Minnie Hume?

May 6, 2009

Categories: Daffodil Types, Historics, Hybridizing, Seedling

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 Drew, Joe and others interested,
Regarding your enquiry on the daffodil Minnie Hume, Backhouse, 1884. FCC  April 8, 1884.  There is some confusion existing on this cultivar as the Classified Lists from at least 1969 onwards list this as a division three flower.  I would suggest Minnie Hume is not a division three flower, but is in fact, division two.
In Bourne’s book ‘The Book of the Daffodil’ 1903 opposite page 46 is an excellent black and white photograph of three flowers titled;  Medio – Coronati (A Leedsii form)  Narcissus “Minnie Hume”. 
The old Leedsii classification was divided into two sections; a  – large crown leedsii and b -small crown leedsii.  About 1950 the Classification undertook a major change and the large crowned leedsii were incorporated into division two and the small crowned leedsii were made division three.  It would appear that those responsible for making changes to classification in the Register and Classified List at that period placed Minnie Hume in the wrong division, that is division three.
As the blooms are illustrated in Bourne’s book – Medio – Coronati would be equivalent to our large crowned flowers.  To reinforce the evidence that Minnie Hume is division two, one can refer to Robert Sydenham’s 1911 book “All About Daffodils” where the measurements of the flower are given.  These are – the size across the whole perianth is 3-1/2 inches, the length and breadth of the segments are 1-1/2 inches x 7/8 inch, the length or depth of the cup and the size across the mouth is 3/4 x 1-1/8 inch.  These measurements clearly denote division two.
In Bourne’s photograph the perianth segments are perfectly star shaped and not overlapping, I doubt very much whether the flower you show in your e-mail is Minnie Hume as your second photo shows distinct overlapping at the base.  It has to be realised that accurate identification now of these old daffodils is nigh on impossible.  Some of these older looking  varieties that are posted to daffnet may in fact be poor grade seedlings as there have been literally hundreds of thousands of daffodils come into existance since the time Minnie Hume was first known. 
Some of you may now have your new International Daffodil Register and Classified List 2008, you should be made aware that there are  many errors in this new printing and there are few people now worldwide  with the knowledge of older daffodils able to rectify these mistakes.
When time permits I would like to discuss the Brodie of Brodie’s cultivar Balmoral 2Y-Y as this variety has been confused in the last two classified lists.

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