Theo Sanders, Germany

Chromosome doubling of Narcissus varieties and species

December 8, 2019

Categories: Daffodil Types, Hybridizing

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Meanwhile Hawera, Fairy Chimes, N. jonquilla henriquesii, Pixie’s Sister and N. jonquilla cordubensis have been transformed from diploid to tetraploid. The program shall be proceeded to convert further  narcissus species and varieties. More information you find in the pdf-file Chromosome doubling of narcissus varieties and species december 2019.


23 Responses to Chromosome doubling of Narcissus varieties and species

  1. ADS Executive Director
    ADS Executive Director
    December 8, 2019 at 5:51 am

    Can I assume that growth for these tet Daffodils is similar to other converted plants. Do they have more robust leaf growth? Also, I’m assuming it’s been long enough that your converted cuttings have bloomed. Do you have some side by side pictures of un-converted and converted cultivars?

  2. Bradley McCarson, South Carolina
    Bradley McCarson, South Carolina
    December 8, 2019 at 8:22 am

    Hi Theo

    What strength of oryzalin did you use?

    I would like trying this myself!

  3. Theo Sanders, Germany
    Theo Sanders, Germany
    December 9, 2019 at 12:03 am


    The tetraploid N. jonquilla cordubensis is bigger than the diploid. For the other tetraploids the difference is not great. Therefore in most cases it is impossible to select big plants as converted in an early stage of growth. Now I have pots of the diploid and tetraploid Hawera and Fairy Chimes in the greenhouse under the same conditions to measure the differences for registration. In this context I shall make some pictures.


  4. Theo Sanders, Germany
    Theo Sanders, Germany
    December 9, 2019 at 12:22 am


    I use 0.oo1 % oryzalin in water. More information you find in (1). Try it please! Together we have greater chances to get transformed  super  daffodils.


  5. Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee
    Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee
    December 9, 2019 at 4:32 am
  6. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Notice, that ‘cordubensis’ is an invalid name and species. In the type locality of ‘cordubensis’ what you can find is a normal N. fernandesii. Also, the plant introduced as ‘cordubensis’ wasn’t this N. fernadesii, It was Narcissus jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae that grows in Cádiz and Malaga with few localities in Sevilla.


    Narcissus fernandesii in Benameji, Cordoba (the false species N. cordubensis)

  7. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    December 16, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    Hi Rafa,

    I’ve long been accustomed to the name N. cordubensis and have seen it several times in the Ubrique road from Grazalema. Amongst the jonquils I thought it was fairly easily distinguished by it’s great vigour and deeply lobed corona.

    I’ve also seen the name N. jonq. subsp. cerriolazae often referred to in communications as the valid name for what I knew as N. jong. var. cordubensis (F. Casas) my mentor was john Blanchard and I took his word as gospel.

    Now what I’d like to know is – Why cordubensis is regarded as an invalid name (does f. Casas agree?)

    * The origin and author of the name cerrolazae
    * The justification for the proposed change.

    Presumably this information is all available in some Spanish Botanical journals?

    I am not a fan of regular changes of names – it tends to get confusing.

    All best,


  8. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm

    I understand you Brian, I also hate to change names… but if Blanchard uses F. Casas names it is most probable he will transmit wrong concepts. Narcissus cordubensis was described in Cordoba, not in Grazalema (Cádiz) If you visit the type locality of N. cordubensis, the only species that grows there is a normal N. fernandesii, you can see it in the picture that I posted. The problem is that N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae was introduced thinking it was this N. cordubensis (even if the author doesn’t withdraw it. As a matter of fact I don’t know of any article where he has withdrawn any invalid species even though there is a long list of them ie: calcicarpetanus, genesii-lopezii, eugeniae, koshinomurae, radiganorum, perez chiscanoi… I verified personally all the type localities of these names and many others)

    Where ‘cordubensis’ was published as a subsp. of jonquilla?

    Narcissus cerrolazae was described by the botanist Fernando Ureña, here you can see the article

    Later Fernando Ureña has changed his creiteria about this species and now he considers it a subsp. from N. jonquilla. You can see here the article. The measures are almost similar in both species except the corona which is highly lobulated in cerrolazae. Also ecologically they have diferences: jonquilla likes acid soil and cerrolazae likes basic soil.





