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Daffodil Classification

Let's review Divisions 1 through 8 of the daffodil classification system.

daffodils

Photo: Michal Coghlan (flickr)

Here's an example of the wide variety of daffodils available to this photographer from Adelaide, South Australia.

Here in the Midwest, daffodil season is on the horizon so this seems to be a good time to review the various daffodil classifications.

Trumpet

Division 1 type daffodils are the trumpet type: one flower per stem with the trumpet in the center of the flower as long as, or longer, than the surrounding petals.

The large golden ‘King Alfred’ is probably the most well-known of this type and was created by John Kendall in 1899. We see them often, especially in older gardens.

Large Cups

Division 2 daffodils have exceptionally large cups (small trumpets) and produce only one flower per stem. About half of all daffodils fall into this category.

Small Cups

Division 3 daffodils have small cups, with some cups so shallow that they are described as “eyes.” They also produce only one flower per stem.

Doubling

Division 4 daffodils are double varieties, and there are three types of doubling:

  1. The cup may be entirely absent and replaced by extra petals.
  2. The cup may be filled with small petals.
  3. The stamens may be like leaves that fill the cup.

Pendant

Division 5 daffodils are those with multiple small flowers, with a number of flowers per stem, and with the flowers hanging down. They are described as “pendant.”

‘Thalia’ is one of these division 5 varieties and produces small graceful white flowers with slightly reflexed petals that remind one of angel wings.

Miniature

Division 6 daffodils are the small early bloomers with long trumpets and petals that are held back.

‘Tete a Tete’ is a Division 6, and we frequently see those for sale in pots at this time of the year.

Jonquilla

Division 7 are known as the jonquil daffodils, and they are scented and produce multiple flowers per stem and also bloom late.

Tazetta

Division 8 daffodils are known as Tazettas and are some of the best bulbs to force indoors.

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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