Harold Koopowitz, California

End of Autumn

December 19, 2013

Categories: Autumn Blooming Daffodils, Breeding, Daffodil Types, General, Hybridizing

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I take December 21-22nd as signalling the beginning of winter although I suppose that the shortest day of the year should really be considered mid-winter, but we need not get into that. Here are some of the daffodils in my garden that I photographed today so I consider them late autumn flowers. I need to do some serious selection among the seedlings, while they are still in flower.

N. cantabricus x Lima's Green Success





There are not too many hybrids between the bulbocodiums and other sections and I hope that other hybridizers will make them too. Here the cross is N. cantabricus x Lima’s Green Success. The latter is Actaeus x N. viridiflorus. It has just opened and is a key-lime pastel green, a lovely color to my mind although it does make for a gawky flower. The seeds of this cross were planted in 2006 and this is the first seedling to bloom. There were only 5 seeds and this is the first of them to bloom. There are three more bulbs to flower in, probably, a month’s time. I will see if this sets seed.

Lima's Green Joy




Lima’s Green Joy is still in bloom and has narrower perianth segments than its siblings but most people seem to prefer it. Unfortunately it is not a rapid increaser. These do set seed but so far nothing exciting has come from it.

Habit x Emerald Sea




The picture above is a mixed batch from Habit x Emerald Sea. Many of these carry two flowers to the stem, a trait that harks back to N. viridiflorus, its grandparent. I like them because they are the first flowers in the year that resemble “real” daffodils. One does not have to explain to the casual gardener that these are autumn daffodils.

'Autumn Ice' (unreg.)




Here is the only one from (Avalanche seedling x Emerald Sea) that I saved, most were nice but to my mind this is the best. I plan to register it next year as “Autumn Ice”. The cup opens a uniform pale green that then flushes to white. The florets are quite large and with 9 or more to the stem. Its perianth is very smooth but some of the florets have very long pedicels. To my mind that is a definite fault and is another indicator of N. viridiflorus in the background. Rather strange is that the newly opened florets have the strong N. viridiflorus fragrance but when they mature that is replaced with a standard tazetta fragrance. I have not tested this one for fertility.

'Tequila Sunrise'




Tequila Sunrise makes a cheerful spot of color every autumn. It would probably do well all across the south but I don’t know how far north it will grow.


N. romieuxii

N. romieuxii

Straight bulbocodium crosses are probably ideal  plants for the beginning hybridizer. They can easily be managed in pots and can be grown in a cold frame for those of you who have unfavorable climates.  The pots below are flowers from 2011 planting, so they are only in their third season and already flowering. These result from sibling crosses of N. romieuxii and are surprisingly varied. Ideal for those who do not have the patience to endure the 4 to 7 year wait periods that other types require. However, the green N. cantabricus hybrid illustrated at the top of this posting has taken 7 years to bloom.

My next posting will be winter daffodils.

A Merry Christmas and a fantastically good New Year to all.



2 responses to “End of Autumn”

  1. Bill Carter, Washington Bill Carter, Washington says:

    Glad to see some daffodils in Dec.  Not sure I’ll be able to do that unless I heat my greenhouse.  So how big an area do you have for daffodil growing?

  2. Harold Koopowitz, California Harold Koopowitz, California says:


    I live in Orange County, So. Cal. Our property is in the city so we have only 1/3rd acre and that has the house and a large orchid greenhouse as well. One of the reasons I actually specialize in miniatures 🙂