Guest Author - Connie Krochmal
Daffodil or jonquils, whatever we call them, they’re wonderful for spring floral arrangements.
The peak season for daffodils is late winter through spring. They are available commercially about six months of the year, which makes them suitable for both winter and spring designs.
The usual vase life of daffodils is about a week. Some kinds are especially fragrant, particularly the paper whites. During the winter, the multi-flowered paper whites are forced into bloom. These can be used in floral design. However, they will not long very long in overheated rooms.
So far as the various names are concerned, I will just use the name daffodil since they are used and treated the same way in floral design. Strictly speaking, daffodil refers to the classically trumpet-shaped ones. The others are properly called jonquils or narcissus. To confuse matters even more, the Latin genus is Narcissus as well. This name comes from the ancient Greek mythology in which a young Greek becomes enamored with his own reflection.
When newly cut, these stems release a sap that is usually harmful to other flower stems, particularly tulips. For that reason, these flowers should be conditioned separately. In addition, it is best not to recut these stems before use since this would only start the process all over again.
Though it is true that daffodils come in a good range of colors, they are often yellow. Other shades include whites, creams, golden, and pinkish. Some are bicolors. These may be either single or double with either intricately ruffled or plain petals.
During the fall of 2005, some delightful new varieties of daffodils were introduced to home gardeners. These should come into full bloom this spring. They are just perfect for floral design. Among those new varieties are the following.
Daffodil Audubon has dazzling snow white petals surrounding the gorgeous delicate, yellow cup or trumpet. Around the edge of the cup is a band of flamboyant coral rose. Blooming from March to April, Audubon reaches about 1½ feet in height.
Daffodil Changing Colors is so named for the beautiful mix of colors it displays. Its outer petals are very different for a daffodil. They are greenish-white. These encircle a cup that is initially pale yellow. Then, this cup slowly turns white over a period of time, later maturing to pink. Blooming from March through May, this daffodil is nearly 1½ feet in height.
Daffodil Mint Julep is named for the wonderful green eye seen in the yellow cup. In addition, the petals are greenish-yellow. Opening around March to April, this has stems that are nearly 1½ feet in height.
Daffodil Sidley is a sight to behold. It is noted for its distinctive green eye and a delicate yellow, small cup. Surrounding the cup are snow white petals. These blossoms will open from March to April. The stems grow from one to 1¾ feet in height.