Narcissus 'Carlton'
Common Name: large-cupped daffodil 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.50 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Drought


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Good soil drainage is essential. Best in organically rich loams. Soils should be kept uniformly moist during the growing season, but drought is tolerated while dormant. 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 as deep as the bulb, with at least 3” of soil over the top. Space bulbs from 4-10” apart (larger bulbs are planted further apart than smaller ones). Larger spacing may look sparse in early years, but the spaces will fill in over time and division will be needed less. In general, most bulbs will be planted 3-6" deep and 4-8” apart. 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

Narcissus is a genus of about 50 species of bulbous perennials from Europe and North Africa. They are a mainstay of the spring garden. 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. Cultivated daffodils have been organized into 13 divisions based on the characteristics of the blooms.

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.

'Carlton' is a large-cupped narcissus (Division II). By definition, a large-cupped daffodil features a corona (cup) that is more than 1/ 3 but less than the length of the perianth segments (petals). ‘Carlton’ is an early to mid-season bloomer that rises 18-20” tall in spring. Two-toned yellow flowers have a mild vanilla fragrance.


No serious insect or disease problems. With proper soil and culture, daffodils are noted for being almost pest-free. Bulb rot may occur in poorly-drained soils. Infrequent insect pests include narcissus bulb fly, narcissus nematode, slugs and snails. Bulb scale mite may occur. Narcissus yellow stripe virus is an infrequent problem. Deer and rabbits tend to avoid this plant.


Unlike tulips, daffodils keep blooming year after year. They are best sited in beds, borders, wild gardens, open woodland areas, in front of shrubs or massed under trees. They are best planted in quantity, i.e., from smaller groupings of at least 6 bulbs to large sweeping drifts. They mix well with other spring-flowering bulbs and can be allowed to naturalize.