Daffodils are a classic spring flower, loved for their bright yellow blooms that signal the end of winter. But did you know there are actually many varieties of daffodils, with blooms in different shapes, sizes and colors? In this article, we’ll explore some of the most colorful daffodil varieties beyond the standard yellow. Keep reading to learn more about these cheery spring flowers and see stunning photos of daffodils in shades of white, pink, orange, red and more!
Why Are Most Daffodils Yellow?
Most wild daffodils are yellow, so yellow became the classic, expected color. The yellow pigment comes from carotenoids – the same compounds that give carrots and bananas their color. Some common yellow daffodil varieties include:
- Dutch Master – One of the most popular, with bright yellow trumpet-shaped blooms
- King Alfred – Tall stems with large yellow flowers
- Tete-a-Tete – Compact miniature variety with clusters of small yellow blooms
These yellow varieties remain beloved for their bright, cheery color that shouts “spring is here!” after a long winter. But through selective breeding, horticulturalists have developed a diverse array of daffodils in many other hues.
White daffodils provide a more subtle, elegant look. They contain no yellow pigments, resulting in blooms that are snowy white or creamy. Popular white varieties include:
- Thalia – Pure white with a paperwhite fragrance
- Mount Hood – Ivory white with a yellow trumpet
- Ice Follies – Large creamy blooms with yellow trumpets
White daffodils look especially lovely planted alongside yellow varieties for bold color contrast. They also pair nicely with spring flowering bulbs like tulips and hyacinths.
While less common, pink daffodils bring a soft, romantic vibe to the garden. They come in many shades of pink – from subtle salmon blushes to rich rose pinks. Some pink varieties include:
- Pink Charm – Pale shell pink with yellow trumpets
- Passionale – Rich rose pink with paler tips
- Rapture – Ruffled blooms in apricot-pink
Pink daffodils look beautiful alongside blue hyacinths and tulips. Plant them near entryways or paths where their delicate color will be admired up close.
Orange daffodils are like sunshine in bloom form! They range from soft peach tones to bold orange. Some orange varieties to try:
- Falconet – Soft peach-orange with yellow trumpets
- Jetfire – Citrusy orange with yellow centers
- Orange Prince – Vibrant orange with nearly white centers
Use orange daffodils to add warmth and excitement to spring displays. Complement them with purple and blue flowers like pansies, irises or muscari.
Red may not be the first color that comes to mind for daffodils, but breeding has created some distinctly red varieties. They have bright red cups or trumpets that stand out against pale yellow or white petals:
- Cotinga – White petals with a deep red trumpet
- Rapture – Yellow petals with a frilly red trumpet
- Tamar Fire – Pale yellow petals with a vivid red cup
Red daffodils make quite the statement in flower arrangements and borders. Use them to create exciting color combinations like red and purple or red and pink.
In addition to solid colors, some daffodil varieties showcase multiple hues in one bloom. These include:
- Camelot – White petals with a wide yellow frilled cup edged in red
- Barrett Browning – White petals and orange-red cup
- Ice Wings – White petals with lemon yellow rimmed cup
The contrasting colors make these bicolor daffodils stand out. Mix them with solid colored varieties for a vibrant spring display.
How Colorful Daffodils Are Grown
New daffodil colors and forms are created through careful cross-breeding over many years. Breeders select parents with desirable traits like flower shape, color, bloom time and plant vigor to combine the best qualities into new varieties. Extensive trialing determines which selections are introduced commercially.
Modern daffodils are generally larger and more colorful compared to their wild counterparts. But they require the same basic care:
- Plant bulbs in fall 6-8 weeks before first frost
- Choose a sunny spot with well-drained soil
- Plant bulbs 4-6 inches deep and 3-5 inches apart
- Fertilize in spring as leaves emerge and again after blooming
- Remove faded flowers but leave foliage until it dies back naturally
- Lift and divide crowded clumps every 2-3 years
With a little preparation in fall and simple care, you can enjoy a rainbow of daffodil colors in spring!
Choosing Sites for Colorful Daffodils
When planning where to plant your colorful daffodils, consider these tips:
- Plant in clusters of at least 5-7 bulbs for best impact
- Mass different colors together for a vibrant effect
- Combine early, mid and late bloomers to extend the display
- Use white daffodils as neutral spacer between bright colors
- Highlight specialty varieties in containers near entries or patios
- Naturalize mixed colors in lawns, meadows and woodland edges
You can enjoy daffodils indoors too – cut a few stems and display in a vase to brighten up rooms with cheery spring color.
Top Picks for Colorful Daffodils
Here are some of the best daffodil varieties across the color spectrum to try in your garden:
|Large yellow trumpets
|Elegant pure white blooms
|Pale pink with yellow trumpets
|Bright orange with yellow centers
|Yellow petals with frilly red trumpets
|White petals with wide yellow and red cup
With this diverse palette of daffodil colors and forms, you can create inspired spring displays! The hardest part is choosing favorites from the many options.
– While most wild daffodils are yellow, selective breeding has produced many colorful varieties beyond the classic yellow.
– White daffodils offer an elegant, subtle look. Pink blooms provide delicate spring charm. Orange daffodils shine like sunshine. Red varieties make a bold statement.
– Multi-colored daffodils feature multiple hues in one bloom for excitement and contrast.
– Give colorful daffodils ideal growing conditions and plant in clusters for maximum impact. Combine early and late varieties to extend the spring display.
– Leading colorful picks include Dutch Master, Thalia, Pink Charm, Jetfire, Rapture and Camelot. Discover new varieties to find your perfect hues!
Daffodils are the quintessential flower of spring, beloved for their cheerful blooms after a long winter. While the classic yellow varieties remain icons of the season, the diverse rainbow of daffodil colors and forms available today provides exciting options for gardens, flower arrangements and bouquets. Beyond predictable yellow, try adding white for elegance, pink for romance, orange for excitement, red for drama or multi-colors for vibrant contrasts. With so many beautiful selections, it’s hard to choose just one favorite colorful daffodil! Plant a spectrum of hues to create your own joyful spring display.