Nancy Tackett, California

Sad news about Bill the Bulb Baron

February 4, 2020

Categories: Daffodil Enthusiasts, General

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It is with deep sorrow that I must tell you that Bill Welch, known more as “Bill the Bulb Baron” passed away a few weeks ago. Bill had been receiving medical attention for an unknown condition.

As a child, Bill was captivated with the Single Chinese Narcissus growing in his back yard. He was amazed by their ability to thrive on neglect.

Bill was a generous donor of bulbs to the Northern California Daffodil Society and other groups.  Bill was awarded the American Daffodil Society Gold Medal last year for his pioneering work with hybridizing tazettas.

I understand that Bill passed away while working out in his daffodil field.

A memorial will be held on February 29th at Pacific Garden Chapel, 1050 Cayuga St. Santa Cruz at 3:00 p.m.


8 responses to “Sad news about Bill the Bulb Baron”

  1. Harold Koopowitz, California Harold Koopowitz, California says:

    Bill was single-minded in his love for Tazettas and did more that any one else in recent years to popularize the group. He was generous in distributing seed,bulbs, and sharing germplasm around the world. This is a great loss for the daffodil world as he was still in his prime and could have contributed so much more to the daffodil world.


  2. Larry Force, Mississippi Larry Force, Mississippi says:

    So sorry to hear of Bill’ passing. Bill was so generous with his hybridizing. He sent seed all over the world from some of his crosses that have been amazing advances in tazetta hybridizing. As well as offering some of his super hybrids to daffodil growers. In am sure there are numerous others that we have never seen or heard of. Bill left this world far too soon and will truly be missed by his friends and world wide daffodil growers!

  3. Bradley McCarson, South Carolina Bradley McCarson, South Carolina says:

    I am shocked and saddened to hear this news, Bill and I spent hours and hours talking over the phone about Daffodils and he shared with me priceless knowledge on how to hybridize. He was more than generous with his knowledge.

    Bill sent me many seeds and hybrids. I will help carry on his legacy of breeding Tazettas by using the plants he has sent. I will miss Bill dearly.

  4. Bob Spotts, California Bob Spotts, California says:

    The Bulb Baron is gone! Bill died as he would have preferred – while working with his daffodils. Bill was the international master of Tazettas. He collected and clarified all that is known about them – and used this information in creating a stronger set of Tazetta cultivars.

    His entire life in Carmel and Santa Cruz, California was spent in research on his favorite flower. The American Daffodil Society had recently awarded him its highest honor – the ADS Gold Medal – for his original work with Tazettas.

    A memorial for Bill will be at Pacific Gardens Chapel, 1050 Cayuga Street, Santa Cruz on February 29 at 3pm. His property at Moss Landing (1820 Hwy 1) will be open for visiting the following day. Any donations may be made to the American Daffodil Society.

  5. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio says:

    I’m so sorry to learn of Bill’s passing.  I got to know him in the 1980s when he wrote a column in The Daffodil Journal called “Tazetta Talk.”  (You can look them up in DaffLibrary.)   He was always ready to share his knowledge as well as seeds and bulbs.  We lost him far too soon, and he will be missed.

  6. Theo Sanders, Germany Theo Sanders, Germany says:

    I never saw Bill but was in contact with him since 2002, when I sent him some bulbs of N. tazatta from Figueres. As a hybridizer he made interesting and progressive crosses and generated beautiful tazettas. He always gave me the right advice for breeding these daffodils and I will miss him.  I thought of him and his work especially in January of this year for the last time writing my paper on NNNX daffodils in which I mentioned some of his crosses and two of his articles in the Daffodil Journal.


  7. ADS Executive Director ADS Executive Director says:

    Here is a note from Jamie, Bill’s partner  title=

    From: Jaminia Colliard
    Subject: sad news

    Message Body:

    I have some very sad news about Bill Welch, the Bulb Baron. He passed away a few weeks ago after spending time in and out of the hospital with health problems that were difficult to diagnose. It gives us some comfort knowing he died peacefully while he was taking a nap in his truck as he liked to do at the field in Moss Landing, close to the flowers that he loved so dearly. We are holding a memorial service on February 29th at 3:00 at Pacific Gardens Chapel, 1055 Cayuga St. Santa Cruz.

  8. Lawrence Trevanion, Australia Lawrence Trevanion, Australia says:

    I have been out of touch and have just read this sad news.

    The most recent comment I wrote on Daffnet was: –

    “Bill Welch has terrific tazettas. There has never been a better time to breed tazettas.”

    I hope he saw this.

    Bill dedicated his life to collecting and promoting tazettas. He generously distributed seed around the world and has left a powerful legacy.

    My condolences to his family and loved ones.