How many types of daffodils are you familiar with?
I bet that even though you might not have these beautiful flowers in your garden, you might have heard about them. And perhaps you’ve come across our article on Why You Should Deadhead Daffodils After They Bloom.
Thus, I trust that you probably have some basics on daffodils.
With this in mind, I feel that I should at least discuss the different types of daffodils you can grow in your garden should you plan to.
This article is about varieties of daffodils to consider ranging from the most common type of daffodils like the yellow trumpet daffodils to the most beautiful daffodil like the Jet fire.
In it, you’ll also find the largest daffodil type i.e. the Gigantic Star Daffodils as well as the hardiest daffodil like the Carlton – ‘Narcissus Carlton’.
How to Identify Daffodils
There are two ways in which daffodils can be classified i.e. by color or, through division.
When classifying daffodils through division, you find several daffodils such as small cupped daffodils, trumpet daffodils and, split-cupped corona daffodils among others.
On the other hand, when you use color to identify daffodils, then you must first identify the division, followed by the color of the petals and the corona.
In this case, you’re most likely to find whit-flowered daffodils such as Actaea (Narcissus 'Actaea) found in zones 3 to 7b and, Narcissus 'Mount Hood in zones 3 to 8 among others.
Another example is the spellbinder (Narcissus 'Spellbinder) in zones 3 to 8.
The other group is the golden-colored daffodils which include the yellow and orange daffodils which according to HomeGuides are by far the most widespread daffodil types in most gardens.
Examples of such daffodils are the Lemon Glow daffodil (Narcissus 'Lemon Glow') in zones 3 to 8, bi-colored Tahiti (Narcissus 'Tahiti') also in zones 3-8 and, orange-tinged daffodils such as the Barrett Browning (Narcissus 'Barrett Browning') in zones 3-8.
Lastly, there are the pink-flowered daffodils which are not truly pink but contain pink-tinted shades of orange or yellow. These daffodils lose color quickly when exposed to direct sunlight and hence grow best under some shade.
Examples of pink daffodil cultivars include; Mrs. R.O. Backhouse (Narcissus 'Mrs. R.O. Backhouse') in zones 3 through 9 and, Precocious (Narcissus 'Precocious') found in zones 3 through 8b.
How to Differentiate Between a Daffodil and a Jonquil
Daffodils display slim, sword-tipped leaves while jonquils have slender leaves with rounded tips.
The stems of jonquils are hollow and shorter as compared to those of daffodils.
Looking at the flower shape and hue, daffodils have longer corollas which come in pink, white, peach, and a variety of other colors.
On the other hand, the corollas of jonquils are shorter and grow in yellow hues only.
Types of Daffodils to Consider for Your Garden
1. Trumpet Daffodils
Trumpet daffodils are also referred to as long-cup daffodils. These daffodils are large with greyish-green foliage and long trumpets.
They produce a single blossom per stem with a corona that’s just as long as or longer than the outer tepals.
The flowers come in a wide range of colors including; yellow, white and other combinations, especially on the orange side. Plus, they’re strongly scented.
Due to their abundance of bright blossoms, trumpet daffodils are excellent at bringing out strong and large visual effects in garden spaces including urban parks.
Notable trumpet varieties include; ‘M.P. Milner’ white and, ‘Dutch Master’ bright yellow.
All trumpet daffodils are ideal for any garden setting i.e. in the grass, under trees/shade, in sun or rock gardens.
2. Large-cupped Daffodils
Large-cupped daffodils are one of the most popular types of daffodils. They consist of a single large flower on each stem with eminent cup styles including, bowl-shaped or trumpet-like and, smooth, flat or ruffled edges.
Apart from this, the large-cupped daffodils present a wide range of colors from red to peach, white, yellow and pink. They are a great addition to containers/gardens to bring out symmetry and glamour.
These mid-spring bloomers are mostly used for picking, forcing, showing, bending and, naturalizing.
The large-cupped daffodils grow best in zone 3 through 8.
Examples of large-cupped daffodils include; Narcissus ‘Carlton’, Narcissus ‘Sentinel’, Narcissus ‘Pink charm’ and, Narcissus ‘Salome’.
3. Small-cupped Daffodils
The small-cupped Daffodils are characterized by medium-sized flowers, one bloom on each stem and a small cup/corona.
They are mid-season bloomers and they come as beautiful bicolored varieties with deeply colored cups and flawlessly formed white and pale petals.
This division of daffodils is very adaptable and grows easily in full or part shade in average, medium, and well-drained soils. They generally grow to about 14 to 16 inches tall.
Small-cupped daffodils are mostly used as visual effect additions to naturalized spaces, around shrubs, in borders, beds, containers or under deciduous trees.
Examples of small-cupped daffodils are Narcissus ’Barrett Browning’ and Narcissus ‘Verger’ among others.
4. Triandrus Daffodils
Triandrus daffodils are sometimes known as ‘Angels’ Tears’. They are different from other daffodils in that they have bell-shaped cups from which petals appear to be flexed or pulled back. Hence, the cup is more striking.
The white or yellow flowers appear in mid to late spring in 2 or more small to medium-sized blossoms per stem. Plus, they face downwards and have a strong fragrance.
Due to their short stems and small flowers, a majority of gardeners deem it good to have these shade-tolerant flowering plants in containers and rock gardens.
Narcissus ‘Ice Wings’, Narcissus ‘Thalia’ and, Narcissus ‘Hawera’ are some of the daffodil varieties in this group.
