Stephen Vinisky, Oregon

Pink Cups & viridiflorus hybrids – Parallel Development

January 24, 2012

Categories: Daffodil Types, Hybridizer, Hybridizing, Seedling, Standards

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One hundred and fifty years ago (give or take a few decades either way) pink cupped daffodils did not exist. Enterprising hybridizers of that era combined Narcissus poeticus with the species trumpets as well as other species.The wire red rim on N. poeticus often disappeared in the initial seedlings. Several generations of seedlings later, pinkish (many opened biscuit colored and slowly changed to a pinkish color; usually at flower death) progeny began to appear. Later hybridizers combined these biscuit/pinkish types and deeper “true” pink began to appear. Consistent attention and focus by hybridizers over many generations have slowly, painstakingly managed to accumulate more and more pink pigment. This multi-generational focus and darned hard work has allowed us to arrive at the superb pinks and red pinks we enjoy today.

It strikes me that the development of pink cupped daffodils has a close parallel with the “new” hybrids involving N. viridiflorus. At best, we are currently only three or four generations into the development of N. viridiflorus progeny. There is huge opportunity today with still unexplored N. viridiflorus primary hybrids.

As in the development of pink cups, I believe that it is in the downstream generations of N. viridiflorus hybrids is where the fabulous attribute of doubling floral longevity will come to the forefront. The reassortment of genes in future generations of N. viridiflorus hybrids will allow future hybridizers to retrieve the key aspect of floral longevity as well as the green coloration. With attention and dedication we hybridizers can begin to eliminate and “improve” the negative attributes (negative from an exhibition standpoint) that may be apparent in some of todays early N. viridiflorus hybrids.

Yes, it won’t be either simple or easy. Sterility, lack of progress, etc. will have to be overcome. As in the development of pink cups or even the early Div. 11’s (split coronas) the same “negative” issues exisited and had to be overcome. The genetic attributes needed are in there somewhere. We hybridizers need to find them and encourage their development.

What exciting times for mistress narcissus!!!


Steve Vinisky


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