Daffodil is the common term for flowers in the genus Narcissus. Although some gardeners consider daffodils to be the bright yellow flower so common in early spring, daffodils have a large range of shapes, colors and sizes. Paperwhites are a variety of daffodil, as are the cylindrical-leaved jonquils (Narcissus jonquilla) and the red-tipped poet's narcissus (Narcissus poeticus). Some daffodils, like the hoop petticoat daffodil (Narcissus bulbocodium), have wide trumpets and small, narrow segments, resembling a poppy more than the traditional daffodil flower. However, some entirely different species have startlingly similar daffodil-shaped blooms.
Gold Digger ‘Orchid Jungle'
The "Gold Digger" orchid, Laelocattleya (Lc.) Gold Digger ‘Orchid Jungle', grows far from the cold temperatures daffodils prefer, but is a remarkable lookalike. Gold digger flowers measure 2 1/2 inches wide and have five diamond-shaped, rich yellow petals surrounding a red-gold trumpet, like a sunrise. The flowers are fragrant. Like most orchids, gold digger is not hardy below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, prefers bright, indirect light and an appropriate, well-drained growing medium. Do not plant orchids in potting soil.
This small flower grows from a bulb and blooms in early spring, like the daffodil, but has a bright violet-blue or white color. Six petals surround a very small trumpet, somewhat smaller than the trumpet of a paperwhite. Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa luciliae) produces charming clusters of these flowers, often up to 10 blooms. The foliage is similar to the daffodil, but on a smaller scale. Chionodoxa plants grow up to 6 inches tall and are hardy to USDA zones 3 to 7.
The Peruvian daffodil (Hymenocallis narcissiflora, sometimes sold as Ismene calathina) plant grows curving, strap-shaped leaves up to 2 feet long. The foliage grows from a bulb, and two blooms appear on a central stem in late spring or early summer. The 4-inch flowers are white and have a daffodil-shaped trumpet, but the six surrounding segments are narrow and curl like a summertime firework. Peruvian daffodils prefer rich, well-drained soil and are not cold hardy.
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