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Re: Daffodil question


Re > are 20th century hybrids

Jefferson-Brown's book relates the "halcyon days were those up to the
outbreak of the First World War.  Daffodilmania was not restricted to
Britain; Americans were becoming interested...between the two Wars interest
continued despite the Depression..."

So that seems to agree with your reference to modern daffodils.  He begins
his discussion of their cultivation by referring to medicinal varieties in
cultivation for centuries, mentioning. N. pseudonarcissus and N. tazetta.
Then he discusses written works that began in 1548 which covered N, tazetta,
poeticus, elegans, ajax, bulbocodium, triandrus, jonquila, juncifoliius, and
serotinus.  Common names that look like cultivar names seemed to appear
during the 16 and 1700s, such as N. telamonius plenus being named Wilmer's
Double or Van Sion.  During the 1800s breeding became intense and that seems
to be when most cultivar names begin appearing.  Wm Backhouse of county
Durham raised daffodils from 1856 yielding cultivars 'Emperor, 'Empress',
'Weardale Perfection', and 'W.P.Milner', and "the first two can still be
found growing in parks and gardens today, and looking well."

So, possibly these two - Emperor and Empress from the mid-1800s would
pre-date your concept of "modern" daffodils and could very likely be around
today.  And some of the species may have been used.

Again, I'm just rambling here.  I find the subject interesting.

Kitty

----- Original Message ----- 
From: <Aplfgcnys@aol.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Monday, April 12, 2004 4:02 PM
Subject: Re: [CHAT] Daffodil question


> In a message dated 04/12/2004 1:07:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
> kmrsy@comcast.net writes:
>
> > What do you mean by "modern" daffodils?  circa?
>
>  Kitty, I can't lay hands on my copy of "Daffodils to Show and Grow" right
> now, but my feeling is that the distinct bicolors,  especially the small
cups
> are 20th century hybrids while certainly the species and some of the
plainer
> hybrids date back.
>
> > Park staff and volunteers may have planted the ones you've seen
recently.
> > They may have deliberately, carefully naturalized the bulbs, making an
> > effort toward the least amount of disturbance so that the new plantings
> > would not appear 'cultivated'.
>
> I am sure that this mass of daffs were not planted by park staff or
> volunteers.  There is a small native plant garden at the Refuge Center
tended by
> volunteers, but this site is at a very remote edge of the refuge.  The
clumps we
> have seen several years near a parking overlook were probably planted by
> volunteers, but not this mass, I'm sure. Perhaps I should not have used
the term
> "park." A Wildlife Refuge is not a park in the sense of a tended garden
space -
> rather a natural space intended for wildlife.  The cultivated areas are
devoted
> to grains like millet for food for the birds.
>
> > You may have simply visited in the past at a time that these 'new' ones
> > weren't in bloom.
> > Miniature Trumpets - like 'Little Gem' and 'Little Spell' might look
like
> > small 'King Alfred's
> >
> I do grow miniatures, and these were not in that category of small - just
not
> as big and vigorous as 'King Alfs.'
>
> I think your information about species daffs spreading by reseeding is
surely
> the answer.  Of course we carefully deadhead all the daffs in the garden
so
> they won't go to seed, but  I used to garden at the Constitution Island
> preservation garden.  The garden committee didn't begin their work there
in the
> spring until after the daffs had finished blooming, so they didn't get
deadheaded.
> Those daffs had been there since Anna Warner's day - late 1800s - 1910 or
so,
> and had not spread much.  In fact the head of the garden committee wanted
to
> dig them out because she thought the maturing foliage was unsightly.  A
few of
> us who were devoted to maintaining the original nature of the garden dug
them
> from the main beds and planted them at the edge of the woods. They seemed
to
> appreciate being moved and thinned, but since I stopped gardening there
about
> 20 years ago I don't really know how they progressed.
>
> Thanks for the info.  Auralie
>
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