Harold Koopowitz, California

Some new and one old mini.

February 8, 2014

Categories: Breeding, Daffodil Types, General, Hybridizing, Miniatures

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It has always been difficult getting strong orange-red color into miniatures but some of the new ones this season are showing the way. The key seems to be to use some of the smaller species that make up part of the jonquil-alliance. One of the problems in using N. jonquilla itself is that most of its progeny are way too big to be considered miniatures. I have been using fernandesii, willkommii, assoanus and gaditanus among others. These seem to give smaller size as well as letting orange-red appear in their progeny.

One of my other goals is to make miniature doubles. I found early on that putting standard hybrid pollen onto N. dubius usually resulted in more N. dubius but maybe one in 50 seedlings would actually also be a hybrid. Trouble is that getting 50 seeds from a cross seems very difficult with the crosses I make. As with making miniature pinks putting N. dubius pollen onto doubles as pod parents seemed to be the way. Problem is finding doubles that routinely make stigmas, and that is another story. There are a few that usually have stigmas but they often appear reluctant to make much seed. Last year I flowered a number of miniature white doubles from Kidson x N. dubius. There are others appearing this season for the first time.

I was excited to find a fat bud appearing in the sheath of Baldock x N. asturiensis and when it opened it was a quite small double. It opened at 36 mm across but has matured to 41 mm in diameter. Color is lemon yellow and there is the hint of a white halo at the base of the petals. It is a definite miniature and seems to follow its species parent in being very early. I hope it continues to survive and multiply. Baldock is a good doer in our climate and I hope that its physiology is also inherited.

'Baldock' x N. asturiensis

‘Baldock’ x N. asturiensis

In recent years there have appeared a number of doubles where the extra petalloids are confined to the cup. An old standby is ‘Viennese Waltz’ that would be registered as a division 6 it if were not for the “stuffed cup”. It is a 4W-W but has pink genes in its background and the pink can come through. It nearly always has a stigma. There are a row of seedlings from ‘Viennese Waltz’ x N. fernandesii, (trying to make miniature multifloral doubles) and I showed two in my last post. Here is another but it is not what was expected. Nevertheless I like it and hope it survives. It is a borderline miniature measuring 47 mm. The perianth however cannot decide if it is yellow or white. The cup has a delightful shape and pink shading near the rim. Hopefully some doubles will follow.


'Viennese Waltz' x N. fernandesii

‘Viennese Waltz’ x N. fernandesii

Popeye is a standard white with a stuffed cup and each flower has a stigma. One year I pollinated 18 flowers with N. dubius and other small flowers but only got one pod with a handful of seed in it  from using N. dubius. At least two of the seedlings have stuffed cups. One is shown below.

Popeye x N. dubius

Popeye x N. dubius

I never understood why people picked their N. gaditanus for show rather than using its pollen for breeding. This year a number of  N. gaditanus seedlings are really showing promise. Here is one from Pentire by N. gaditanus with really strong color and florets only 37 mm in diameter. I am hoping for better things. Of course I wanted an 11aY-R mini but will not complain.

'Pentire' x N. gaditanus

‘Pentire’ x N. gaditanus

Stylish by a Snipe seedling transmitted the long corona but as the petals don’t reflex it will have to be considered a division 2 flower. It is 47 mm in diameter.

'Stylish' x Snipe seedling

‘Stylish’ x Snipe seedling

Jantje by N. willkommii has also given a 2Y-R. This measures 46 mm across the flower.


'Jantje' x N. willkommii

‘Jantje’ x N. willkommii

Last is an oldie ‘Baby Beryl’, it opens a 6Y-Y but as it ages the perianth fades to white. Flowers pictured on Daffseek are from old flowers and taken at a show. Here are some fresh flowers. The cross is Beryl x N. dubius and sometimes there are two flowers to the stem. A bulb of this will be offered at the auction at Little Rock this year. It seems to offset readily and I need to line it out  next season to start producing some bulbs for introduction in a few years time.

'Baby Beryl' 6Y-Y

‘Baby Beryl’ 6Y-Y





5 Responses to Some new and one old mini.

  1. Bill Carter, Washington
    Bill Carter, Washington
    February 8, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    I never had much interest in mini’s until I saw your baby’s at Murphy’s last year.  Looking forward to seeing your kids at Murphy’s this spring.

  2. Stephen Vinisky, Oregon
    Stephen Vinisky, Oregon
    February 9, 2014 at 9:29 am


    Really like the Miniature double from ‘Baldock’ seedling. This especially knowing just how hard it is to get good form and Miniature characteristics. The ‘Penfire’ x N. gaditanus is also sensational. That’s one to keep a close eye on in my opinion!

    Not as enamored with the double cups which is probably a personal taste thing. Also love the ‘Baby Beryl’.

    Keep them coming!!!!! More drool to clean off the keyboard and monitor………


  3. Dave Hardy, Northern Ireland
    Dave Hardy, Northern Ireland
    February 9, 2014 at 11:46 am


    The Popeye by n.dubius is very nice. Not as full a cup as a standard Popeye. I like it alot.


  4. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    February 9, 2014 at 10:47 pm


    You keep producing off-beat and exciting flowers. I’d like to be able to grow and use N. gaditanus but it does not like to live in Northern Ireland. However I can grow N. calcicola and N. scaberulus OK – both just opening now – but no colourful pollen parents available.  In any case I think the weather is too cold and dark for pollen germination.

    I have some interesting N. lagoi x N. assoanus seedlings flowering about the same size and at the same time as snowdrops. They have the same pendulous pose as the Galanthus and may make wonderful companion plants for the garden – or nice little pot plants for the alpine growers as the stems are all vertical. N. lagoi has this characteristic – along with nodding pose, that sets it off from many of the N. asturiensis forms. These seedlings are all deepest gold in colour but have no ‘exhibition’  pretensions but still I like them. I’d like to show pics – but I’m  still have not caught on how to do so.


  5. David Adams, New Zealand
    February 9, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    For a mini double check out ‘Little Kiwi’ which comes as a miniature for Jon Kawaguchi.