A Border of Daffodils

pink-silk-jpg.jpgA wonderful planting of daffodils borders the garden complex known as the Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens in the Springfield Botanical Gardens in Springfield, Missouri.
The daffodil varieties in this border are so uniquely engaging and so valuable to visitors in helping them choose special daffodils for their own home gardens that we've given it its own section here.
      Cindy Arrowood, a former president of the Master Gardeners of Greene County, clearly has taken great care in planning, planting, and keeping up the Daffodil Border. She tells us that she plans to add even more varieties in the near future.
      You can visit this remarkable collection in the Springfield Botanical Gardens at 2400 S. Scenic in Springfield.
      All but the first of the following photos were taken in early April. Please enjoy.

      Note: If you'd like to quickly and easily learn the most important facts about daffodils (you won't be sorry!) visit the American Daffodil Society page here.

The Beginning

Shown here just as shoots are beginning to emerge, the Daffodil Border faces south and runs along the rustic wood fence of the beautiful Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens.

'Chromacolor' Daffodil

'Chromacolor' is a superb large-cupped daffodil, the largest pink daffodil in existence, with flowers measuring some 5 inches. The petals are pure white and the cup a ruffled coral pink. The plant grows to 17 inches tall and the flowers are also fragrant. American-bred, this marvelous daffodil has won the British Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit and in 2007 the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

'Dutch Master' Daffodil

If you find this beautiful trumpet daffodil available at the nursery, online, or wherever, best snap it up because it goes very quickly in the marketplace. 'Dutch Master', also known as 'King Alfred Improved', is said to have been America's favorite daffodil for decades. The plant grows to 18 inches tall and the flowers are a very rich yellow with a beautifully ruffled cup. One of the best daffodils for naturalizing, it does well in sun or shade and is also deer-resistant.

'Jack Snipe' Narcissus

'Jack Snipe' (Narcissi cyclamineus) is a cyclamineus daffodil, meaning that it has strongly reflexed, or or swept-back, petals and longer cups. It grows to 10 inches tall and forms attractive clumps said to reappear and spread for many, many years.

'Pink Silk' Daffodil

We can't imagine finding a lovelier Daffodil than 'Pink Silk'. Often presented as a show flower, the blossom has pristine white petals and a ruffled cup of the subtlest pink imaginable. This one can grow to 24 inches high and gardeners say it's "simply superb" in the garden. 

'Las Vegas' Daffodil

The 'Las Vegas' Daffodil features crisp white outward-curving petals and very large, vivid yellow trumpets. It grows to 18 inches tall. Note: 'Las Vegas' is so striking that in 2010 it was named the 2010 UK Daffodil of the Year.

'Golden Echo' Jonquil

The 'Golden Echo' Jonquil (Narcissus jonquilla 'Golden Echo') features a beguiling combination of creamy white petals and an unusually long golden yellow cup with a "shadow" of yellow color at its base. A new hybrid, it grows vigorously from 12 to 24 inches tall and naturalizes beautifully. Note: The flowers are unusually fragrant.

'Lemon Glow' Daffodil

'Lemon Glow' is a large-trumpet daffodil with pale petals with a hint of yellow and a ruffled, lemon-yellow cup that turns white with yellow edges.The plant grows to 14 inches tall and the flowers measure 5 inches. The softness of its coloration makes it especially appealing to many.

'Jetfire' Daffodil

'Jetfire' is an early blooming cyclamineus (see 'Jack Snipe' above) daffodil with bright yellow petals and a narrow orange-red cup. It grows to 14 inches tall and the flowers are very fragrant. Considered one of the most beautiful and longest-lasting of all daffodils, 'Jetfire' received the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit in 1995.

'Modern Art' Daffodil

As you can see in the picture, 'Modern Art' is a most unusual daffodil. Classified as a large-cup type, it features yellow petals and a curiously compound orange-tinted cup that in a short time can look a bit messy. The plant grows to 22 inches tall and the flowers are fragrant.

'Rapture' Daffodil

The 'Rapture' Daffodil flower is often compared to a shooting star for its deeply swept-back petals and long narrow cup. A cyclamineus daffodil (see 'Jack Snipe' above), the plant grows to 12 inches tall. Always perfect in form, the flowers often appear as show flowers. 'Rapture' also in 1997 won the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

'Bravoure' Daffodil

'Bravoure' is a large-trumpet daffodil famed for its unusually smooth texture, perfectly formed pristine white petals, slender, flaring yellow cup, and engaging splash of color at the cup base. The clump-forming plant grows to about 18 inches tall and is a winner of both the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit and in 2002 the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

'Palmares' Daffodil

The 'Palmares' Daffodil is considered by many to be among the most beautiful of all daffodils for its white petals and very delicately pink, unusually ruffled split cup. The plant grows to 16 inches tall and while it basically requires a sunny exposure, is said to do unusually well in the shade.

