15 Dazzling Types of Daffodils

Yellow daffodil flowers with trumpet shaped petals in sunlight

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Bearing lovely spring blooms in shades of gold, yellow, cream, orange, salmon, pink, and white, daffodils are the antidote to a long, dreary winter. If you've never planted them, 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.

Typically planted in the fall for spring bloom, many daffodil 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. Another bonus is that deer shy away from daffodil blooms and will rarely, if ever, damage them.

Like roses, daffodils have been in cultivation for many hundreds of years, and horticulturalists have developed a complicated classification system for all the different types. Most serious growers follow the Royal Horticultural Society's daffodil classification system, which categorizes daffodils into 13 divisions based on flower shape and genetic heritage.

These 15 dazzling daffodil varieties will expand your spring landscape palette with a variety of hues, heights, and bloom times. 

Warning

All daffodil bulbs are toxic to people, dogs, cats, and pets. Its toxin is most concentrated in the bulb but is present in all plant parts.

  • 01 of 15

    'Petit Four' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Petit Four')

    'Petit Four' daffodils with white petals and peach centers

    Chris Burrows / Getty Images

    Just like its French pastry namesake, 'Petit Four' is a tasty visual treat for the spring garden, typically blooming in March. This plant falls into division 4, comprising varieties that have more flowers on each stem and extra petals per flower. It has 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 cultivar.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–8
    • Height: 12–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 02 of 15

    'New Baby' Daffodil (Narcissus 'New Baby')

    'New Baby' daffodils with yellow petals and cups

    Chris Burrows / Getty Images

    'New Baby' 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 blooms per bulb multiplies your blossom count. Flowering in late spring, this daffodil variety falls into division 7, jonquillas, which have thin, rush-like leaves and one to five flowers per stem.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 4–8 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 03 of 15

    'Crewenna' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Crewenna')

    'Crewenna' daffodils with white petals and yellow cups

    Chris Burrows / Getty Images

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

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–8
    • Height: 18–20 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 04 of 15

    'Red Devon' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Red Devon')

    'Red Devon' daffodils with yellow petals and red-orange cups

    Ron Evans / Getty Images

    A true red tone has yet to be achieved by daffodil breeders, but 'Red Devon' comes close with its red-orange cup surrounded by yellow petals. Created by an English hybridizer, its name comes from the red cattle of Devonshire. It blooms in mid-spring and is an eye-catching addition to flower beds and borders. This large-cupped daffodil falls into division 2, which includes flowers with cups at least half the length of the outer petals but less than their total length.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4–9
    • Height: 16–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Continue to 5 of 15 below.
  • 05 of 15

    'Valdrome' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Valdrome')

    'Valdrome' daffodil with white petals and a pale-yellow cup

    Getty Images / Cora Niele

    'Valdrome' falls into division 11 due to what's known as its split-cupped collar. Within its white petals is an open, ruffled yellow cup rather than the typical trumpet shape. This daffodil looks almost similar to a daylily in appearance, 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: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–8
    • Height: 12–26 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 06 of 15

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

    'Sir Winston Churchill' daffodil with white petals and gold centers

    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 and as many as four flowers per stalk. The frilly double row of petals somewhat resembles carnations making these lovely as cut flowers. 'Sir Winston Churchill' is in division 4, a group that includes double-petaled daffodil varieties.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–9
    • Height: 10–16 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 07 of 15

    'Tahiti' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Tahiti')

    'Tahiti' daffodils with yellow petals and orange centers
    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 cups, providing a striking contrast to the brilliant gold petals. With large flowers, roughly 4 inches across, this cultivar is a division 4 (double-flowered) daffodil. It's a mid-season bloomer, flowering in April in most regions.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–8
    • Height: 12–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 08 of 15

    'Ziva' Paperwhite (Narcissus papyraceus 'Ziva')

    'Ziva' paperwhites with white petals and yellow centers
    akit / Getty Images

    Ask a gardener about the fragrance of the paperwhite, and you're sure to get an answer as strong as the flower's famed aroma. Some find the aroma to be sweet while others think it's musky. One thing gardeners agree on is that paperwhites are easy to grow indoors. The bulbs will produce brilliant white flowers after several weeks when grown in a shallow container containing a layer of stones or gravel and filled with water. 'Ziva' is one of the earliest paperwhites to bloom, flowering in early spring. It belongs to division 8, the tazetta group, which includes plants with very short cups and very fragrant flowers.

