15 Great Varieties of Daffodils

Sir Winston Churchill Daffodil

Photo: Georgianna Lane / Getty Images

Bearing lovely spring blooms in shades of lemon, cream, salmon, and tangerine, daffodils are the antidote to a long, dreary winter. If you've never planted daffodils yourself, you might be surprised by the sheer diversity of the Narcissus genus. Daffodils are native to parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia, particularly around the Mediterranean, but most people grow hybrid bulbs that have been crafted over the years to highlight desirable traits of the plant.

Daffodils are typically planted in the fall for spring bloom. Many types will readily naturalize in a lawn or woodland area, gradually creating a blanket of spring color. They can also work well for filling garden spaces that are empty in spring but will be filled in as late spring and summer perennials mature.

Expand your spring landscape palette with a variety of daffodil hues, heights, and bloom times with these 15 popular varieties. 

Caution

All daffodil bulbs are mildly to moderately toxic, containing the chemical lycorine, which can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Symptoms typically last about three hours, but there are occasional reports of permanent liver damage. This toxin is most concentrated in the bulbs, but it is present in all plant parts. Pets and small children should be carefully supervised if you grow daffodils.


Species daffodils generally contain more of the toxin than do hybrid plants.

  • 01 of 15

    Petit Four Daffodil (Narcissus 'Petit Four')

    Petit Four Daffodil
    Chris Burrows/Getty Images

    Just like its French pastry namesake, Petit Four is a tasty treat for the spring garden, typically blooming in March. There are 13 divisions of daffodils based on their traits. Thus plant falls into division 4, comprising varieties that have more flowers on each stem and extra petals per flower. This gives it a fluffy appearance and more showiness for your floral arrangements.

    Over time, naturalized bulbs may revert to a single-flower form—still attractive, but without the frilly appearance of the named cultivar.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8

    Height: 12 to 18 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • 02 of 15

    New Baby Daffodil (Narcissus 'New Baby')

    New Baby Daffodil
    Chris Burrows/Getty Images

    The New Baby daffodil is a miniature hybrid variety that looks fantastic in hanging baskets, containers, or anywhere else you can appreciate its yellow-edged petals and sweet fragrance. Although the flowers are petite, the fact that you get three to four flowers per bulb multiplies your blossom count. This plant blooms in late spring.

    New Baby falls into the division 7 hybrid daffodils—the jonquillas, which have thin, rush-like leaves and one to five flowers per stem. These are notably fragrant daffodils.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9

    Height: 4 to 8 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun

  • 03 of 15

    Crewenna Daffodil (Narcissus 'Crewenna')

    Crewenna Daffodil
    Chris Burrows/Getty Images

    The Crewenna daffodil falls into the division 1 category, which is the classic trumpet shape that appeals to many gardeners. These daffodils feature a center cup (corona) that is at least as long as the outer petals of the flowers. This daffodil blooms early in the spring, appearing in March in spite of sporadic frosts and freezes. It's also one of the taller varieties, providing a nice visual accent to the spring landscape.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8

    Height: 18 to 20 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • 04 of 15

    Red Devon Daffodil (Narcissus 'Red Devon')

    Red Devon Daffodil
    Ron Evans/Getty Images

    A true red tone has yet to be achieved by daffodil breeders, but Red Devon comes pretty close with its red-orange cup surrounded by yellow petals. Created by an English hybridizer, its name comes from the red cattle of Devonshire. Red Devon blooms in mid-spring and is an eye-catching addition to flower beds and borders.

    Red Devon is a large-cupped daffodil falling into Division 2, a group that includes flowers in which the cup (corona) is at least half the length of the outer petals, but less than their total length.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9

    Height: 16 to 18 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    Valdrome Daffodil (Narcissus 'Valdrome')

    Valdrome Daffodil
    Getty Images/Cora Niele

    Valdrome falls into division 11 due to what's known as its split-cupped collar. Within its white petals is a ruffled yellow open cup, rather than the typical daffodil trumpet shape. This daffodil almost has a day lily appearance to it, as if it's a prelude to what summer will bring. In fact, Valdrome is a late-blooming variety, often waiting until May.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8

    Height: 12 to 26 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun

  • 06 of 15

    Sir Winston Churchill Daffodil (Narcissus 'Sir Winston Churchill')

    Sir Winston Churchill Daffodil
    Georgianna Lane/Getty Images

    The tall, fragrant flowers of Sir Winston Churchill are worth the wait, appearing in late April or early May. Each bulb averages four flower stems that sport creamy white petals with bright yellow centers. There can be as many as four flowers per stalk. The frilly double row of petals somewhat resembles carnations, making this plant lovely as cut flowers.

    Sir Winston Churchill is a division 4 daffodil, a group that includes the double-petaled varieties.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9

    Height: 10 to 16 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • 07 of 15

    Tahiti Daffodil (Narcissus 'Tahiti')

    Amazing Narcissus 'Tahiti' a double hybrid daffodil
    sebastianosecondi / Getty Images

    In the 1950s, Irish daffodil breeder J. Lionel Richardson developed a series of flowers with exotic names, including Tahiti. He was especially fond of daffodils with deep orange in their cups, providing a striking contrast to the brilliant gold petals. Tahiti has large flowers, roughly 4 inches across. 

    Tahiti is a Division 4 (double flowers) daffodil. It is a mid-season bloomer, flowering in April in most regions.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8

    Height: 12 to 18 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • 08 of 15

    Ziva Paperwhite (Narcissus papyraceus 'Ziva')

    Paperwhite Ziva Tazetta Daffodil
    akit / Getty Images

    Ask a gardener about the fragrance of paperwhites, and you're sure to get an answer as strong as the flower's famed aroma. Some find it sweet while others think it's a little too musky. One thing gardeners agree on is that paperwhites are very easy to grow indoors. The bulbs will produce brilliant white flowers after several weeks when grown in a container simply filled with water and stones. 

