Identifying Daffodils on the Greenway

7, Apr, 2010 Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy

“I wander’d lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of, golden daffodils;
…Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.”

Excepted from William Wordsworth’s “Daffodils” (1804)

When Wordsworth penned “Daffodils” in 1804, could he have believed that each of the 10,000 golden daffodils might be a different cultivar? We now know over 18,000 different cultivars of daffodils – so many that we group them into thirteen different divisions based primarily on the flower’s petal and cup form.

“Barbie Doll”, “Mint Julep”, and “Minnow” are just a few of the names of the twenty-one varieties of daffodils currently tossing their heads on the Greenway. Do you know how to tell them apart? Know your Triandrus from Cyclamineus? If not, learn more about these harbingers of spring from the Greenway Conservancy Horticulture Staff.

Though the average person may think a daffodil is simply an early-blooming yellow flower, daffodils are actually a diverse group of plants. Botanists divide them into as many as 50 distinct species, and horticulturists have named as many as 18,000 different cultivars. Daffodils on the Greenway is continued on our website.

“the guys in yellow” – the Greenway Conservancy Horticulture Staff from left to right: Stuart Shillaber, Matthew Lobdell, Tom Smarr and Anthony Ruggiero