'Red Devon' Narcissus

The 'Red Devon' Daffodil, also known as the Red Devon Narcissus, is a large-cupped daffodil with yellow petals and a flaring orange cup. It grows to 18 inches tall. Often exhibited as a show flower, 'Red Devon' has won numerous awards in the Netherlands and England.

'Cassata' Daffodil

'Cassata' is one of the Butterfly Daffodils, whose name comes from their broad, flat, split cups said to resemble open-winged butterflies. 'Cassata' features a cup that opens folds back so widely that it almost entirely covers its pristine white petals. At first bright yellow, the cup soon begins turning white, creating for a time a lovely white-and-yellow combination and making this daffodil a strong presence in any garden.

'Professor Einstein' Daffodil

First appearing in 1946, 'Professor Einstein' has since become a favorite daffodil of gardeners all over the world. The flowers feature broad, overlapping white petals and a shallow scarlet-orange cup. The plant grows to 18 inches tall. Highly vigorous, it's one of the very best daffodils for naturalizing, and once established will return for many, many years.

'Professor Einstein' Up Close

A closer look at 'Professor Einstein' reveals the full beauty of the flower's remarkable "eye."

'Sempre Avanti' Daffodil

'Sempre Avanti' is Italian for "always forward." It's also the name of this highly engaging long-cup, large-cup trumpet daffodil. Growing to 16 inches tall, it features white, slightly swept-back petals and a gold-orange cup.

'Tahiti' Daffodil

The 'Tahiti' Daffodil has become a great favorite of growers, gardeners, and lovers of cut flowers alike, and it's hardly a wonder. This remarkable daffodil features fully double flowers with white-and-yellow petals and unique orange-and-yellow split cups The plant is exceptionally vigorous and grows to a height of 14 inches. The flowers are long-lasting.

'Tahiti' Up Close

A closer view of 'Tahiti' reveals the flower's gorgeous interior.

'Quail' Jonquil

The 'Quail' Jonquil (Narcissus jonquilla 'Quail') is a very fragrant, richly golden yellow jonquil that produces two or more sweetly scented flowers on each stem. The flowers have a very smooth texture, deeply overlapping petals, and a ruffled cup. Growing to 14 inches tall, it's exceedingly vigorous and naturalizes easily and most prolifically in the garden and landscape. In 2007 'Quail' won the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

'Kokopelli' Daffodil

'Kokopelli' is a marvelous miniature daffodil that produces an abundance of small, button-eyed, highly fragrant bright yellow flowers. The winner of many show prizes, this unique plant grows to 12 inches tall and produces 3-5 flowers per stem, making it especially striking when planted en masse in the garden or landscape. In 2007 'Kokopelli' won the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

'Brackenhurst' Daffodil

'Brackenhurst' is a very striking large-cupped daffodil with bright yellow petals and a very neat reddish-orange trumpet. An early bloomer whose flowers last longer than the average, it won the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit in 2008.

'Brackenhurst' Up Close

A close view of 'Brackenhurst' emphasizes the flower's uniquely beautiful shape.

'Thalia' Daffodil

With its pure white petals and trumpet, 'Thalia' is a gorgeous heirloom daffodil dating back to at least 1916 and often described as "the whitest of the whites." The plant grows to 14 inches tall, does well in sunny or mostly shady spots, and bears fragrant flowers from early spring to late spring.

'Sailboat' Daffodil

The 'Sailboat' Daffodil is named for the resemblance of its pure white petals to the windswept sails of a sailboat. The cups are ruffled and funnel-shaped and start out pale yellow and turn white as they mature. This daffodil grows to 10 inches tall and naturalizes easily. As if it weren't charming enough already, the flowers are sweetly fragrant.

'Tropical Sunset' Daffodil

'Tropical Sunset' is a vigorous daffodil with white petals and a large, lovely, ruffled yellow cup with a tinge of orange. Growing to 18 inches tall, it has real presence in any garden or landscape. Don't think too long about buying this one if you see it in the marketplace, as it tends to sell out very early.

'Falconet' Daffodil

The 'Falconet' Daffodil is much-loved by gardeners for its bright gold petals, small deep-orange cups, and very, very fragrant flowers. The plant grows to 14 inches tall and blooms profusely in mid-spring with up to 8 flowers per stem. In 2007 the American Daffodil Society's honored it with the Wister Award for outstanding garden merit.

