Sternbergia lutea

Common Name: autumn daffodil 
Type: Bulb
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Native Range: Southern Europe, western temperate Asia
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: September to October
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought, Dry Soil


Best grown in moderately fertile, gritty, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best in full sun. Sharp soil drainage is important, particularly in winter months. Consider raised planting beds in areas of heavy clay soils. Prefers hot and dry summer months. Plant bulbs in mid-summer to 5-6” deep and to 4-6” apart. Bulbs may not survive winter in USDA Zone 6 unless they are sited in protected locations (e.g., near the south side of a house or sunny wall). If left undisturbed, plants will form slowly increasing clumps over time. Self-seeding may occur.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sternbergia lutea, commonly called autumn daffodil, winter daffodil or lily-of-the-field, is a bulbous perennial that is noted for its crocus-like, goblet-shaped yellow flowers (1.5” wide) that bloom in early fall. Flowers appear singly atop stems rising to 6” tall. Narrow, lance-shaped, deep green leaves appear in autumn at about the same time as the flowers. Foliage will persist through winter, particularly in warm winter locations, but eventually will disappear until fall bloom.

Genus name honors Count Kaspar M. von Sternberg (1761-1838), Austrian botanist, clergyman and palaeontologist, a founder of the Bohemian Natural Museum in Prague.

Specific epithet means yellow.


No serious insect or disease problems. Narcissus viruses may occur.


Border fronts, rock gardens, foundations or along sidewalks. Containers.