Jacq Felis, South Australia

Double Narcissus with an identity crisis

June 13, 2014

Categories: Bulb Information, Growing Daffodils

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Hello Everyone,

I am back after a long absence.  I may not be prolific, but I will be reading with great interest.  Meanwhile, I have a little mystery to solve.  A couple of years ago I purchased this lovely double with flyaway petals under the name ‘Karen’s Event’ at a Market stall up in the Adelaide Hills. I can’t find this name in DaffSeek, or anywhere else on the Internet. Does anyone recognize this flower or know anything about its ancestry?  I originally purchased the bulb in May 2012 (late Autumn) and it flowered in August 2012 (very late Winter) though these timings may not reflect its “normal” behavior.  It didn’t flower last year, as it was busy madly dividing, but I have high hopes for this year.  I didn’t actually measure the flower, but it must have been pretty close to 4″ or 10cm across on a sturdy, but not over tall stem (say about 12 to 14 inches (30-35cm).  I WAS growing it in a pot, so the stem may grow taller in the garden. The original bulb was also quite large, having a tall neck and grayish white tunics.  I do have a picture of the bulb, if anyone wants to see it let me know.

Ciao, Jacq.

8 responses to “Double Narcissus with an identity crisis”

  1. Jacq Felis, South Australia Jacq Felis says:

    Hi Guys,

    It has been about three weeks since I posted this.  Can ANYONE help me with an ID for this flower?

    Ciao, Jacq.

  2. David Adams, New Zealand says:

    Hi Jacq,

    Daffnet is very quiet at the moment. Northern Hemisphere growers enjoying long summer evenings away from the computer and down at the billabong. My answer is very uninformed. There are cultivars such as Twink or Texas which may be similar to your cultivar. Otherwise it may have come from self sown seed or a discarded seedling to which someone, who may know Karen, has given the bulb a pet name.

    The late David Bell would walk through his garden with a visitor who might say “I like that flower.” It was probably not a flower he would normally name so he would say to the visitor “I will name it after you” He may later have given them a bulb of the cultivar and the name was perpetuated even though the cultivar was never registered. You may have one like this.

    David Adams


  3. Lawrence Trevanion, Australia Lawrence Trevanion, Australia says:

    Hi Jacq,

    Don’t worry. You haven’t been ignored or neglected. The difficulty is that once a name for a flower has been lost it is often impossible to retrieve because not many flowers are so unique as to be definitely recognisable.

    Reverend Philpott bred daffodils in South Australia but Daffseek has no doubles associated with his name. You could try looking through some of the old Australian catalogues in the ADS online library but I had a look at a couple most likely – I don’t think you will find anything.

    The most similar name is Karen Mumford which is interesting because doubles with ‘Event’ in their name are also associated with Richardson. But if you search Daffseek for Richardson doubles you will see they all have flatter broader petals. This is why David has guessed your double to be much older than these.

    I don’t know ‘Karen Mumford’. Richardson didn’t register it but the Dutch may have been interested in it if it was large and showy and had good plant habit and vigour, so maybe there is a possibility that this is what your daffodil is. Chances are you will not be able to do better than ‘Karen’s Event’.

  4. Jacq Felis, South Australia Jacq Felis, New South Wales, Australia says:

    Thanks for the information.  At least that gives me some idea of potential context for the plant – I have been feeling very confused!  The back story to my acquisition is that I went on a day trip with my local Cottage Garden Club and one of our ports of call was the Mt Barker Farmer’s Market. The stall right at the end was selling a lot of bulbs, and I got three “named” Narcissus for a dollar a bulb – this one, Polly’s Pearl, and “Italicus Star” which looks pretty much like the Italicus in Daffseek to me.

    The thing that impressed me is how tough the bulb is.  It has spent most of its time with me in a too small pot, sitting on my concrete driveway through two of the worst summers we have ever had, and it is doing fine.  Down here on the Adelaide plain, below the hills, summer temperatures above 30C are routine and spikes over 40C are not unusual.  Last year our weather was SO hot that we even made the international news!  (try Googling “Adelaide heatwave record” and look at the Guardian article if you are interested)  Despite the adversity, it has flowered and produced 8 daughter bulbs, and I think that the clump will be producing at least one flower this year as the central stem is becoming enormously fat at the base.  The main reason I was name hunting in the first place is because I would like to distribute the plant to others as it is obviously both hardy and prolific – I am just hesitant to pass along a name with no provenance to other people.

    Ciao, KK.

  5. Lawrence Trevanion, Australia Lawrence Trevanion, Australia says:

    Hi again Jacq,

    Another thought that occurs to me is that it might be Flower Drift. It might be worth obtaining a bulb of that for comparison.

    You probably know that daffodils are Mediterranean and there are many things that will thrive for you. The British breeding/show tradition has obviously selected daffodils for those climates particularly with the help of the poeticus group which provides orange and, being alpine, cold tolerance. My guess is you can grow just about anything but will struggle with late varieties. Reverend Philpott’s most famous daffodil is Polar Imp. It used to do very well in Perth.

    Just curious – why are you listed as being from New South Wales?

  6. Hello Jacq,

    I seemed to missed your original post, but catching up here!

    Your flower seem to have a very similar resemblance to:- N.Feu de Joie 4W-O pre 1927 Copeland.

     I have a picture but seem not to be able to attach it on here

     It grows here in the UK and USA so see no reason why it would not grow elsewhere around the world!

    If it is the same flower, Welcome to the Historic World!

    Please email me at  title= and I’ll send copy to you

    Best wishes,


  7. David Adams, New Zealand says:

    We have a dilemma here. Jacq’s flower may be a registered cultivar with a pet name or it could be a new cultivar with a pet name. In my view it may be very misleading to continue with either. I once bought some mixed bulbs from a garden centre, took a flower to a show and one of our most respected growers of the day told me it was St Keverne. I showed it and bred from it under that name. When I saw the true St Keverne I realised that he had given me the name as that was the closest he could think of or knew of. I am now sure that the bulb came from a mixture of discarded seedlings.

    Think about the Lemon Drops confusion.


  8. Jacq Felis, South Australia Jacq Felis, New South Wales, Australia says:

    “Just curious – why are you listed as being from New South Wales?”

    Because I can’t work out how to change it! It’s probably completely obvious, but I’ve looked all over my page and cant see it anywhere.

    Ciao, Jacq.


    PS Thanks for the additional thoughts re the name.  I’ve definitely got a new bud now, I saw it this morning, so I should have more photos soon – this time I will take a ruler to it!