'Beautiful Eyes' Daffodil

The 'Beautiful Eyes' Daffodil is a bit chameleonesque in that the petals are first yellow then gradually turn white as they mature. This forms a beautiful ground for the lovely eye. The plant grows to 14 inches tall. Bonus: the flowers are sweetly fragrant.

'Fragrant Rose' Daffodil

The 'Fragrant Rose' Daffodil is said to be the one daffodil that has the true scent of a rose. This large-cupped beauty is also distinctive for its perfectly formed white petals and pink cup with a blush of red. It grows to 16 inches or taller in full sun or part shade, naturalizes beautifully, and is another official winner, having in 2005 won the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

'Hawera' Miniature Daffodil

'Hawera' is a miniature daffodil that in mid to late spring bears an abundance of tiny, fragrant, bright-lemon-yellow flowers with rounded cups and swept-back petals. Growing to 8 inches tall, it naturalizes beautifully and its size makes it especially engaging in rock gardens, containers, or wherever a delicate touch might be desired. In 2008 'Hawera's' virtues won it the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

How Tiny Is It?

How small is 'Hawera'? Here's the answer, believe it or not.

'Intrigue' Daffodil

Thought by many one of the most engaging of all daffodils, 'Intrigue' features bright yellow petals and a pale yellow cup. In addition, a soft ring of white about the cup has earned it the name "the daffodil with a halo." The plant grows to 16 inches tall and the flowers are sweetly fragrant. In 1996 it won the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

'Silver Chimes' Daffodil

The 'Silver Chimes' Daffodil features silvery white petals and a pale yellow cup and can bear from 3 to 20 very small flowers per stem. The plant can grow to 24 inches tall in full sun and naturalizes beautifullly. The flowers are also sweetlly fragrant. Note: If you like this daffodil, don't dawdle when it comes on the market in the fall. It tends to sell out early.

'Sorbet' Daffodil

The 'Sorbet' Daffodil is as appetizing to look at as its name, and we have to admit it may be our favorite of all of the marvelous flowers in the border. A daffodil of the split-cup type, it features lovely, uniform white petals and a gorgeous star-like cup marked by beautiful rays of yellow tinged with orange. It can grow to 18 inches tall and naturalizes easily, making it a winner on all counts.

'Stint' Daffodil

'Stint' is an extremely popular daffodil prized most for the soft yellow color of its petals and cup. Bearing two or three flowers per stem in late spring, it grows to 12 inches tall and naturalizes beautifully. Because of the subtlety of its coloring, it's best planted in clusters. Note: This is another daffodil that tends to sell out early when it comes onto the market in fall.

'Actaea' Daffodil

The 'Actaea' Daffodil in late spring bears gorgeous flowers with pristine white, rounded petals and a small yellow cup ringed with dark red, flowers that are even more striking against its dark green foliage. Thriving in virtually any exposure from full sun to full shade, this daffodil grows to 16 inches tall and naturalizes extremely well.  Bonuses: 'Actaea's' blossoms have a spicy fragrance and make superb cut flowers.

'Actaea' Up Close

A closer view of 'Actaea' reveals the beauty of its tiny cup.

'Tripartite' Daffodil

The 'Tripartite' Daffodil produces 2 to 4 lemon yellow flowers on each stem, each with overlapping petals and an unusual, "butterfly-like" split cup. The plant can grow to 24 inches tall and the flowers have an exceptionally sweet fragrance. In 1999 'Tripartite' won the American Daffodil Society Wister Award for Outstanding Garden Merit.

Is This the 'By George' Daffodil?

We're not at all sure that this daffodil is correctly labeled in the border, as the few sources we find identify 'By George' as having a long orange cup. We had to post the photo nonetheless because we do really like the play between the yellow petals and the creamy white, wide, ruffled cup. If you have any idea of the correct varietal name of this one, please share it with us. Meanwhile, we'll try to get it correctly identified.

'Pheasant's Eye' Daffodil

The 'Pheasant's Eye' Daffodil is famed for the beautiful contrast between its tiny yellow, red-ringed cup and regally swept-back, pristine white petals. This daffodil blooms in early spring, thrives in full sun to mostly shady exposures, and grows to 14 inches tall. The striking flowers are also fragrant and make superb cut flowers.

The 'Pheasant's Eye' Up Close

A closer look at the 'Pheasant's Eye' Daffodil and its tiny, beautiful "eye."

'Small Talk' Daffodil

'Small Talk' is a miniature delight, a very-early-blooming daffodil that grows to only 5 inches tall and bears exceptionally lovely flowers with tiny star-shaped petals and perfectly formed little trumpets.

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