Narcissus (group)
Common Name: daffodil 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Zone: 4 to 8
Height: 0.50 to 2.50 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: White, yellow, orange, pink, bicolor
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought, Clay Soil, Black Walnut


Best grown in organically rich, slightly acidic, medium moisture, well-drained sandy loams in full sun to part shade. Sharp soil drainage is essential. Plant bulbs in early to mid fall. Planting depth depends upon bulb size. In St. Louis, each bulb should be planted 2 to 3 times the height of the bulb, with at least 3" of soil over the top. After the flowers have bloomed in spring, the top portion of each flower stem may be removed, as practicable, to prevent seed formation, but foliage should not be cut back until it begins to yellow. Flowers usually face the sun, so bulbs should be grown with any shade areas at the rear of the planting. Bulbs can be left undisturbed for a number of years. If bloom quality and quantity decline over time, clumps may be divided by digging just after the foliage dies back.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Daffodils are bulbous perennials. Depending upon species or hybrid type, flowers appear singly or in clusters atop stems rising from 6-30” tall. Flowers generally feature a trumpet or cup (the corona) surrounded by six petals (perianth segments), in colors ranging from white to yellow to orange to pink to bicolors. Flowers are sometimes fragrant. Flowers bloom in early spring. Narrow, linear to strap-shaped, green leaves appear in erect to sprawling clumps. Narcissus has been organized into 13 divisions:

Division I - Trumpet Narcissus
Division II - Large-cupped Narcissus
Division III - Small-cupped Narcissus
Division IV - Double Narcissus
Division V - Triandrus Narcissus
Division VI - Cyclamineus Narcissus
Division VII - Jonquilla Narcissus
Division VIII - Tazetta Narcissus
Division IX - Poeticus Narcissus
Division X - Bulbocodium hybrids
Division XI - Split Corona Narcissus
Division XII - Miscellaneous Narcissus
Division XIII - Species, Wild Variants and Wild hybrids

Genus name honors a beautiful youth who became so entranced with his own reflection that he pined away and the gods turned him into this flower.


No serious insect or disease problems. Bulb rot may occur in poorly-drained soils.

Garden Uses

Taller varieties are best in beds, borders, wild gardens, open woodland areas, in front of shrubs or massed under trees. Smaller varieties are excellent for rock gardens. Best planted in quantity, i.e., from smaller groupings of at least 6 bulbs to large sweeping drifts. All varieties mix well with other spring-flowering bulbs. Some varieties are often forced for indoor bloom in winter.