No bigger than a crocus (that’s ‘Paulus Potter’ and Tulipa schrenkii in our photo) and almost as early, this selected form of the Pyrenean mountains wildflower N. minor is so small and perfect you may have trouble believing it’s real. Its tiny, bright yellow trumpets fit anywhere and force eagerly. 1 Y-Y, 4-6”, zones 4-7S/9WC, from Holland. Last offered in 2004. Available elsewhere, or we could special order it for you.
LITTLE WITCH, 1921
Cute name, very cute flower. From the wild N. cyclamineus, ‘Little Witch’ is a bright yellow pixie with a long, fluted, “stove-pipe” trumpet and petals that sweep back as if it were riding a tiny broomstick. It’ s vigorous, early-blooming, and a terrific perennializer. 6 Y-Y, 10-12”, zones 6-8aS/10WC, from Holland. Last offered in 2009. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
Here’s a perky little flower with a “stove-pipe” cup no wider than a pencil – and a mysterious past. Naturalist and wine merchant Alexander Macleay reputedly sent it to London from Smyrna in the 1820s, but it has never been found growing in the wild anywhere and experts continue to debate its parentage. No matter, “it is a jolly little plant and a collector’s piece,” says John Blanchard, and “deplorably scarce.” 13 W-Y, 8-10”, zones 6-8, from Holland. Last offered web-only in 2007. We could special order it for you.
MADAME DE GRAAFF, 1887
“Save the Bulbs!” we say, and Jane Kuitems did, rescuing from oblivion the finest white daffodil of the 19th century. In the 1930s Jane’s mother worked for a florist who forced daffodils for cutflowers. She planted some at home, they multiplied like rabbits, and everyone loved them. Decades later Jane sent us a few, experts helped us identify it, and in 2004 we re-introduced this elegant grand dame – to a frenzy. Last offered in 2007. 1 W-W, 14-16”, zones 4a-7b/9WC, from Pennsylvania. Last offered in 2011. We hope to offer it again soon. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
This pixie, born of the tiny, wild N. asturiensis crossed with N. poeticus, has soft, primrose petals and a bright yellow cup touched with orange. Bred by Alec Gray, the 20th century’s pioneering breeder of miniatures, it’s too large for the show-bench today but utterly charming in the garden. A connoisseurs’ choice, it was already “very scarce” by the 1960s. 2 Y-YYO, 8-10”, zones 5-7, from Holland. Last offered web-only in 2006. We could special order it for you.
MARJORIE HINE, 1943
With all the intensity and glamour of a Hollywood star, this early-blooming Australian has a brilliant lemon-to-orange cup that’s extravagantly ruffled and frilled. “Turning around” daffodils from Down Under so they bloom in spring up here is an expensive process, so only the best are chosen – and ‘Marjorie’ definitely made the grade. 2W-YYO, 18-20”, zones 5-8aS/10WC, from Holland. Last offered in 2009. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
MARTHA WASHINGTON, 1927
Though this dramatic poetaz has just two or three florets per stem, they’re so gosh darn BIG – up to 3 inches across – that you’ll only need a few stems to fill a vase. With bright, jewel-like colors and a warm perfume, ‘Martha’ can be the belle of the ball in your spring garden. 8WC-O, 21-23”, zones 6-8aS/10WC, from California’s idyllic Carmel Valley. Last offered in 2009. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
Prada, Bugatti, La Scala – Milan glittered in the 1930s, and outside of town millions of wild pheasant’s-eyes bloomed. This worthy namesake is, in the words of Michael Jefferson-Brown, a “tall, immaculate flower, boldly posed.” Like all pheasant’s-eyes it mingles well with the fresh foliage and early blooms of late-spring perennial borders – and its fragrance is sheer luxury. 9 W-GYR, 18-20”, zones 4-6bS/8WC, from Pennsylvania. Last offered in 2007. We may offer it again periodically, or we could special order it for you.
MRS. KRELAGE, 1912
Named for the wife of one of Holland’s greatest bulb-growers — so you know it has to be good — ‘Mrs. Ernst H. Krelage’ was once sold for a whopping $162 per bulb. Lost to American gardeners for years until we reintroduced it in 2011, it’s a sturdy, buxom flower of creamy white and palest lemon. 1 W-W, 18-20”, zones 4a-8a(10bWC), Holland. Last offered in 2013. We’ll offer it again as soon as bulbs are available. For an alert, sign up for our email newsletter.
N. jonquilla PINE MILLS LATE JONQUIL, 1612
Another single jonquil, with the same great fragrance, tiny yellow flowers, and wildflowery vigor of our “Early Louisiana” – but it blooms two weeks later, extending the delicious pleasure. “Rustled” from an old Texas homesite, this strain shows a lot of variability. Celebrate Nature’s diversity! 13 Y-Y, 10”, zones 6-8S/10WC, from Texas. Last offered in 2002. We could special order it for you.