Stephen Vinisky, Oregon

Miniatures – Too Many List & Too Many Opportunities List

January 24, 2013

Categories: Breeding, Daffodil Types, Fertility, Hybridizer, Hybridizing, Miniatures, Seedling, Seeds

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There are HUGE unexplored opportunities for creative hybridizers to develop new and exciting Miniature daffodils. There are also a plethora of a few types and styles which is what was in mind in the previous post of Naming Miniatures – My Take on the Matter.

My personal Too Many List of Miniature Daffodils:



Div. 10 – Both Y-Y & W-W

From a hybridizing perspective the above are no doubt the most accessible or available group in which to obtain breeding material. They seed and flower easily (in general) and can give nice seedlings. There are also a SLUG of them that have been Registered and Named. New Registrations would be most welcome if (and it’s a BIG if) they have extraordinary health and vigor as well as being distinct from those that already exist and are clearly distinct in multiple aspects.

My personal Too Many Opportunities List for Hybridizing Miniature Daffodils:

First and foremost is HEALTH and VIGOR. This can’t be emphasized too strongly. A most challenging aspect that, based on necessity, forces or demands a longer seedling Selection evaluation period. In my experience, it simply can’t be done adequately in a few handfuls of seasons.

Anything with color! Whites, pinks, bicolor, yellow reds, reverse bicolor, yellow oranges, rims, you name it. We need colorful Miniatures.

Div. 1 – Anything not Y-Y.

Div. 2 – Many more of these Registered in Standards than any other division by a goodly amount. Only a tiny handful of Miniatures currently exist in this Division. Worth thinking about why that is.

Div. 3 – Any would be MOST welcome additions. Especially those with no Div. 7 & Apodanthe in their heritage due to fertility issues.

Div. 4 – So few currently exist. Anything at all would be welcome.

Div. 5 – Health and vigor is a key point. We need more Miniature Div. 5’s.

Div. 6 – Anything not Y-Y. This excepting modern replacements for things like ‘Atom’, ‘Flute’, ‘Heidi’, etc.

Div. 7 – Anything not Y-Y.

Div. 8 – Anything with color. Poetaz types.

Div. 9 – Poets that open Miniature and stay Miniature throughout their life. A key need to develop future Div. 2.’s, Div. 3.’s, Miniature poetaz, etc.

Div. 10 – Anything not Y-Y or W-W. I still want a pink bulbocodium as well as a Y-R bulbocodium so badly I can taste it!

Div. 11 – Any true Miniature split cup would be most welcome.

With Miniature Daffodils the Opportunities list is really almost limitless today. There is no real need to add to the Far Too Many list unless it is a killer of a flower.




3 responses to “Miniatures – Too Many List & Too Many Opportunities List”

  1. David Adams, New Zealand says:

    Steve and Clay,

    There seems to be some other inhibitors to your arguments on miniatures. That is that to get true miniatures we generally start with the species. This seems to pose two problems. Firstly the form of the species is not necessarily what we accept as ‘show form.’ Thus the hybrids inherit the form faults that we are trying to make progress at eliminating. Secondly many of the hybrids are infertile and thus to make progress from intersectional crosses is going to be very slow.

    I also think we need to consider that, in the wild, many of the species are dependent on making seed for continuing their existence. For many it is not natural for the bulb to survive. We try to keep cultivars in a way nature has not equipped them to do. Keeping their seed, if  it is fertile, will not solve the problem because we know that that seed will not be true to the parent it has come from therefore we cannot keep the hybrid going by collecting seed.

    It is true that by manipulating growing conditions to replicate those found in the wild does help but cross cyclamineus with triandrus and we are trying to make opposites equal apart from the fact that both are generally seed dependant. I suspect that, as with our standard daffodils, we may have to get poeticus vigour into the bulbs. This may also give opportunity for working on colour variations. The Tasmanians are well ahead of us on this one, I think.

    David Adams

  2. Clay Higgins, New Jersey Clay Higgins, North Carolina says:


    Thanks for bringing in the “real” wold of species and miniatures that depend on seed to survive.  Most of them don’t increase by bulb division as well. Most all of my attempts at miniatures I’m using species.  Some of the Div 7 miniature crosses seem to be the exception.



  3. Dave and Clay,

    Nowhere did I say that things were going to be easy! In my view making a start is far better than pumping out look alike 6Y-Y’s simply because we CAN pump out look alike 6Y-Y’s.

    As an example, look at the tremendous time span it took to find fertile poetaz in the Standards. Guy L. Wilson spent much effort over his lifetime improving whites. They were scarce and rare when he began. There are many, many other examples. Why would anyone imagine that the development of Miniatures might be any different?

    I’d bet anything that the raisers back in Haworth’s or Leeds or Backhouse’s era felt much the same. Probably moaned and despaired of the pace of improvement and the lack of breakthrough progress. Larry is absolutely correct, we ARE in the stone age as far as Miniatures. Truly exciting times with fabulous future potential.