Heirloom Double Daffodils – Butter and Eggs and 3 Common Questions Answered
What you need to know about double bloom daffodils and how heirloom double daffodils like “Butter and Eggs” stack up against some of the modern double daffodils.
Cutting to the chase: Our favorite and most reliable perennial double daffodil for our farm is what is commonly known as "Butter and Eggs" or ‘Orange Phoenix.’ However, there are other heirloom double daffodils and modern double daffodils that we love too, but "Butter and Eggs" is a time tested heirloom ready for success year after year. The most common double blooming daffodils we see at old house sites are what we commonly refer to as "Butter and Eggs."
We’ll briefly touch 3 common questions about double daffodils and Butter and Eggs.
1) What are the most common heirloom double daffodils?
2) What are some popular varieties of more modern double blooming daffodils?
3) What common names are used for double bloom heirloom daffodils?
What are the most common heirloom double daffodils?
Names: The "Butter and Eggs" is an easy to grow bulb and is scientifically known as Narcissus ‘Orange Phoenix.’ They are called "Eggs and Bacon" in some locations. Other folks call them “Scrambled Eggs” because of the mixture of yellows and oranges. The "Butter and Eggs" daffodil is widely understood to be the double form of the "Incomparable.” The Narcissus "Incomparable" is known as Narcissus x incomparabilis. That would make another synonym for "Butter and Eggs" fall under the scientific name Narcissus incomparabilis var. plenus.
Blooms: The most unique aspect of the "Butter and eggs" is its bloom. The bloom is layers upon layers of pale yellow petals with just a touch of orange near the center between the layers which accentuates the layers. Scott Ogden in his book Garden Bulbs for the South describes the look of the "Butter and Eggs" as "ragged and tattered (which) offer an annual curiosity with their jumbled yellow and golden orange blossoms." The blooms stand on lovely foliage about 12 inches high and produce a pleasant scent.
"Van Sion" is another double daffodil with a little more green in the mixture and according to the 1969 Classified List and International Register of Daffodil names published by the Royal Horticulture Society is synonymous with Narcissus ‘Telamonius Plenus.’ While beautiful, it struggles to open up completely and reliably every year in our Zone 8 environment. It is grown all over the United States and other gardeners in colder regions have reported that it opens up just fine. Some people commonly call it ‘Twink’ but the ‘Twink’ daffodil is another older daffodil dating prior to 1928.
What are some popular varieties of more modern double blooming daffodils?
Other popular double bloom daffodils include:
- Rip Van Winkle
- Bridal Crown
- Dick Wilden
- Gay Tabor
- Milena Double
- My Story
- Peach Cobbler
- Sir Winston Churchill
- Solar Wind
- White Lion
- Yellow Cheerfulness
Some of these double daffodils have bloomed quite reliably for us on our Southern Bulb farm for over 10 years, and those selections include:
- Bridal Crown
- Sir Winston Churchill
However, at the end of the day, the most reliable blooming double daffodil we have is the Butter and Eggs daffodil, or more correctly known as Narcissus ‘Orange Phoenix.’
What common names are used for double bloom heirloom daffodils?
- Eggs and Bacon Daffodil: Again, relying about the Royal Horticulture Society from their 1969 publication, this is a synonym for Narcissus ‘Orange Phoenix’ or what we call Butter and Eggs. Eggs and Bacon is attributed as a synonym for the following:
- Narcissus albus plenus aurantius
- Narcissus ‘Aurantius Flore Pleno’
- Narcissus ‘Orange Phoenix’
- Scrambled Eggs: this common name is quickly applied by many gardeners who simply enjoy the beauty of many double forms of heirloom daffodils.
- Codlins and Cream: if Butter and Eggs is known as ‘Orange Pheonix’ it is helpful to know that Codlins and Cream is known as ‘Sulphur Phoenix.’ As the name suggests, this daffodil will be more yellow and lack stronger undertones of orange seen in the Butter and Eggs. It is also known botanically as Narcissus incomparabilis sulphureus.
- Double Incomparable: The Butter and Eggs daffodil widely understood to be the double form of a daffodil commonly called “Incomparable” or botanically as Narcissus x incomparabilis. That would make another synonym for Butter and Eggs fall under the scientific name Narcissus incomparabilis var. plenus.
Conclusion: Often remembered as a treasure in grandmother's garden, Butter and Eggs are known for their pleasant scent and robust blooms. Its cold tolerant nature makes it an ideal bulb for areas north of I-20 and into more northern parts of the Southern United States. While clumps will continue to bloom, best shows can be achieved by dividing every four years after the foliage yellows in May.