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The remarkable story of the world's most popular spring flower

By Noel Kingsbury Jo Whitworth

There is no harbinger of spring like a field or garden filled with bright yellow daffodils. But the world of the daffodil is much more than just its place in the march of the seasons. It’s a plant whose history starts with the tombs of the Pharaohs, through pre-Darwin evolutionary theory and Cornwall’s burgeoning bulb business, and leads to the current explosion of varieties from plant breeders seeking new colors, fragrances, and forms.

Daffodil reveals a global plant infatuation that has led to more than 25,000 cultivars available in nearly every shade of yellow (and now pink, orange, and white). Noel Kingsbury tells the tale through an engaging narrative history and plant portraits that highlight more than 200 varieties. Jo Whitworth's revealing photography shows a side of the daffodil rarely seen. Plant lovers will relish the stories and gardeners will cherish the cultivation notes, plant descriptions, and recommendations.

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Noel Kingsbury

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Jo Whitworth

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Review quotes

“A fascinating, up-beat book with floral sunshine on every page. One you will look at again and again.” —Gardens Illustrated
“A delightful book for almost any gardener, and a wonderful resource for designers who are looking for something different.” —Garden Design Online

“The book, richly illustrated by the photographs of Jo Whitworth, is a thorough treatment of the reliable spring flower. Kingsbury delves into its history and the origins of its name, explores the follower’s symbolism and explains its life cycle, how it’s classified and even its chemical properties.” —Akron Beacon Journal

“A recognized authority on the selection and management of ornamental perennials, Kingsbury relates the role of daffodils in legend and history. He emphasizes their great diversity and the divisions within these different forms. . . . Photographer Jo Whiteworth captures the glory of daffodils in individual portraits of plants, blended together in fields, hedges, and borders.” —Chicago Botanic Garden
“Here’s what there is to love: History, science, botany, yummy photos, explanation of the divisions, how daffodils moved across Britain, the U.S., New Zealand and Australia, shows and judging. . . . This is a charming, informative and beautiful book!” —All the Dirt on Gardening

“What a fascinating book!” —Cold Climate Gardening
“Everything one needs to know about the species is covered. . . . With color photography by Jo Whitworth on every page, the book explains the daffodil’s early history. . . . and spread around the world.” —Desert Exposure

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Number of pages
Publication date
September 24, 2013