    • Native Area: Mediterranean
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 8–10
    • Height: 16–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
    Continue to 9 of 15 below.
  • 09 of 15

    'Toto' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Toto')

    'Toto' daffodil with white petals and pale-yellow cups
    National Garden Bureau

    A brilliant white daffodil such as 'Toto' is the perfect choice to contrast colorful spring flowers. This dwarf daffodil grows 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, which includes both miscellaneous daffodils that don't fit into other categories as well as hybrids with parents in different divisions.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 4–10
    • Height: 6–12 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 10 of 15

    'Ice Follies' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Ice Follies')

    'Ice Follies' daffodils with white petals and yellow cups

    Chris Burrows / Getty Images

    'Ice Follies' produces showy flowers on tall stems in early to mid-spring. On each stem, a frilled yellow cup accents six snowy white petals that stretch about 4 inches across. This plant tends to naturalize well and comes back year after year. And, if you visit the Netherlands, where 'Ice Follies' was bred, you might see fields of this daffodil type in bloom in spring. This cultivar is another large-cupped (division 2) "late mid-season" daffodil, blooming in March or April in most regions.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 2–9
    • Height: 18–20 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 11 of 15

    'Rapture' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Rapture')

    'Rapture' daffodils with yellow petals and cups
    DaddyBit / Getty Images

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

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–8
    • Height: 12–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 12 of 15

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

    'Mary Gay Lirette' daffodils with cream petals and peach centers
    National Garden Bureau

    The 'Mary Gay Lirette' daffodil is a distinctive addition to any spring garden. Most pink daffodils lean more toward apricot or salmon, but this 2013 introduction is a true pink color. Its extremely ruffled, split-cupped collar makes it nearly unidentifiable as a daffodil, looking more like a peony. Typically blooming in April, 'Mary Gay Lirette' belongs to division 11, comprising daffodils with center cups that are split along at least half their length, giving the flowers a full, fluffy appearance.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–8
    • Height: 12–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade​
    Continue to 13 of 15 below.
  • 13 of 15

    'Dutch Master' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Dutch Master')

    'Dutch Master' daffodils with yellow petals and cups
    samards / Getty Images

    Derived from the very old 'King Alfred' cultivar, the 'Dutch Master' daffodil is one of the most popular cultivars worldwide. Its showy yellow flowers feature the classic trumpet shape and generally bloom in early to mid-spring. These bulbs multiply freely into clumps over the years, making them ideal for a naturalized wildflower garden. 'Dutch Master' is part of division 1, in which the corona is equal to or longer than the length of the outer petals.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–9
    • Height: 14–16 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • 14 of 15

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

    Pheasant's eye daffodils with white petals and yellow cups with red rims

    Wilfried Wirth / Getty Images

    The pheasant's eye daffodil, also known as poet's narcissus, is a native species that was among the first of all narcissus to be adopted for cultivation, and it remains a popular choice. Like many daffodil species, it has the ability to multiply quickly into large—but never invasive—colonies. Its pure white flowers, which tend to arrive in late spring and give off a pleasant aroma, surround a small yellow cup with red edging. In fact, this daffodil type is often used to fragrance perfumes, with some comparing the scent to jasmine or hyacinth. Pheasant's eye fits into division 9, reserved for N. poeticus and cultivars derived from it.

    • Native Area: Central and southern Europe; widely naturalized in North America
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–7
    • Height: 12–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • 15 of 15

    'Professor Einstein' Daffodil (Narcissus 'Professor Einstein')

    'Professor Einstein' daffodils with white petals and orange cups

    Chris Burrows / Getty Images

    'Professor Einstein' provides gardeners with a brilliant large flower that features a waxy orange cup set against glistening white petals. It generally blooms in mid-spring and has 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 division 2, containing daffodils with center cups that are at least one-third the length of the petals.

    • Native Area: Nursery hybrid
    • USDA Hardiness Zones: 3–8
    • Height: 16–18 inches
    • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade​
Article Sources
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  1. Daffodil.” Drugs and Poison Information Center. Dpic.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 

  2. Daffodil.” Drug and Poison Information Center. Dpic.org. N.p., n.d. Web.