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Delighting in Daffodils

April 10, 2024


On these gray-cast and chilly days of early spring, bright spatterings of daffodils are like displaced sunshine, coaxing from us hope and smiles for fairer days to come. They stand steadfast beneath impromptu snowfall, defying winter as well as deer browse on account of their toxicity. Bulb, stem, leaves, and petals contain lycorine, which has left them relatively untouched by wildlife and appreciated by suburban gardeners.

Double daffodil Narcissus ‘Rip Van Winkle’
Double daffodil Narcissus ‘Rip Van Winkle’

Accepted as the birthflower of March, daffodils and jonquils are universal signs of spring. All jonquils could be considered daffodils, but not all daffodils are jonquils. Both daffodils and jonquils fall into the same genus of Narcissus, so you can’t go wrong calling them the latter. If sorting and classifying plants appeals to you, you might appreciate that the American Daffodil Society (ADS) has 13 official daffodil divisions.

To truly appreciate the variety of shapes, sizes, and colors of these divisions, I thought I would highlight a few that can be found blooming at various times from early – late spring along the paths of the Cleveland Botanical Garden. The divisions recognized by the ADS are: Trumpet, Large Cup, Small Cup, Double, Triandrus, Cyclamineus, Jonquila, Tazetta, Poeticus, Bulbicodium, Split-cup, Other (the “miscellaneous” category), and Species. If you want to further delineate your daffodil divisions, check out the ADS website: Or just take a stroll through the gardens and see if you can delight in distinguishing your favorite daffodil.

Stefanie Verish

Stefanie Verish


Stefanie has been an outdoor horticulturist with CBG for nearly three years, but she has been working with plants for over 20 years. She is especially passionate about utilizing native plants as integral components for local gardens.

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