Are Wild Daffadills worth it?

mccommas(z5CT)April 27, 2014

The cat got out yesterday so I am hunting him down (in the rain no less) when I find what looks like Daffodils to me in the woods. I did a search and found that wild Daffodils exist.

None of them were blooming, not one. No spent blooms. It was pretty dark there. Most bunches look like they badly need dividing. I never knew you had to do that.

If they are wild, will they bloom just as reliably as the ones we buy at the store?

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There were a few mature proper sized ones. Most of them were tiny.

If they are worth it, what to do with them? There are thousands of little ones.

    Bookmark   April 27, 2014 at 8:15PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

OK - we have several strands to this question. Firstly, are they even daffodils. The second photo certainly looks like one. The first clump could be but they don't seem to have that glaucous look to the leaves.

Secondly, if they are daffodils they are not necessarily wild daffodils. Much more likely they are a garden hybrid which has been dumped or escaped to the woods.

Thirdly, there are many species daffodils which are 'wild' in their native habitats. The one generally known as a 'wild daffodil' is Narcissus pseudonarcissus. IMO that is the most beautiful daffodil there is but I am biased. It is a British native and I love its delicacy and restraint. I dislike big, fat, double, split corolla, frilly, etc. daffs, And I can't abide the ones which pretend to be any colour other than yellow. All that is obviously personal opinion.

Finally, are they 'worth it'? Well worth what? Worth the minimal effort of potting a few up to see how they turn out? Well of course they are. You've already dug them up so what is there to lose?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 10:14AM
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the first clump looks more like grape hyacinths

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 9:37PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I agree.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:11AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

I'd treat them like a science Stick them in pots and see what you end up with. Sounds like fun and what do u have to lose?


    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:16AM
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brit5467(7b/8a Coastal VA)

dup post

This post was edited by brit5467 on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 10:36

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:32AM
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Thanks for your answers.

My first thought was to put them in my regular gardens but that would displace what I had in there so I dug a trench along the side of the woods and lined them up in a row.

It will take YEARS but someday there will be a lotta daffodils there!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:31PM
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floral_uk z.8/9 SW UK

I hope that they are Muscari and Daffodils. It is always a bit risky putting something unknown straight in the ground. That's why we suggested pots first. For example, if these were Star of Bethlehem, (they aren't) you'd curse the day you transferred them into your plot.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:53PM
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I was worried it was skunk cabbage or something!

So these have been left for a very long time, they have gotten really tight. The bulbs are really small as a result and so in its natural environment what happens next with no humans to dig them up and scatter them around?

Just something I have been wondering... I suppose the flowers will cast off seeds and it will multiply that way.

I grew a seed into a tiny little daffodiling plant last year. No sign of it yet :(

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:21PM
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What is wrong with Star of David. I looked it up and it looks delightful. Too aggressive is it?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 8:41PM
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Nancy zone 6

Star of Bethlehem is a charming little spring blooming bulb. Hard to imagine that such a pretty little flower can be such a thug in the right environment. It was growing wild in my yard when I moved here (previously open field land). I remembered it from my childhood so moved some bulbs to my garden bed. Big mistake, & really hard to eradicate it now, but I still like it so don't mind too much when a stray clump comes up. Actually, I don't think it is any worse than grape hyacinths in my yard.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 10:11AM
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katob Z6ish, NE Pa

It's still early, you may squeak out a few blooms on the muscari this year, the bulbs don't look that small.
Some people like skunk cabbage :)

    Bookmark   April 30, 2014 at 11:11PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I've never *bought* Daffs but I have a TON of them that I've found or have been given. When drought made our grass go dormant a few summers ago, bulbs in the lawn were so obvious. For years, I'd been mowing Daffs - and Alliums, Crinum, Gladiolus, Lycoris. When an abandoned house next to us was razed, the property owner said I could dig whatever I wanted. Many of the bulbs I excavated were ones I knew were there. Others were 'found' as they got a chance to rise above the no-longer-mowed areas. There were clumps of Daffs in many places though I'd never seen a bloom over there anywhere before. Some of the bulbs were almost a foot deep, where bulldozer had shoved extra dirt over them.

(No I haven't dug up anything that wasn't in my yard, or for which I didn't have permission.) Simply separating them from the grass and giving them a chance to grow unmolested has filled many square feet with 'free gardens.'

Daffs are often one of the clues, along with a ring of trees and/or now-free-standing chimney, that a house used to occupy a particular spot. They are also an extremely common sight in the yards of abandoned houses. These bulbs can be decades old, and obviously happy, a known quantity, a sure thing. In some cases I think they are found in spots too shady for them to bloom because the Daffs were there before the trees. Those in a bag at the store are totally unproven, though knowing how tough and long-lived Daffs are, it would be surprising to me to hear about packaged daffs that didn't live well and long if planted in a suitable spot under acceptable conditions.

I have no idea how different packaged cultivar Daffs are (or are not) from those found in the wild. They all look the same to me, either yellow or white, so my opinion is from that direction. I've never bought a plant (Daff or otherwise) because it had a different name, unless it looked different enough for my eyes to appreciate it as a something other than what I already have. Not that I would find anything wrong with this for those who would find it pleasing.

Unless it's an unrealized heinous weed you didn't know well enough to reject, exotic invasive, and/or something other than what you thought, a free plant is always worth it! Unless, I guess, if you hurt yourself digging them up or replanting. I face that possibility every time I pick up a shovel. Clumsy, previous injuries to back.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 11:36AM
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