Double Daffodils

February 20, 2020

Categories: Daffodil Types, Standards

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This message came to us via email:

From: Shirley True  title=

What causes double daffodils! Can they be changed back to single blooms? I have asked many people and researched to no avail.

Can someone please help?

Thanks in advance

Shirley True, Georgia


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7 Responses to Double Daffodils

  1. Jaydee Ager, Georgia
    Jaydee Ager, Georgia
    February 21, 2020 at 6:36 am

    I have reached out to Shirley True in Georgia.

    Jaydee Atkins Ager
     title= <mailto: title=>

  2. Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee
    Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee
    February 22, 2020 at 4:22 am

    What was your response, Jaydee?

  3. Jaydee Ager, Georgia
    Jaydee Ager, Georgia
    February 22, 2020 at 4:28 am

    I asked her some questions to make sure I understood what she was specifically referring to and haven’t heard back from her thus far.

    Jaydee Atkins Ager
     title= <mailto: title=>

  4. Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee
    Becky Fox Matthews, Tennessee
    February 23, 2020 at 9:51 am

    My understanding is that double daffodils were a mutation like split cups and that, like split cups, you can hybridize with one and have a chance of getting another double — I’m wondering if there is a statistical value to this.  I’ve also heard that some doubles (like ‘Double Campernelle’) can revert back to the single version.  I would like for hybridizers and others knowledgeable about this topic to reply please.

  5. Jaydee Ager, Georgia
    Jaydee Ager, Georgia
    February 23, 2020 at 10:11 am

    Becky, you asked about what I said to the initial inquiry? I responded to the original inquiry to ask specific questions. Years ago, the sender had dug some very old naturalized daffodils (apparently a mixed clump but she may not have realized that at the time, years back). Over the years, all that survived the move were old doubles – commonly named Green Mop or Butter & Eggs. She wanted the doubles to “return” to single blooms so she could enjoy the nice fragrance from her memory. I explained and provided her probably more details than she may have wanted. She lives up the road from the GA Daffodil Soc Show so I invited her to come to the show so I could help her more. We have a large historic section @ the GDS show, so maybe she will come. Haven’t heard back since I sent the second email to her with an explanation of what likely happened.

    One of the most common questions I am asked goes sorta’ like this, “Why did all my daffodils turn white? They were yellow and orange when I planted them. Now I only have white. What caused them to change colors like that?” When I’ve explained the many ways this could have happened – it isn’t uncommon for a person to just look me in the eye and say, “Well I thought you would know the answer – but apparently not!”
    Jaydee Atkins Ager
     title= <mailto: title=>

  6. Drew Mc Farland, Ohio
    Drew Mc Farland, Ohio
    February 23, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Great question Becky.  I’d like to hear observations on that also.

    Regards, Drew

  7. Lawrence Trevanion, Australia
    Lawrence Trevanion, Australia
    March 2, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    There is a discussion on doubles here: –

    It works fairly well to suppose that doubling arises from a single dominant gene and that in modern tetraploids more copies of the gene produce more doubling i.e. you get fuller doubles by crossing them with each other.

    Single daffodils can sport to doubles as in Ice King from Ice Follies. No doubt daffodils can sport from doubles back to singles. John McLennan posted a photo here of a tazetta with both double and single flowers.

    My impression is that doubling is most common in poets, but can also be found in pseudonarcissus, rarely jonquilla and tazetta, and never in paperwhites, triandrus or bulbocodium. (My guess is that the doubling in White Marvel, a Tresamble sport, does not come from triandrus and that the doubling in Erlicheer does not come from paperwhite.)