  9. David Adams, New Zealand
    December 16, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Today I repotted bulbs of what I have grown for many years as N cordubensis.  When I go back to the shade house tomorrow what name should I put on a new name tag?

  10. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 17, 2019 at 1:18 am

    David, I haven’t seen your plants, but most probable it will be Narcissus jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae, as it was introduced under “cordubensis”


  11. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland
    December 17, 2019 at 1:29 am

    I think many of us have the same problem – long established names are hard to change in our minds and the

    replacement names only become established by peer review and that can take a long time. “Doctors differ…. – so too do botanists!

  12. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 17, 2019 at 5:36 am

    Here is a comparative between N. fernandesii (N. cordubensis fake) and N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae. (Fernando Ureñas’s picture) This is why I usually dont’t take as gospel word any supposed authority and I usually check my own what they told.

  13. Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    December 19, 2019 at 11:58 am

    ADS and daffodil police, Mary Lou Gripshover,

    Is this saying that N. cernandesii, subsp cordubensis needs to be renamed N.jonquilla subsp. Cerrolazae? The picture on daffnet is true to form.

    Who has the last word on this for ADS?

    I grow N. fernandesii and cordubensis.


  14. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 19, 2019 at 1:14 pm

    Clay, “cordubensis” doesn’t exists except in the imagination of his author.  The plant he described was a simple N. fernandesii that you can find every where in south Spain. Later someone, I dont know who, introduced a different plant (N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae) under N. cordubensis and also as subsp. of jonquilla!!?? this is really wrong…

    Probably you grow N. fernandesii and N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae that are completely different species, otherwise you are growing N. fernandesii and N. fernandesii (from Cordoba)


  15. Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    December 20, 2019 at 4:42 am


    I have been following your various discussions closely. The species daffodil intrigue me. It was only a short few years ago that the ADS declared that N. cordubensis was a subsp of N. fernandesii. I personally could not see where there was a similarity. Now, I’m trying to see how the daffodil world is going to treat your researched findings.

    I have found that the “fake” cordubensis is an excellent breeder to produce new miniature hybrids. I’d like to push for ADS and RHS to make a decision on how to handle this, and how to handle the many registered hybirds that list the “fake” cordubensis as a parent. Do we have to correct the parentage on the registrations using the “fake” cordubensis.


  16. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 20, 2019 at 9:51 am

    Clay, I fully understand the problem, which is not small, due to the number of names that should be modified and the consequences it has for the hybridizer’s records. It is something that they will to grateful to the author and the journal that has accepted N. fernandesii as another species, and also to the people who has introduce N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae as this N. cordubensis.

    I think it is time to tell the truth about invented species and those that really exist… I can’t imagine the amount of hybrids with N. confusus created under invalid names like N. eugeniae, N. perez-chiscanoi, N. radinganorum, N. calcicarpetanus, N. obvallaris, N. genesii-lopezii, N. hispanicus, N. bujei (sometimes with “J”, other times with “G” )…

    I am sorry to say it clearly, but ADS is wrong and also RHS, KEW or any other institution that supports this name “cordubensis”. You can see our article where we order the chaos of species from the Jonquillae section, which has been supported by genetic and phylogenetic studies.

    Clay, could you please show me photos of your plants, this way I can tell you what you grow with this name.

    I would like to read where “cordubensis” has been subordinated to N. jonquilla

  17. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 20, 2019 at 12:12 pm

    I also introduced a plant in culture using an invalid name, Narcissus albicans, because I also trusted in the same author. When you verify in the field what the article say, what you can find is Narcissus cantabricus, Narcissus x barrae, Narcissus bulbocodium and a new species that blooms before them Narcissus grandae. For this author, all of them except N. bulbocodium are Narcissus albicans (even N. cantabricus!!)