    Ziva is one of the earliest of the paperwhite to bloom, flowering in early spring. It belongs to the Division 8 daffodils—the Tazetta group that includes plants with very short cups and very fragrant flowers.

    Native Area: Mediterranean region

    USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 10

    Height: 16 to 18 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    Toto Daffodil (Narcissus 'Toto')

    Toto White Daffodil
    National Garden Bureau

    A brilliant white daffodil, such as Toto, is the perfect choice to contrast colorful spring flowers. Toto is a dwarf daffodil, growing less than a foot high, and it blooms in early spring. It's great for containers or to edge the front of a border or garden bed. Each stem holds as many as three star-shaped flowers with white petals that contrast a pale yellow cup.

    Toto falls into Division 12 in the official daffodil classification system. This group includes both miscellaneous daffodils that don't fit into other categories, as well as hybrids with parents in different divisions.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 10

    Height: 6 to 12 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun

  • 10 of 15

    Ice Follies Daffodil (Narcissus 'Ice Follies')

    Ice Follies Daffodils
    Chris Burrows/Getty Images

    Ice Follies produces showy flowers on tall stems in early to mid-spring. On each stem, a yellow frilled cup accents six snowy white petals that stretch about 4 inches across. This plant tends to naturalize well and come back year after year. And if you visit the Netherlands, where Ice Follies was bred, you might see fields of this daffodil in bloom in the springtime. 

    Ice Follies is another large-cupped daffodil (Division 2). It is a "late mid-season" daffodil, blooming in March or April in most regions.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 2 to 9

    Height: 18 to 20 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • 11 of 15

    Rapture Daffodil (Narcissus 'Rapture')

    Yellow narcissi
    DaddyBit / Getty Images

    Division 6 daffodils, such as Rapture, have a distinctive protruding cup with swept-back petals. Rapture's lovely sulfur-lemon flowers grow one per stem, and the blooms are bent at an acute angle to the stem. These flowers are good for cutting, as well as for attracting bees and other pollinators. Rapture is usually among the earlier daffodils to appear in March. 

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8

    Height: 12 to 18 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • 12 of 15

    Mary Gay Lirette Daffodil (Narcissus 'Mary Gay Lirette')

    Mary Gay Lirette Daffodil
    National Garden Bureau

    The Mary Gay Lirette daffodil is a distinctive addition to a spring garden. Most "pink" daffodils lean more toward apricot or salmon, but this 2013 introduction sports a true pink. Its extremely ruffled split-cupped collar makes it nearly unidentifiable as a daffodil, bearing more of a resemblance to a peony. This showy flower typically blooms in April.

    Mary Gay Lirette is a split cup (split corona) daffodil (division 11), a group that includes daffodils with center cups that are split along at least half their length, giving the flowers a very full, fluffy appearance.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8

    Height: 12 to 18 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade​

    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    Dutch Master Daffodil (Narcissus 'Dutch Master')

    Dutch Master Daffodil flower
    samards / Getty Images

    Derived from the very old King Alfred cultivar, Dutch Master daffodils are one of the most popular cultivars produced worldwide. Its showy yellow flowers feature the classic daffodil trumpet shape and generally bloom in early to mid-spring. Plus, these plants multiply freely into clumps over the years, making them ideal for a naturalized wildflower garden.

    Dutch Master is a trumpet daffodil (division 1), in which the center (corona) is equal to or longer than the length of the outer petals.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9

    Height: 14 to 16 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun

  • 14 of 15

    Pheasant's Eye Daffodil/ Poet's Narcisuss (Narcissus poeticus)

    Pheasant's Eye Daffodil
    Wilfried Wirth/Getty Images

    Pheasant's eye (also known as poet's narcissus) is a native species plant that is among the first of all narcissus to be adopted for cultivation, and it remains a popular choice. Like many species forms, pheasant's eye daffodil has the ability to multiply quickly into large but never invasive colonies, making them a favorite of many gardeners. Its pure white flowers surround a small yellow cup with red edging. The blooms tend to arrive in late spring and give off a pleasant aroma. In fact, this daffodil is often used to fragrance perfumes, with some comparing the scent to jasmine or hyacinth.

    Pheasant's Eye fits into Division 9 of the official classification system, reserved for N. poeticus and cultivars derived from this species.

    Native Area: Central and southern Europe; widely naturalized in North America

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 7

    Height: 12 to 18 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade

  • 15 of 15

    Professor Einstein Daffodl (Narcissus 'Professor Einstein')

    Professor Einstein Daffodils
    Chris Burrows/Getty Images

    Professor Einstein gives gardeners a striking, large flower that features a waxy orange cup against glistening white petals. The flowers generally bloom in mid-spring and have a pleasant fragrance. This plant also naturalizes well in a garden and readily comes back year after year. And as a bonus, deer shun its blooms, as they do all daffodils. 

    Professor Einstein falls into a group known as large-cupped daffodils (Division 2). These daffodils have center cups that are at least one-third the length of the petals.

    Native Area: NA; this plant is a nursery hybrid

    USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 8

    Height: 16 to 18 inches

    Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade​

Like roses, daffodils have been in cultivation for many hundreds of years, and horticulturalists have developed a complicated classification system for the many different types. Most serious growers follow the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) system that slots all daffodils into 13 divisions based on flower shape and genetic heritage. If you become seriously enthused with this wonderful plant, it's worth learning the details of the RHS Classification System.