How Is Our Catalog Set Up?
And Just What Does 2Y-R, 3W-GYR, 2YYW-WWY Mean?

Most all of our listed daffodils were initially introduced as exhibition flowers, and if you’re open to enjoying the camaraderie and competition of a daffodil show, all will still win ribbons. Yet our primary focus when selecting candidates for cataloging continues to be garden performance in the rugged New England climate; the mission of getting good bulbs of good varieties into gardeners’ hands remains steadfast. So the catalog is set up around the top three things gardeners feel they need to know about a daffodil before buying it--when it blooms, the flower color, and the flower form.


The main headings sort the offerings by floral color, and under these headings they are then grouped according to blooming season. Within each seasonal grouping, the variety listed first would generally be the one from that bunch that opens first, with the others following in order (as experienced in our fields).


The cryptic messages seen at the end of each of the daffodil descriptions in this listing (2Y-Y, 3W-GYR etc.) helps one envision both the flower’s form and coloration. The number portion deals with form. The horticultural classification scheme devised for daffodils is now comprised of 13 divisions. Some are placed in their respective slots based on physical measurements of the flower. Others have to at least resemble the look of their original ancestor species. Briefly then,

  1. means a trumpet
  2. a long cupped variety
  3. a short cup
  4. a double
  5. is for triandrus types
  6. cyclamineus types
  7. jonquils
  8. tazettas
  9. poeticus (pheasant’s eye)
  10. bulbocodiums
  11. means split coronas
  12. is for any misfits
  13. is for the botanical species and their variants.

The letters following the number describe flower color. Those before the dash (-) indicate petal colors, those after the dash refer to the cup. Three letters together means there are zones of color. Multi-color petals are described from the tip inward toward the juncture with the cup; abbreviations for zoned cups begin with their innermost color and end describing the rim. Colors found in daffodils are White, Yellow, Orange, Red, Green, and Pink. 3W-GYR would then indicate a short-cupped daffodil with all white petals that has a cup with a green eye, yellow midsection and red rim. It is all really quite easy to become proficient with, and soon will serve as a quick and useful aid to selecting these special plants for appropriate places in your landscape.