that show in early spring and die down in summer.
Its flower stems also appear in spring, sometimes one, while other times more from every bulb, and carry anything from one dozen to more flowers.
Different Types of Daffodils
Here is a list of dazzling daffodils that you can include in your yard or garden to add a fresh burst of color.
1. Small cup
It is the smaller version of the traditional daffodils and has a small trumpet or corona, typically lesser than 1/3 of the length of the petals. Its petals and cups may have the same or different colors.
The variety blooms mid-season, and the flowers are a pasty yellow or white. These charming daffodil species grow a single medium-sized flower for every stem. Usually, the varieties bloom late in the season and have an alluring aroma.
You can grow them in average water, indirect sunlight, and well-draining soil. They are small and grow up to 14-18 inches. Hence, they are mostly grown indoors to avoid getting lost outdoors. You can also plant them in drifts in rough grass or borders.
Some popular selections include Barrett Browning, Ringtone, Polar Ice, and Eleanor Auchincloss.
2. Large cup
The large-cupped daffodils have a single flower per stem, and the cup resembles a short trumpet, which is always smaller than the petal but never less than 1/3 of the length. Its petals and cups might either be the same color or show variation.
The large cup daffodil varieties grow best in USDA Z4. They grow between 10-16 inches. You should opt for the large cupped types if you wish to include colorful clumps in your garden border. They are also perfect for spring containers in sheltered situations.
You can find them in various colors, ranging from red, peach, yellow, white, and pink, with trumpet, ruffled, or flat shapes. They thrive in full sun in well-drained soil with moderate water.
Some popular examples in this category include Pink Pride, Red Devon, Orange Progress, Professor Einstein, Ice Follies, Bantam, Carlton, Day Dream, and Salome.
Also known as long cups, the trumpet daffodils have prominent cups, which are longer than the petals. The flowers in these daffodil species are large, and the plants are vigorous. Hence, they are the perfect pick for naturalizing.
These also have a single flower for every stem and one trumpet in the center with six giant petals enveloping it. They thrive in USDA zones three through seven. They are the easiest varieties to flower and are available in various colors and shapes.
However, the traditional ones will have a yellow or a white flower type, but you can find other color variations too. Usually, these daffodil varieties grow between 14 to 18 inches, and their petals and trumpets might be the same color or different colors.
These thrive in shade or sun and require moist soil and moderate water to grow. They are ideal for bold clumps in sheltered spots, pots, containers, and borders.
Some examples in the category include Mount Hood, Dutch Master, Goblet, Yellow River, 4U2, King Alfred, Elka, and Rijnvelds Early Sensation.
4. Double daffodil
They are showy types of daffodils featuring different layers of outside petals over cups. The flower’s center is a bouquet of petals. With several double daffodils, it can often be challenging to differentiate the petals from the cups.
You will usually find one, but sometimes two flowers can also be seen for every stem. They are ideal for cutting and are usually fragrant. They look good under flowering trees and shrubs.
Some of the best daffodil varieties in this category include Tahiti, Lingerie, Double Smiles, Sherbourne, La Torce, White Lion, Golden Ducat, and Delnashaugh.
These daffodils have a large, single flower per stem with a yellow flower. Also called the Petticoat and the Golden Bell daffodils, the Bubocodium grows up to only four to six inches. It is the smallest narcissus and is an unusual multi-flowering plant with lampshade-shaped cups.
Its trumpet is exceptionally in contrast to the petals. These must be planted in the fall in well-draining soil. The best way to grow these daffodil species is by applying a five cm mulch layer after planting the bulb once the ground has frozen.
It does an excellent job of guarding the plant against any temperature drops in the winter. Its corona nestled on the flower looks like a petticoat hoop. Bubocodium yields a beautiful flower and is an excellent addition to baskets on porches, patios, or flower gardens. These daffodil varieties grow best in USDA Z6 and thrive in full sun with slightly acidic soil.
Some of the Bubocodium types include the Spoirot and Yellow Hoop.
Low-growing and tiny, the triandrus daffodils have reflexed petals, which droop downwards and flare back like columbines. They enjoy wetter conditions and yield two or more pendant flowers per stem.
Most of these daffodils are fragrant. Their flowers are smaller, and the stems are shorter than the typical daffodils. Hence, these are perfect picks for perennial containers and gardens. All the Triandrus varieties are naturalized.
These are shade tolerant and thrive in USDA hardiness zones Z5. These types of daffodils grow up to 8 to 14 inches and yield six slightly nodding flowers on shorter stems. They work well as garden borders and grow well in most types of well-draining soil, provided they receive part shade or full sun.
Some of the Triandrus varieties include Thalia, Hawers, and Angel’s Breath.
These daffodil species have petite flowers with open and small cups. It grows multiple flowers for every stem, typically in clusters. Most Jonquilla varieties are fragrant and have grass-like, narrow foliage. They are good for forcing and naturalizing.
These heat-tolerant and long-lasting daffodils are perfect for both Southern and Northern gardens. Unlike the typical types of narcissus with flat leaves, jonquils have tube-shaped, dark-green leaves that look like rushes.
