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Fall Bulbs 2017: The 9 Best Daffodils to Order Now

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Fall Bulbs 2017: The 9 Best Daffodils to Order Now

September 25, 2017

Have you ordered your fall bulbs yet? If not, do it today (the best varieties sell out fast). We’ve rounded up our favorite new offerings from the daffodil family (or do you say narcissus)—along with a few fragrant, rare, and antique flowers we can’t resist.

Most daffodils will come back year after year in a temperate climate (see growing zone tips in the captions below):

Narcissus ‘Blushing Lady’

A new offering from John Scheeper&#8\2\17;s this year, Narcissus &#8\2\16;Blushing Lady&#8\2\17; (\10 bulbs for \$7) was first cultivated from seed in \2003 by Brent C. Heath (of Brent and Becky&#8\2\17;s Bulbs, where Blushing Lady Daffodil also is available for \$3.45 for five bulbs). For UK gardeners:  Narcissus &#8\2\16;Blushing Lady&#8\2\17; bulbs are \10 for £9.99 from Thompson & Morgan.
Above: A new offering from John Scheeper’s this year, Narcissus ‘Blushing Lady’ (10 bulbs for $7) was first cultivated from seed in 2003 by Brent C. Heath (of Brent and Becky’s Bulbs, where Blushing Lady Daffodil also is available for $3.45 for five bulbs). For UK gardeners:  Narcissus ‘Blushing Lady’ bulbs are 10 for £9.99 from Thompson & Morgan.
The official description of ‘Blushing Lad’ (from the American Daffodil Society’s database of more than 25,000 named varieties): “Soft yellow with halo at base of cup; at maturity edges of cup develop pink flush; three blooms per stem.” They had us at “pink flush.”

Narcissus ‘Double Itzim’

A variant of &#8\2\16;Itzim&#8\2\17; (which has deep yellow coloring and orange-red mouth), &#8\2\16;Double Itzim&#8\2\17; has a ruffled double flower. Hybridized by Wim Lemmers and H.M. Meeuwissen in the Netherlands about \15 years ago, it is available from Meeuwissen; five bulbs for €6.50.
Above: A variant of ‘Itzim’ (which has deep yellow coloring and orange-red mouth), ‘Double Itzim’ has a ruffled double flower. Hybridized by Wim Lemmers and H.M. Meeuwissen in the Netherlands about 15 years ago, it is available from Meeuwissen; five bulbs for €6.50.

Narcissus ‘Edinburgh’

Ruffled Narcissus &#8\2\16;Edinburgh&#8\2\17; was named after the city in Scotland. Hybridized by P.Q.M. Pennings in the Netherlands, it grows to a height of \18 inches and is strongly scented. Colors range from orange-pink to vivid yellow at its base; five bulbs for £6 from RV Roger.
Above: Ruffled Narcissus ‘Edinburgh’ was named after the city in Scotland. Hybridized by P.Q.M. Pennings in the Netherlands, it grows to a height of 18 inches and is strongly scented. Colors range from orange-pink to vivid yellow at its base; five bulbs for £6 from RV Roger.

Narcissus ‘Eleanor Auchincloss’

A new introduction from White Flower Farm, &#8\2\16;Eleanor Auchincloss&#8\2\17; is named after the nursery founder&#8\2\17;s granddaughter. Hardy in growing zones 3-8 South (and to zone 9 in the West), six bulbs are \$\15.75.
Above: A new introduction from White Flower Farm, ‘Eleanor Auchincloss’ is named after the nursery founder’s granddaughter. Hardy in growing zones 3-8 South (and to zone 9 in the West), six bulbs are $15.75.