    So if you grow Narcissus albicans (I donate several times in SRGC) , it is wrong, the plant I introduced was Narcissus grandae, which is a fertile N. x barrae

  18. Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    December 20, 2019 at 12:22 pm


    I’m sorry to say that I don’t have many, if any, pictures of my daffodils growing in the garden. I have thousands of pictures that I took at show of individual and collection winner. However, my N. fernandesii looks like the one you posted and my “fake” cordubensis looks like the one you showed as N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae. I have many of my hybridized daffodil pictures, as well

    You asked, “I would like to read where “cordubensis” has been subordinated to N. jonquilla.” ’I am not one of the officers of the ADS. In the ADS we have a book called, “Daffodils to Show and Grow” which is an ‘Abridged Classification List of Daffodil Names.” As far as I know N. jonquilla subsp cordubensis was listed. I hope is got that right. However, in the 2011 book the “Daffodils to Show and Grow” changed it to N. jonquilla fernandesii var. cordubensis. As far as I know that was no written document other than the change in the ADS “Daffodils to Show and Grow.” Again I’m not an official of the ADS, I’m just a member and hybridizer.


  19. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 20, 2019 at 1:38 pm

    Thank you Clay, I see you know perfectly what N. fernandesii and N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae are, regardless of their “dancing names”.


  20. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio
    Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio
    December 21, 2019 at 6:03 am

    Hi Clay,

    As Rafa says, there are all these “dancing names” for some of the species.  🙂  So what are we to call them?  All ADS show schedules say that “The Royal Horticultural Society System of Classification will be used.  The labeling authority is Daffodils to Show and Grow as amended each year in the December ADS Daffodil Journal supplemented by the current information in the American Daffodil Society’s online database”  ADS has always followed the RHS, and change comes very slowly.

    Rafa and his friends, including Fernando Ureña Plaza, are doing great work documenting the species where they grow.  We can hope that eventually we all agree on the names.  Until then, it’s best to follow when you’re showing.  (Not all judges will be aware of the different names.) But it’s good to know what Rafa and his friends are telling us, so we’ll know why names get changed in

    Rafa, thank you for all you’re doing, and for posting your beautiful photos on Daffnet for all of us to enjoy.

    Mary Lou

  21. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 21, 2019 at 7:54 am

    Thank you Mary Lou it’s my pleasure.

    Well, I can’t explain better why this is a case of wrong taxonomy. The only thing that I can tell you is  in resumen, that “cordubensis” is a N. fernandesii, and this species doesn’t grow in Grazalema, The species present there, are N. assoanus subsp. assoanus and N. jonquilla subesp. cerrolazae.

    I invite ADS, RHS, KEW etc… to check Narcissus cordubensis, in Spain,  Córdoba: Benamejí, to see if they find any other species apart N. fernandesii and also which are the similarities with the plant that grows in Cádiz, Grazalema.


  22. Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    Clay Higgins, New Jersey
    December 22, 2019 at 6:48 am

    Mary Lou,

    Thanks. J

    I have always relied on your thoughtful discussions and understandings on Daffodil.

    The question now is, “What if anything will RDH do?” Even if there is a need to do anything.

    I truly appreciate what Rafa et al. are doing.

    I follow ADS rules as that is my organization and when it comes to judging. I still find exhibitors that argue that they can still tell the difference between the old jonqilla N. cordubensis and N. fernandesii var cordubensis from the 2011 listing in daffodils to show and grow. (Especially when they want to put a specimen of “both” in the same collection.) J


  23. Rafael Diez, Spain
    December 22, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    Clay, there is no doubt there are differences between Narcissus fernandesii and N. jonquilla subsp. cordubensis or simply N. cordubensis, because there are two diferent taxa. What I want to clarify is that  “cordubensis” is nothing, but is  simple N. fernandesii, and under this name (subordinated to jonquilla or not) it has been introduced another species N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae.

    The only thing that I am requesting to ADS is to eliminate this name “cordubensis” because it is a N. fernandesii and recognize N. jonquilla subsp. cerrolazae that is well studied, published, accepted and supported by further molecular DNA tests.

    I hope Brian can verify by himself, in the type locality of N. cordubensis, what I am saying and I am sure he will come to the same conclusion.