Monday, April 6, 2009

Worst In Show

The daffodil breeders must be up there with the orchid crazed and the rose obsessed when it comes to the dedication to a particular genus. The huge variety of flower types on Bulbhilla wasn't a fluke of nature. The craft of humans was involved in the breeding and selection of all these various daffodils and what is here may only amount to a small fraction of what is available out there.

I don't know what the current trend in daffodil breeding may be. All the double and split cup narcissus are a far cry from the standard daffodil form with petals and a central cup, however. With all plant breeding, you don't really know what you are going to get until you grow the seedlings to the blooming stage.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but there are bound to be some rejects in the process.

Daffodils do not seem to be prolific seed setters, but they can obviously be pollinated and produce viable seed.

I noticed a daffodil growing on the other side of the fence last year. It would not be strange to think a bulb rolled down the hill and lived during a divide and spread operation by Bulbarella. It is even possible that it came from seed. That just isn't very common. Rare would be more accurate. Last year the single bloom was damaged. I couldn't really tell what it would look like except that it appeared to be a double or split cup form.

Now I know why it decided to move itself out of the ridge top garden. Shame.

It is one butt ugly daffodil. There is no way anyone could possibly offer this sad thing in a catalog for sale. The colors are mottled. The cup is a crumpled mess with bits of brown edging. The petal edges look like sharp teeth. What would a judge at a daffodil show think of this?

Poor thing. Should it be dug up and destroyed or propagated for some obscure gardeners who revel in the ugly and bizarre of the plant world?

Across the street from the cozy cabin a bed of daffodils appear wild because the garden was let go. I don't think there are any butt ugly daffodils in there though. I suppose a whole bed of the worst in show would look just fine from a distance out in the wild.

What to do? What to do? I don't think this late round of snow that has just started will kill off the ugly daffodil.

I will just declare that I am in possession of the World's Ugliest Daffodil, (The WUD) for short.

Perhaps one of the world class competitive gardeners out there could try to come up with an uglier daffodil than mine. If that is possible. That is the WUD for sure.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Tee hee... I bet I got one that is uglier than yours.

Christopher C. NC said...

Lisa than we'll just need to see it and have a little competition for The WUD.

Siria said...

Oh my... it is pretty ugly, but it actually looks sick. Maybe it needs some of that high potency bulb fertilizer that Bulbarella feeds her bulbs with. It's probably lonely over on the other side of the fence.

I love that picture of St. Francis looking over Bulbhilla all in bloom with the snow (I think that is what you called it).

Christopher C. NC said...

Siria, maybe it is sick. It does have one of those dead brown empty buds I see on the daffodils a bit.

Bulbhilla is now covered in about an inch of snow and it is still coming down hard.

Anonymous said...


This is one of the funniest posts I have read, particularly in daffodil show season! And you may just win that WUD! (My husband says it looks like a Van Gogh daffodil, haha)


Frances said...

HA Christopher, that is an ugly one all right. Almost as ugly as Van Sion that grows here. Supposedly the first year it is a nice double trumpet, but subsequently becomes a mottled mess of petals that fail to open properly. I didn't even take a photo of it this year. I have seen Rijnveld seed in neighborhoods here. It is a carpet in some naturalized areas that have never had a house on the lot. Only seeding could have done that, I do believe it is close to the species, which would be more likely to seed. I do think yours is a possible case of bad breeding. :-)

Cindy, MCOK said...

Uh-oh, you're going to awaken the fierce competitive streak (that's never more than merely dozing) in Carol of May Dreams Gardens. I can see her now, searching her daffodils for one uglier than yours!

Christopher C. NC said...

Hi Bev, it certainly is not a Georgia O'Keefe daffodil.

Frances, if it isn't to late you should get a picture of your ugly Van Sion.

Hi Cindy, Carol does have a certain rep doesn't she. If she got snow like I got snow she will be chomping at the bit waiting for the snow to melt to go on the hunt for the WUD.

Carol Michel said...

You think that's an ugly daffodil? Really? Well, I've searched and searched my daffodils and I think you are right. THAT is the world's ugliest daffodil and I can't beat it. Therefore this competition is not valid.

Just kidding, a tip of the hoe handle in your direction, supreme grower of the WUD!

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Christopher C. NC said...

Carol, You're the Greatest. Sorry to hear the competition in Indiana was declared invalid. Maybe next year.

Kylee Baumle said...

Well, I'd direct you to my post about MY ugly daffodil, but don't you know it? It's PHOTOGENIC. Go figure. It's still ugly though, and its name is 'Replete.'

I don't want to rag on it too harshly though, because Lisa of Greenbow likes it and is going to adopt it when she visits here in a couple of weeks.

Phrago said...

I am late to this party, but couldn't resist. As soon as I saw it , I thought of 'Scrambled eggs' which I think would be a great name for your treasure...