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  • Writer's pictureJulia Watson

Narcissus or Daffodils?

Updated: Feb 14, 2022

A mixed bouquet of daffodils (aka heirloom narcissus) from our garden

Our daffodils have started blooming and they’re a welcome sight after a couple of months without flowers. But not everyone likes them; apparently some people find them too bright and too common. When I took the Floret online course to learn about flower farming, we were advised to say “heirloom narcissus” instead of daffodils.

Whatever you call them, there are more types than most people know, and one of them is sure to please even sophisticated eyes. I recommend Colorblends if you're buying daffodil bulbs - that's where all of ours came from. Here are my favorites, in roughly the order they bloom.


Brackenhurst Brilliant and early, this one has an orange cup surrounded by yellow petals.

Daffodil 'Cassata', photo from Colorblends

Cassata This is called a split corona form, and I like it a lot. But I don’t use it in bouquets from Tiny Footprint because it doesn’t last well in the vase. Cassata starts out very bright, then fades to a beautiful soft yellow.

Jetfire Small but charming, with bright yellow blooms and petals that bend back gracefully. Unfortunately it doesn't last well in the vase, so I never cut the blooms.

'Avalon' photo from Colorblends

Avalon An elegant variety with soft colors; lasts well in the vase. It might be my all-time favorite daffodil, but I can never decide on that honor. Avalon is a bicolor, meaning different colors for the cup and outer petals. Most bicolor narcissus have white outer petals and yellow or orange cups, but 'Avalon' is a 'reverse' bicolor, meaning it has yellow outer petals and a white cup.

Pippit Another 'reverse' bicolor, but this one is small, charming and wonderfully fragrant.

Golden Salome from Colorblends

Golden Salome Two shades of yellow, large blooms. The best thing about 'Golden Salome' is that flowers tend to face out or up, instead of hanging down, and that's a plus for arranging.

Hawera An unbelievable cute flower – tiny and delicate looking, but it lasts in the vase.

Minnow Another irresistible miniature narcissus with multiple blooms per stem.

mixed bouquet of spring flowers
'Thalia' is the white narcissus at top and bottom of this mixed bouquet.

Thalia The last to bloom in our garden. Fragrant, pure white - it’s my all-time favorite narcissus … I think.

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