Though they are traditionally yellow, you can also find them in combinations of yellow and white. These are good for naturalizing. They grow best in USDA Z4, between six to ten inches.
It is one of the varieties that look incredible in individual garden planters when grown with a mix of primroses or violas, arranged in daisy posies, or as a cut arrangement.
Some of the best daffodil varieties include Golden Echo, Pueblo, Pipit, Martinette, Silver Smiles, Bell Song, and Beautiful Eyes.
Cyclamineus consist of reflex petals and small, narrow cups. These daffodils grow gracefully and have a windswept appearance. Their tiny flowers and straight-sided trumpets make them an excellent value addition for naturalizing and look good in rock gardens and borders.
They have a single nodding flower per stem, beautified by their petals. Its corona faces downwards. Among the different varieties of daffodils are usually the first to bloom in spring and force well. Depending on the cultivator and the weather conditions, you can expect lovely blooms from early to mid-spring.
However, they may show up a little later in the season. These compact daffodils are more shade tolerant than other daffodils.
Some top Cyclamineus varieties include Jetfire, Jack Snipe, Beryl, and Peeping Tom.
These have a small flat cup that is yellow and ringed with red, orange, or green rims and large white petals. Poeticus mainly has one flower per stem, and all types of daffodils in this category are fragrant and have a spicy aroma.
These bloom from mid to late daffodil season and are the last to bloom, but they last long. Most Poeticus are excellent for naturalizing and are naturalized adjacent to a deciduous tree or in tall grasses.
They also make good cut flowers because of their long stems. Poeticus grow up to 16 inches and thrive in USDA Z5.
Some of the best types of narcissus include Actea and Pheasant’s Eye.
These daffodils have two to twenty dainty, sweetly scented, slightly upward-facing flowers for every stem. The larger the flowers, the lesser number you will see per stem. Usually, they grow between six to sixteen inches. It has smaller cuts and lasts long.
The leaves are broad, and the stems are strong and stout. They thrive in USDA zones Z8. These are less hardy than other different kinds of daffodils but are still vigorous growers.
Some of the Tazetta varieties are forced for early flowering. Tazetta is ideal for Southern and Northern gardens.
Some of the best varieties include Minnow, Golden Dawn, Grand Primo, Falconet, Geranium, and Cragford.
11. Split Corona
These are fancy daffodils divided into segments and pressed back against the petals. Such daffodil varieties are relatively smooth or frilly and have a different color than the petals enveloping them. Usually, the split-cut daffodils have larger flowers and bloom from mid to late in the blooming season.
Some of the best Split Corona types include Love Call, Lemon Beauty, and Cassata.
These daffodil species comprise smaller varieties with traditional one-stem flowers but are much smaller than the typical daffodils. They mostly grow between 10-12 inches upon maturity. Miniature Daffodils have petals flexing backward from the trumpet as they grow, primarily because the corona faces downwards as they grow.
It is a hybrid daffodil that is more shade-tolerant. Thus, they are an excellent pick for small areas and rock gardens, as the taller trees and bushes offer good shade. They need free-draining soil and moderate water to grow.
Common varieties that can be a good fit in this category are Rupture, Sailboat, and Sun Disc
These comprise the different varieties of daffodils that do not fit in either group and are placed with the intermediate types. Such daffodils are primarily a hybrid between the varieties from other groups.
They thrive in USDA Z4 and grow between six to sixteen inches. Such species are perfect for naturalizing in compact gardens. You can also use them to achieve a beautiful seasonal color.
Two of the best Miscellaneous varieties include Toto and Tete-a-Tete.
Daffodil Guide: How Deep To Plant Daffodil Bulbs | How To Take Care Of Daffodils | Best Fertilizer For Daffodils And Tulips | How To Plant Tulips And Daffodils Together
Daffodil Info and Some Facts
Ques 1. What do different colors of different kinds of daffodils mean?
Ans. Unlike tulips, roses, and other different types of flowers, daffodils usually do not carry a meaning based on color. However, generally, white flowers are a symbol of innocence and purity, and yellow is a symbol of joy. The same can apply to daffodils too.
Ques 2. Which daffodils are the most fragrant?
Ans. Narcissus Thalia is one of the most fragrant daffodil varieties. Many even refer to it as the Orchid Narcissus.
Ques 3. What is the hardiest daffodil?
Ans. Narcissus Jack Snipe is the hardiest miniature daffodil.
Ques 4. What is the rarest type of daffodil?
Ans. Maximus or Trumpet Major is the rarest daffodil variety.
Ques 5. What is the biggest daffodil?
Ans. Narcissus Gigantic Star is the biggest daffodil species.
Ques 6. How poisonous is daffodil?
Ans. Every part of the daffodil is toxic. They can result in vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea if swallowed. If you consume the bulb, it can result in an upset stomach and severe irritation of the mouth.
They are not life-threatening symptoms and usually cease after a few hours. But you must seek medical attention in case of ingestion immediately.