As summer begins to fade and days shorten, gardeners start planning next year’s displays, and of course, they want them bigger and better. If you think Narcissus, with careful variety selection, this popular spring flower can give you 150 days of dazzling bloom. That's how long daffodils can last.
The humble daffodil is available in thousands of different varieties. Each features variations in colour, size, shape, scent and flowering time. With successful planning, you could have daffodils bloom from January until May. Narcissus is a flower renowned for bringing hope in the new year and lifting the spirit during winter doldrums.
The origins of Narcissus
Narcissus was the river god Cephissus’s son in Greek Mythology. Many people fell in love with a man blessed with beauty but lacking empathy; he was insensitive and turned away many a suitor.
The story unfolds that he caught the attention of a nymph called Echo in the woods. Her eyes were drawn to his beauty, and she immediately fell in love with him.
Echo tried to hug Narcissus, but he rebuffed her. She spent her days searching the woods until she withered and all that remained was a mere echo in the wind.
Nemesis learned what happened and punished Narcissus, leading him to a pool where he became fixated upon his reflection. Upon realising his likeness could not return favour, he could bear it no longer and ended his days falling into the water and was gone.
The deities took pity on his grieving mother, and from his essence was born a flower whose eye looks down, hoping to see its reflection.
We’ve created a daffodil calendar with suggestions for narcissus varieties that will give you pleasure for months to come.
Narcissus’ January’ has medium-sized bright golden yellow trumpet flowers that will flower throughout January until the end of February.
Narcissus ’Spring Dawn’ will flower throughout January and February. These large trumpets have a dark golden yellow central corona surrounded by pale yellow outer petals.
Narcissus ‘February Gold’ has medium-sized classical golden flowers and will blossom freely throughout February. At the beginning of the bulb season, the bright yellow varieties help warm the soul and lift the spirit in the darkness of winter.
Narcissus ‘Tete a Tete’ is the common classic variety that will flower from February until the end of March. It has small yellow flowers with reflexed petals.
Narcissus ’Sweetness’ has small-sized trumpet flowers in bright golden yellow, with each flowering stem holding up to 5 individual blossoms.
Narcissus ‘Jetfire’ will create a sea of blooms with yellow outer petals with a dark orange centre. An excellent variety for planting in a mixed planted border or planting around the base of rose bushes to add colour to the bottom of the bare stems in early spring.
Narcissus ’Ice King’ is a large flowering variety with large pure white blooms with a frilly centre. A great selection to grow in a shady spot as the white will help reflect light. The pom-pom-like flowers are up to 10cm in size. When in full colour, the impressive blooms are a talking point in the garden.
Narcissus ’Minnow’ is a miniature daffodil with outer cream petals and a pale lemon central corona. Each stem holds up to five individual blooms. This variety is ideal for containers or naturalising on a lawn.
Narcissus ‘Camelot’ has large bright yellow trumpets of colour that will last throughout April in the garden.
Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ Select is a classical yellow Daffodil that will start flowering at the end of March and throughout April. This heritage variety will flower for a long time.
Narcissus ’Quail’ has highly scented small yellow blooms, with each flowering stem having up to three individual flowers.
Narcissus ‘Verger’ is a pheasant’s eye variety with large white petals and a dark orange central corona. This highly prolific flowering variety is ideal for cut flowers with good vase life.
Narcissus ’Doll Baby’ is an elegant daffodil with pale yellow outer flowers and a pale salmon-coloured central corona. It is ideal for planting in drifts in borders or lawns.
Narcissus ’Tresamble’ is a pure white Daffodil with multiple heads on each flower stem.
Narcissus ’Angels Whisper’ has delicate soft lemon shaded blooms carried in 3 or 5 flowers per flowering stem. Each flower is highly perfumed, filling the air with a sweet scent making this variety perfect for planting in a pot near a doorway or a garden border near a garden entrance.
Narcissus ’Starlight Sensation’ small white flowers produced in abundance filling the air with an intense fruity scent