Clay Higgins, North Carolina

Mix up of bulbs

July 28, 2018

Categories: American Daffodil Society, Breeding, Bulb Information, Daffodil Enthusiasts, General, Growing Daffodils, Hybridizing

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I meant to post this earlier in the late spring.  A person brought a daffodil to me during the staging at a show this past spring and asked me what the name of it was and I immediately said, ‘Xunantunich’ 2YYW-WWY it’s easy to identify as in my garden it has a lot of white in the petals and delicate in substance.

They said that it was labeled ‘Nikki Koko’ 2W-GYP.  Since I was the one giving our the ‘Nikki Koko’ in the fall of 2017 I apologize for the error.  Not sure how the mix up happened.  However, ‘Nikki Koko’ 2W-GYP is heavy in substance and at maturity is a decided 2W-P.  The color code does not adequately describe the daffodil, but I found it hard to classify as in the garden it is changing colors hard and fast.  When I was classifying it, it seemed to be 2W-GYP at the time, so therefore at my option that is how I coded it.



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3 Responses to Mix up of bulbs

  1. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    July 28, 2018 at 1:47 pm


    As you have noticed there can be difficulty in deciding the correct colour coding of flowers that can change colours. I think that official advice is that we should code “at maturity”

    But what is maturity – how do we determine when a flower is mature? I recently learned from a voice of authority in the RHS that a flower is mature when the Pollen sacs dehisce.

    That can be within hours and often within one day – but exhibitors tend to wait for a flower to grow up, smooth out and gain maximum, size before exhibiting – and will want to know the colour code

    at the time they are likely to want to show the bloom. Accordingly I tended to wait until the blooms were at peak show condition before deciding what colour code to register – long after the flower reached

    botanical maturity. Perhaps this is only an academic point – the flower will still be mature for some time – it probably only means that we should not decide colour code until the anthers have dehisced.

    But we still have to decide at what stage of maturity to determine the code – so after all these words the problem remains !! I don’t think I’ll change the habit of a lifetime.

    In any case the description should indicate if flower colours change.


  2. Patti Claflin, Massachusetts
    July 28, 2018 at 2:24 pm

    In reading the original post I agree it would help to have an addition of something like (MT/2W-P) to indicate that it ‘Matures To’. I have been confused many times and would this would save reading through the complete description to see the radical morphing of color in some Narcissus.

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Clay Higgins, North Carolina
    Clay Higgins, North Carolina
    July 29, 2018 at 5:57 am

    Hi Brian,

    You are one of the first persons that Marie Bozievich introduced me to at the Baltimore National Convention back in, was it 1996 or 1997, I remember your beautiful double daffodil Dorchester won the Gold Ribbon.  I have had the greatest respect for you since our initial conversations when I was such a novice daffodil grower and shower. Thanks for your help and comments over the years.

    I appreciate your comments on color coding.  I had to learn color coding by doing and from experience in showing my daffodils. The daffodil color code we are discussing is an enigma as it defies all reason.  It opens as a W-Y with a puny cup and it looks more like a reject than anything else.  I’m glad that I left it in the garden as the cup continued to grow and mature and starts to turn pink inside the cup.  It goes through several color changes and emerges as a beautify swan 2W-P.  At the time I showed it in my garden to Richard Ezell and Mitchel Carney is was at the stage of 2W-GYP thus it’s registered color code.  I have used it successfully in my showing.

    Dr. W. Bender always said that Conestoga 2W-GYO was at it’s best when the cup is solid orange.  That’s not the color code either for Conestoga.  I think I will leave Nikki Koko as is.

    Thanks all for their comments.