Daffodil trails at Threave

Explore daffodil treasures this spring

Children with daffodils at Threave Garden

Threave Garden and Estate, Dumfries and Galloway, has three delightful daffodil trails for visitors to follow.

There are more than 200 cultivars of labelled daffodil to see, many of them planted by Major Gordon – whose family built Threave House in 1872 – in the early 20th century. 

The three trails are:

  • The Garden Trail: includes daffodils in the main beds within the garden
  • The Arboretum Trail: takes in the daffodils planted towards the top of the garden in the arboretum area
  • The Kelton Wood Trail: leads into the woods at the top of the garden

Threave's daffodils: a significant collection

The trails have an emphasis on heritage cultivars – some of them rare – but there are also some more recent introductions to see. Identification of the daffodils started as a project by a student gardener in 2011, and was continued in 2013 by Plant Records Officer, Natasha Nickson, who created the visitor trails and labelled the daffodils.

One of the stars of the garden is the striking daffodil bank, mass-planted with thousands of Narcissus ‘Southern Gem’, which was first recorded pre-1913 and is now rare in cultivation. 

Many other cultivars are naturalised throughout the woodland areas, along with more recent plantings in the beds and lawns. There are miniatures, tall daffodils, all sorts of colour combinations (yellow, white, orange, pink), single-flowered, double-flowered, and multi-headed cultivars; with something in flower from February through to May.

To follow a trail, simply pick up a trail leaflet from the Visitor Centre. The leaflet includes a map along with a photograph of each cultivar.

10 interesting daffodils at Threave

Narcissus AlbatrossNarcissus ‘Albatross’

A beautiful mid-season daffodil, with clear white perianth segments and a pale-lemon bowl-shaped corona. It was first recorded pre-1891 and was first planted at Threave in 1927.  It can be found along the path in the Kelton Wood Trail.

Narcissus 'Croesus'Narcissus ‘Croesus’

This cultivar has light-yellow perianth segments with a shallow, deeply-ribbed orange corona. Its year of first flowering was recorded pre-1912 and it was first planted at Threave in 1935. It can be found in both the Kelton Wood and the Arboretum Trails.

Narcissus 'King Alfred'Narcissus ‘King Alfred’

Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ has a striking yellow flower. The perianth segments are somewhat twisted and vivid yellow. The corona is a slightly deeper yellow than the perianth, with a widely-flanged rim. Its year of first flowering was recorded pre-1899 and it was first planted at Threave in1931. N. ‘King Alfred’ can be found in both the Kelton Wood and the Arboretum Trails.

Narcissus 'Mrs Ernst H Krelage'Narcissus ‘Mrs Ernst H. Krelage’

A creamy-white flower of great substance; the corona opens a creamy yellow and is widely rolled. First flowering recorded pre-1912 and the first 100 were planted at Threave in 1935 with a further 50 planted in 1933. It can be found beneath a Parrotia persica in the Garden Trail.

Narcissus 'Mrs Langtry'Narcissus ‘Mrs Langtry’

A star-shaped flower with white ovate perianth segments and a short funnel-shaped, ribbed and yellowish white corona which is canary yellow at the rim. Her first flowering was recorded pre-1869 and planted here pre-1960.  N. ‘Mrs Langtry’ can be found in the Garden Trail.

Narcissus 'Pera'Narcissus ‘Pera’

Narcissus ‘Pera’ has pure white perianth segments, with an almost disc-shaped, ribbed, deep-red wavy-mouthed corona. Its first flowering was recorded around 1927 and it was planted at Threave before 1960. It can be found in the Arboretum Trail.

Narcissus 'Southern Gem'Narcissus ‘Southern Gem’

Narcissus ‘Southern Gem’ has milk-white perianth segments with a corona cup that opens a rich primrose yellow and fades to a yellow-white over time. The flowers appear shy as they face downwards. N. ‘Southern Gem’ was bred by P.D. Williams in Cornwall pre-1913 and the first 500 bulbs were planted at Threave in 1927. This daffodil can be found throughout the garden, but it is also the star of the Daffodil Bank.

Narcissus TherapiaNarcissus ‘Therapia’

Narcissus ‘Therapia’ is a mid-season daffodil, with a first flowering date recorded around 1922 and planted at Threave pre-1960. It has a very distinctive disc-shaped corona which is a broad, ribbed, bright-yellow with a broad band of orange at the rim, along with white perianth segments flushed with yellow. It can be found in the Arboretum Trail.

Narcissus 'Van Waverens Giant'Narcissus ‘Van Waveren’s Giant’

Narcissus ‘Van Waveren’s Giant’ has large flowers, with primrose-yellow perianth segments. The corona is expanded and ribbed and is darker in tone than the perianth segments. First flowering is recorded pre-1900 and first planted at Threave in 1935. It can be found in the Kelton Wood Trail.

Narcissus 'Will Scarlet'Narcissus ‘Will Scarlett’

Narcissus ‘Will Scarlett’ has a bowl-shaped, ribbed corona of bright orange with creamy-white perianth segments. N. ‘Will Scarlett’ was bred by Rev G H Engleheart in 1898 and planted at Threave pre-1960. N. ‘Will Scarlett’ can be found next to N. ‘Mrs Langtry’ in the Garden Trail.

All first recorded dates and descriptions from the RHS Daffodil Register.

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