Paperwhites, or Narcissus tazetta papyraceous, are a miniature relative of the herald of springtime, the daffodil. Beloved for the ease with which the indoor gardener can force their blooms in mid-winter, there are many cultivars of this Mediterranean native. Colors range from pure white to bright orange with every combination in between. Most forms of the plant are about a foot tall, and in a naturalized setting will bloom anywhere from late fall to late spring. Most varieties are fragrant.
'Avalanche' features soft white petals with deep yellow center cups. This plant flowers later than most other varieties of tazetta.
This variety's scent is less overpowering than its cousins. The plant grows between 14 and 18 inches and bears creamy-white flowers with bright yellow cups in the center.
'Constantinople', also known as 'Double Romans,' presents white double blooms with orange cups. The plant grows to 16 inches and blooms in mid-January.
Another double form, 'Erlicheer' is a late bloomer, from late March to early June. The flower is creamy white with a pale yellow center.
'Galilee' is one variety often seen indoors in the winter. Growing to between 12 and 24 inches, the single white-on-white flowers appear in mid-November.
'Geranium' blooms in early February. Flowers are distinctive, with white petals and bright orange central cups. The plants grow to about 12 inches tall.
One of the oldest varieties of tazetta narcissus, 'Grand Primo' blooms in mid-winter, with pale yellow flowers that fade to white. This variety was formerly known as 'Grand Monarque.'
Grand Soleil d'Or
One of the few yellow varieties, 'Grand Soleil d'Or' presents bright yellow flowers with striking orange centers in mid-November. The plant grows to around 15 inches.
While 'Omri' mainly occurs as completely white form, some flowers may appear as a creamy yellow. This cultivar has a more subtle scent than other varieties.
This white-on-white variety was developed in Israel. It blooms in mid-December, and ranges in height from 12 to 16 inches.
Another Israeli variety, 'Yael' features a white or soft yellow flower with a bright yellow cup. Flowers appear in December, and the plant grows between 12 and 16 inches tall.
'Ziva' is the most common cultivar sold for indoor forcing. Pure to off-white blooms appear outdoors from late fall to early spring, and plants grow to between 12 and 18 inches.