What are those numbers and letters?

What are all those number and letter combinations that appear in daffodil catalogues?  The NDSNZ follows the Royal Horticulture Society's (RHS) daffodil classification system.  In 1975, the RHS adopted a colour code system devised by American Dr. Tom Throckmorton.  The letter refers to the colours of the daffodil as follows:

W - White or Whitish
G - Green
Y - Yellow
P - Pink
O - Orange
R - Red







All daffodils are classified into one of thirteen divisions.  Each daffodil cultivar or garden hybrid belongs to one of the first twelve divisions.  Those daffodils distinguished solely by botanical name belong in Division 13. 

Below are the definitions for each Division along with a photo. Click on the photo to enlarge.

Division 1 W-Y

Division 1 - Trumpet
One flower to a stem, corona (trumpet or cup) as long or longer than the perianth segments (petals).

Division 2 W-YYO

Division 2 - Large Cup
One flower to a stem, corona (cup) more than one third but less than equal to the length of the perianth segments (petals).

Division 3 W-Y

Division 3 - Small Cup
One flower to a stem, corona (cup) not more than one third the height of the perianth segments (petals).

Cameo Magic
Division 4 W-W
'Cameo Magic'

Division 4 - Double
Daffodils have a clustered cup, petals or both.  There can be one or more flowers per stem.

Dainty Monique
Division 5 Y-Y
'Dainty Monique'

Division 5 - Triandrus
Usually more than one flower to a stem, head drooping, perianth segments often reflexed and of silky texture.

Dainty Monique is a miniature daffodil.

Flight Path
Division 6 Y-W
'Flight Path'

Division 6 - Cyclamineus
One flower to a stem, perianth significantly reflexed and corona straight and narrow. Some exceptions exist.

Division 7 Y-Y

Division 7 - Jonquilla
Usually several flower heads to a stem, flowers usually fragrant, stem is round in cross-section and foliage is often rush like.

Fencourt Jewel
Division 8 W-P
'Fencourt Jewel'

Division 8 - Tazetta
Usually three to twenty flowers to a stout stem, sweet scented and very short cupped. Perianth segments rounded and often somewhat crinkled.

Division 9 W-GYR

Division 9 - Poeticus
Usually one flower to a stem. White petals sometimes stained with the corona colour at the base, small flat cup edged with red. Fragrant.

Division 10 W-W

Division 10 - Bulbocodium Hybrids
Small flowers resemble a "hoop petticoat" form.


Petite Magic
Division 11a W-YPP
'Petite Magic'

Division 11 - Split Corona
Corona split - usually more than half its length.

  a) Collar Daffodils
Split-corona daffodils with the corona segments opposite the perianth segments;  the corona segments usually in two whorls of three

Division 11b W-P/W

 b) Papillon Daffodils
Split-corona daffodils with the corona segments alternate to the perianth segments; the corona segments usually in a single whorl of six

Division 12 Y-Y

Division 12 - Other Cultivars
Daffodils not falling into any of the previous categories.

N. moschatus
Division 13
N. moschatus

Division 13 - Species
All species and reputedly wild forms. 


Daffodil Colour Code System

Daffodils are are given a colour code to describe both the perianth (petal) colour and the cup colour.  When looking at a 'daffodil code', the first number is the division used to categorize the daffodil.  The letter or group of letters that follows the number, represents the perianth (petal) colour.   The petal colour is described by beginning at the outside edge of the petal, then the middle, and lastly the inside part next to the corona.  The second letter or group of letters represents the colour of the corona (trumpet or cup) starting from the eye-zone, then the mid-zone and extending out to the edge or rim. 

See the photo/diagram below of Kiwi Happy Prince below as an example.

Kiwi Happy Prince
Kiwi Happy Prince, 2 W-YYO

      The NDSNZ follows the Royal Horticulture Society's daffodil classification system.