5. Jonquilla Daffodils
Jonquilla daffodils are greatly fragrant and feature small flowers with wide and short petals held to the cups at right angles. These flowers can be 2, 3 or more (up to 6) in one stem.
The cups of Jonquilla daffodils aren’t usually large. They’re half the petal’s length.
These late-spring bloomers grow best in sunny locations with warm soils and humid conditions. The foliage of division 7 daffodils is rush/grass-like.
This type of daffodil is mostly used in naturalizing and forcing.
Examples of Jonquilla daffodils are Narcissus ‘Bell Song’ (Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit winner), Narcissus ‘Sail Boat’ and, Narcissus ‘Pipit’.
6. Split-Corona Daffodils
Split corona daffodils are a bit different from other daffodils in that their coronas are cut into a series of petals as opposed to a whole corona. These coronas can either be smooth or ruffled and sometimes can be of a different color from the outer tepals.
They’re late-spring bloomers and produce large flowers on strong stems hence ideal for vases or as cut flowers.
The split-corona daffodils are most suitable as focal points in gardens or flower beds and borders with other flowers.
A mature split-corona daffodil can reach a height of up to 2 feet(60cm).
Varieties of split-corona daffodils include; Narcissus ‘Orangery’ and Narcissus ‘Lemon Beauty.
7. Double Daffodils
Double daffodils are probably one of the most eye-catching, sweet-scented daffodils around the world. They usually look more like carnations or peonies due to their packed rows of ruffles and petals.
This division of daffodils consists of daffodils with doubled trumpets, those with a double row of petals or both. These mid to late-spring bloomers produce one flower per stem and sometimes more flowers. The flower color ranges from yellow, and white to peach, red or pink.
Just like other types of daffodils, this division grows best in well-drained medium-average soils in either full sun or part shade.
A few examples of double daffodils include; the Narcissus ‘Sweet Pomponette’, Narcissus ‘White Lion’, Narcissus ‘Double Smiles’, Narcissus ‘Cheerfulness’, Narcissus ‘Sherborne’, Narcissus ‘Delnashaugh’, Narcissus ‘Tahiti’, Narcissus ‘Lingerie’, Narcissus ‘La Torch’ and, Narcissus ‘Golden Ducat’.
8. Tazetta Daffodils
The Tazetta Daffodils include short-cupped, medium-to-small flowers. Each stem of a Tazetta daffodil can produce between 3 and 20 flower heads.
Compared to other types of daffodils, the Tazetta types are less hardy, especially in the Northern climates but, they perform best in USDA Zones 5 through 9. These drought-tolerant plants bloom in mid to late spring.
In wet-winter and dry-summer climates, the Tazetta daffodils are perfect for forcing and naturalizing. In addition to this, they can also be used for cutting.
Some noteworthy varieties in this category include; Narcissus ‘Geranium’, Narcissus ‘Golden Dawn’ and, Narcissus ‘Cragford’ among others.
9. Poeticus Daffodils
Poeticus Daffodils are late-spring bloomers with large white petals and a strong fragrance. They have small, flattened cups with green, orange or red rims.
These perennial daffodils usually produce one flower per stem in late spring. Due to their long stems, the Poeticus daffodils are excellent as cut flowers. Furthermore, these daffodils appear gorgeous naturalized in tall grasses or adjacent to a deciduous tree.
A good example of Poeticus daffodil is the Narcissus ‘Actaea’.
10. Cyclamineus Daffodils
Cyclamineus daffodils consist of small, narrow cups and reflexed petals. These daffodils grow gracefully with straight-sided trumpets and small flowers.
They’re among the first daffodil hybrids to flower. Depending on weather conditions and the cultivar, expect beautiful blooms from early to mid-spring and sometimes later in the season.
Furthermore, these miniature daffodils are more shade tolerant than several other daffodil cultivars. Plus, they naturalize easily.
So, if you’re looking for daffodils for forcing, rock gardens, or pots/containers, Cyclamineus daffodils are an excellent choice!
Some examples of Cyclamineus daffodils are Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ and Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’.
11. Bulbocodium Daffodils
Also known as dwarf/petticoat daffodils, the Bulbocodium daffodils have large, funnel-shaped coronas with very thin outer petals.
The flowers of petticoat daffodils are quite small they’re the smallest of all other daffodil types. Due to their tiny nature, Bulbocodium daffodils are mainly used for low beds and rock gardens. They’re also great for containers and gravel gardens.
These low-growing flowering plants bloom profusely producing 3 to 5 blooms per bulb for a long season. They thrive best in sunny conditions and acidic soils.
Owing to fast multiplication and self-seeding nature, these daffodils are excellent for naturalizing.
Those have been the different types of daffodils that you can easily grow in your garden. These beautiful garden plants are one of the most popular bulb plants for most gardens. Moreover, daffodils easily adapt to numerous growing conditions and soil types.
Nevertheless, well-drained soils that are fertile, deep and, rich in organic matter promote good performance in daffodils.
And like you’ve seen, daffodils come in a wide range of colors including pink, white, orange and yellow all of which, fit quite well in most garden color schemes. Plus, they have their way of appearing just when a few other plants in the garden aren’t in bloom thereby, bringing a majestic scenery in spring.
However, in as much as daffodils are a beautiful addition to your garden, these bulb-forming perennial garden plants are toxic to both humans and animals. Therefore, be careful not to ingest any part of this plant.
The lycorine, (an alkaloid compound) in this plant causes vomiting and gastrointestinal cramping. Severe poisoning can lead to convulsions and cardiac arrhythmias.