A couple of daffodil first blooms.

jon_z6bFebruary 24, 2013

First a picture story.

My yard came with an old stand (50-100 year) of daffodils- two varieties:

and this double

They're everywhere I have tons of them. It's an OCD I have, anything I own, I want to try and cross and grow seedlings from. Well, both of these varieties are seed sterile.

I purchased these two as seed parents to cross with the above two as pollen.

Notice the seed parents are short trumpet...

That was five years ago. These are the first two to bloom:
The first was rather "common" looking, dunno what I should have expected.

The second is more of what I was thinking I was going to get.

I have one more about to bloom, but I think I'll have to wait a couple years more for the rest (maybe 30-40 seedlings). I always find it neat to see how the genetics are expressed- especially in this case with color and trumpet size.

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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Nice work (and patient!). Personally, I actually prefer the 'common' daffodils' colouration and style. The more brightly coloured and frilly the less I like them. I really love the wild Narcissus pseudonarcissus' delicacy. The dark and pale yellow contrast of your top picture echoes them. Do they have a scent? Are you keeping track of and bulking up your old varieties as an heirloom resource as well as experimenting with new crosses?

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 4:35AM
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I was wondering if there were any other daff-o-philes here. I have around 20 cultivars in bloom now. The Dallas ADS Show is the second weekend in March this year, so maybe some of the early ones will still be around. Lots of years it gets 80+ degrees and ruins them all.

The only one of yours that I like is the 3W-O. Do you know its name?

There are plenty of N,pseudonarcissus blooming along the roadways here, and later there will be plenty of x-biflorus,
My first-to-bloom this year is a tall N.jonquilla, which I presume is Early Louisianna. That one was followed rapidly by Carlton, pseudonarcissus, Silver Chimes, and Ice Follies.

As for hybridizing, you should know that there are already 10's of thousands of named daffodils. Improving on them is a challenging hobby, which does require patience and hopefully some excellent seed and pollen parents.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 12:17PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

That's interesting, eskota. N pseudonarcissus is one of my latest. First is February Gold which is out now. Tete a Tete opening close behind. (I have a tiny garden with bad soil so tend to grow tiny and tough daffs.) Nothing fancy - the slugs get a lot of them so best not to invest too much money or emotion.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 1:46PM
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Flora- pseudonarcissus is EE here. Some of mine are already fading. A couple of quick descriptions from the web-

"Lent Lily (N. pseudonarcissus) is early-blooming with long trumpets and forward-swept petals that give it an informal, wild look. The flower color varies from cream to deep yellow." (Clemson University, USA)

"The plants at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst Place provide valuable information about our climate and so provide an early warning of the effects of climate change. For example, staff at Kew study the changes in plant life cycles over time (called phenology). Each year, scientists monitor and record the flowering dates of a hundred native and exotic plants at Kew Gardens.

Recent signs of change include a shift in the average flowering date of daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) and hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna). In the 1980s daffodils commonly flowered around the 12 February, but by 2008 this date had shifted to the 27 January, 16 days earlier." (Kew Royal Botanic Gardens)

My first Tete a Tete's are opening now, also a few Erlicheer, Avalanche, some older doubles- Texas, Ice King, Queen Anne's double daffodil. Also, Fortune and Barret Browning.

This really is my favorite time of year. There are buds on most of the jonquil hybrids, and I'll get to see ones that were planted last Fall bloom for the first time.

Other bulbs blooming now- snowdrops, hyacinths, and grape hyacinths.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2013 at 4:02PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Fascinating - My tete a tete are just opening and the N pseudonarcissus are tight buds which aren't even bent round to horizontal yet. Maybe mine are a later variant. The only other bulbs so far are snowdrops and crocuses. No hyacinths yet. It is pretty cold still here. 2 - 10c. Maybe you have warmer days which encourage a more bunched flowering period for all these bulbs?

    Bookmark   February 27, 2013 at 1:08PM
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Yes, the average high temperature here for this date is 65 degrees F. This year, it's stayed much cooler- mostly low 50's, which daffodils enjoy. The overnights have been either side of freezing, but no hard freezes to destroy the buds and stems. Still early season for daffodils, but EM is at hand.

Reading about pseudonarcissus at Wikipedia and elsewhere, there are many variations described. The old Daffodil Handbook (January 1966 issue of American Horticultural Magazine) spends several pages with wild forms that are naturalized in many countries. I've never seen most of these, ours are 1 Y-Y, with the petals fading to a lighter color than the trumpet.

I do hope that we hear from others about their earliest daffodils. I'll try to post a few pictures directly.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2013 at 9:17AM
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Final two pictures.

This is the second one again- after it matured.

This is the third.

I like that all three were different.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 3:10PM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

Jon, thanks for posting the pictures and giving the story behind the blooms. It's interesting to see the variety you got from just a couple different flowers. Drop me an email if you want a couple other types to experiment with, I've always got a few spare ones here and there.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 7:45PM
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