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21 Apr 2023

PLANTS project: five favourite daffodil cultivars from Greenbank Garden

Written by Jennifer Hollywood, PLANTS West team Manager
There are hundreds of daffodil varieties to choose from! The following five daffodil cultivars have been selected by the PLANTS project West team while auditing Greenbank Gardens.

Greenbank Garden in Clarkston, Glasgow is well known for its large collection of daffodils. Existing garden records indicate that there are around 500 different varieties in the walled garden and woodland. The PLANTS project team are checking that all these recorded daffodils are still growing and verifying the identity of those that we find in flower. Our work will ensure that the records are up to date and can be used for plant identification, garden management and historic research.

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The collection began in the 1930s when the owner, Major John Hamilton, took a great interest in the garden and planted daffodils in the woodland dell to the west of the house. The Trust staff at Greenbank have heard stories of how local people at the time were shocked at the large amount of money that Major Hamilton would spend on one bulb! It may be assumed that some of the daffodils he planted were quite rare at the time.

A grand, white stone, Georgian mansion stands at the head of a huge expanse of lawn. Two shaped yew hedges stand either side of the lawn, almost framing the square house in the middle.
Greenbank Garden

Subsequent gardeners have sought to build upon the historic collection, and have added many different varieties in the walled garden and in the woodland. Trust gardeners have aimed to broaden the collection and add modern varieties so that visitors can experience the widest range of daffodil types.

Did you know? Narcissus is the daffodil’s botanical name.

The PLANTS project West team have enjoyed seeing so many different daffodils, and here are five of our favourites.

1. Narcissus ‘Miss Muffet’

A small bunch of yellow daffodils pictured outside.
Narcissus ‘Miss Muffet’

Flowering in early February it is the earliest flowering daffodil in the garden. A dwarf trumpet daffodil, it is pure yellow and perfect to fill out the front of a garden border.

2. Narcissus ‘Telamonius Plenus’

A close-up of a bright yellow Telamonius Plenus daffodil with quite fragile-looking outer petals, but a very strong trumpet at the centre.
Narcissus ‘Telamonius Plenus’

This is the oldest known ‘double’ daffodil, and records tell us that its first spring to flower was in 1620, in the London garden of immigrant Vincent Sion, who was Flemish.1

3. Narcissus ‘Apricot Whirl’

Narcissus ‘Apricot Whirl’

This daffodil has a split corona (the trumpet at the centre of a daffodil), which folds back towards the petals with a swirl of apricot against creamy white.

4. Narcissus ‘Lucifer’

A white and orange daffodil
Narcissus ‘Lucifer’

A striking large cupped variety with white star-shaped petals and a dark orange trumpet.

5. Narcissus ‘Orange Phoenix’

Narcissus ‘Orange Phoenix’

Another very old daffodil having been in existence since before 1731. This beautiful double daffodil starts yellow and then fades to white with bright orange at its centre. It was once popularly known as ‘Eggs and Bacon’ and as N. incomparabilis albus aurantius plenus.2

Plant Listing at the National Trust for Scotland (PLANTS) is the biggest horticultural audit project undertaken by the Trust and aims to celebrate, protect and better understand the flora and vegetation across our gardens and designed landscapes.

Read more stories by the PLANTS project teams

1 Narcissus ‘Telamonius Plenus’, DaffSeek []
2 Narcissus ‘Orange Phoenix’, DaffSeek []

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