Bill Carter, Washington

5W-Y/W-P Can we update the color code convention?

May 8, 2013

Category: General

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Many Daffodils open with one color code and change into another color code.  I’ve got a beautiful Katie Heath that clearly opens 5W-Y and then turns a nice 5W-P.  With multiple blooms per stem it can be both colors on the same stem.  Why can’t we update the color code convention to show the opening color code/mature color code?  I’ve also got a Harpsichord that opens 11Y-Y (for 2 weeks) and is now turning 11Y-P.   It is classified as 11Y-P.  Why not 11Y-Y/Y-P?


When I get a new bloom and it does not match the color code I wonder if it is correctly identified.

3 responses to “5W-Y/W-P Can we update the color code convention?”

  1. Lawrence Trevanion, Australia Lawrence Trevanion, Australia says:

    Hi Bill,

    There are many instances where we could alter the color coding system to suit a particular daffodil – where the color inside the trumpet is different to the color outside (due to shading I expect), for example. In my view, any refinement must be balanced against the simplicity of the system. I don’t have a strong objection to a sequence of color codes for a daffodil but the database needs to be able to accommodate it and a lot of work is involved in making the changes for older daffodils.

    If the change was adopted you might use ‘;’ but not ‘/’ because it is already part of the current system eg.11Y-Y;Y-P

    I’m not sure others feel, but in my own private database I use ‘K’ for red-pink because I find it quite distinct from the intense orange-reds and I want to be able to search for it easily.

  2. David Adams, New Zealand says:


    The registration process for narcissus is quite clear. The colour coding registered must be the colour of the flower at maturity.


  3. Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi Loyce McKenzie, Mississippi says:

    Helpful comment, David.

    Changing a color code at present, I believe, requires permission of the original registrant, if living; and is incredibly convoluted otherwise.

    Essentially, simplicity has to prevail. The grower/exhibitor and later the judge have to decide what the flower is likely to look like when the show opens! And you balance in your climate and the season.

    Loyce McKenzie, Zone 8A, where my best reverse bicolor is “Tristram,’ forever classified as a 2 Y-Y.