Narcissus 'King Alfred'
Common Name: trumpet daffodil 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
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.

'King Alfred' is a trumpet daffodil (Division I). By definition, a trumpet daffodil features a trumpet (corona) that is equal to or greater than the length of the petals (perianth segments). One flower per stem. ‘King Alfred’ rises 16-22” tall in spring. Each flower (to 4" across) features pointed, bright yellow petals with slight twists at the tips and a yellow trumpet. Flowers bloom in mid-season (April in St. Louis). Narrow, strap-shaped, green leaves in clumps. This daffodil was bred in England near the end of the 19th century by John Kendall. It was introduced in 1899 and quickly became recognized as the standard yellow trumpet daffodil. And it remained the standard until the 1950s when new yellow trumpet daffodils featuring larger flowers, better form and/or better performance became available. Since the 1950s, 'King Alfred' production from bulb growers has decreased rapidly to the point where this daffodil is not currently available in commerce today except through a very limited number of specialty nurseries. But the legendary name lives on. Most bulbs sold today as 'King Alfred' are not in fact 'King Alfred' but are large all-yellow look-alikes (such as 'Dutch Master') that are being marketed under the famous 'King Alfred' name by use of such descriptive labeling as "improved King Alfred" or "King Alfred type".


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.