Narcissus ‘Geranium’

Producing up to six flowers per stem, Narcissus Tazetta &#8\2\16;Geranium&#8\2\17; has a strong fragrance and is one of our longtime favorites. Originally hybridized by J.B. van der Schoot in the Netherlands (before \1930), it is \$9.95 for \10 bulbs from Bulbs Direct. Photograph by Takashi M via Flickr.
Above: Producing up to six flowers per stem, Narcissus Tazetta ‘Geranium’ has a strong fragrance and is one of our longtime favorites. Originally hybridized by J.B. van der Schoot in the Netherlands (before 1930), it is $9.95 for 10 bulbs from Bulbs Direct. Photograph by Takashi M via Flickr.
Narcissus ‘King Alfred’

An antique variety of trumpet daffodil, golden &#8\2\16;King Alfred&#8\2\17; by English grower John Kendall, the \19th century. Reported the Gardener&#8\2\17;s Chronicle in \1899: &#8\2\20;This flower named King Alfred appears to be the outcome of a cross between N. Emperor and Maximus. The large bloom of rich uniform gold, and thick substance, recalls the features of both parents.&#8\2\2\1; A bag of \10 King Alfred bulbs is \$\13.95 at Eden Brothers. Photograph by David Boté Estrada via Flickr.
Above: An antique variety of trumpet daffodil, golden ‘King Alfred’ by English grower John Kendall, the 19th century. Reported the Gardener’s Chronicle in 1899: “This flower named King Alfred appears to be the outcome of a cross between N. Emperor and Maximus. The large bloom of rich uniform gold, and thick substance, recalls the features of both parents.” A bag of 10 King Alfred bulbs is $13.95 at Eden Brothers. Photograph by David Boté Estrada via Flickr.

Narcissus ‘Minnow’

One of our favorite miniature daffodils, Narcissus Minnow was hybridized by Alec Gray in England in the early \1960s. Useful in clumps to fill in empty spots in the garden, it grows to a height of \1\2.8 inches; 50 for \$\19 at Brent and Becky&#8\2\17;s Bulbs.
Above: One of our favorite miniature daffodils, Narcissus Minnow was hybridized by Alec Gray in England in the early 1960s. Useful in clumps to fill in empty spots in the garden, it grows to a height of 12.8 inches; 50 for $19 at Brent and Becky’s Bulbs.

Narcissus ‘Night Cap’

For a similar daffodil with a ruffled coral-red center, consider Narcissus &#8\2\16;Night Cap&#8\2\17;, hybridized by Brian Duncan of Northern Ireland and a new offering from Van Engelen Inc.; 50 bulbs for \$53.\25. Another similar choice is  Firetail if you garden in USDA growing zones 5a-7b (or to 9b on the West Coast). It is among the rarest flowers Old House Gardens offers; five bulbs for \$\16.
Above: For a similar daffodil with a ruffled coral-red center, consider Narcissus ‘Night Cap’, hybridized by Brian Duncan of Northern Ireland and a new offering from Van Engelen Inc.; 50 bulbs for $53.25. Another similar choice is  Firetail if you garden in USDA growing zones 5a-7b (or to 9b on the West Coast). It is among the rarest flowers Old House Gardens offers; five bulbs for $16.
‘Firetail’, introduced in 1910, is a descendant of the ancient Narcissus poeticus. Also known as Pheasant Eye narcissus, these varieties are fragrant, with “elegant white petals set off to great effect by a small, red-rimmed cup,” writes Kendra. See more in Gardening 101: Pheasant Eye Narcissus.

Narcissus ‘Primo’

Photograph by Howard Sooley. For more, see Order the World&#8\2\17;s Best Narcissi Online, But Please Don&#8\2\17;t Call Them Daffodils.
Above: Photograph by Howard Sooley. For more, see Order the World’s Best Narcissi Online, But Please Don’t Call Them Daffodils.

A long-time favorite of Kendra: Tazetta Daffodil Grand Primo is deer-resistant and hardy in growing zones 4-9. A bag of 100 bulbs is $32.50 from Dutch Bulbs.

N.B: Placing a bulb order or designing a spring garden? See more ideas:

Finally, get more ideas on how to successfully plant, grow, and care for daffodils with our Daffodils: A Field Guide.

Interested in other bulbs and tubers for your garden or indoor space? Get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various bulbs and tubers with our Bulbs & Tubers: A Field Guide.

Finally, get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various perennial plants with our Perennials: A Field Guide.

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