The Ugliest Daffodil in the World: the Derwydd

Updated on December 30, 2017
My own Derwydd. Photo taken in 2014
My own Derwydd. Photo taken in 2014 | Source

So, it's a funny looking little thing, but the Welsh are dang proud of it. And they have the right to be because this unique little daffy-dill dates back, some say to the time of King Arthur and his knights of the Round Table. Unproven, of course, but we would like to think it true.

Some people call it “the ugliest daffodil in the world” because it has strangely contorted blooms. The Derwydd was once thought extinct by horticulturists in the United Kingdom, and its rediscovery was hailed as miraculous. However, this little miracle monkey-faced flower has bloomed for over 100 years in my ancestral family cemetery in Tennessee in the United States.

My family mistakenly referred to it as “the Johnston buttercup.” Why they call it a buttercup, I have no clue because it's a daffodil. Officially, it is the Welsh Derwydd Daffodil, which is named after a garden in Llandybie in Carmarthenshire, where it was originally found. Derwydd is Welsh for “oaks”.

Narcissus obvallaris

A very healthy bloom.
A very healthy bloom. | Source

The Derwydd Daffodil is the Narcissus obvallaris, often referred to as the “Thomas’ Virescent Daffodil”. My family is fortunate to possess the flore pleno varity, which is a double daffodil with green-tinged flowers that often appear twisted and misshapen. Most of the time the flowers are predominantly green and the blooms seem to turn more yellow as they age. But enough of this boring botany-speak.

I wonder how my father's family originally came to possess "extinct" Welsh daffodils in the United States and if they brought them over when they immigrated in the 1750s. It is possible. We hailed from Clan Johnston(e) in Dumfrieshire, Scotland, via Ireland, but a DNA test on my brother showed us to belong to the Welsh Clendinnings. How did the Welshman get into the woodpile, or yet, my ancestor's bed? Where is our Welsh connection? More about that later, but here is how I came to possess these in the State of Arkansas in the central United States.

Photo taken in 2006. Poor colorless little thing blooming among last year's weeds.
Photo taken in 2006. Poor colorless little thing blooming among last year's weeds. | Source

I was given the bulbs from a distant cousin, named Jim, who lives in Tennessee. We met up here in Arkansas when he was studying for his doctorate at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

After Jim completed his doctorate, he and his wife moved back to Tennessee and we stayed friends. One day he surprised me by asking if I would like some old family heirloom plants. He said they came from the family cemetery, which dates way back before the Civil War, but our ancestor, Calvin Johnston, planted them not too long after the war was over. He called them "Johnston buttercups."

According to Jim, about 100 years ago the cemetery was abandoned and the plants were left to wander and either die or flourish on their own. About 10 years ago, he and some friends decided to clean up the wild tangled mess, and they found the daffodils growing wild all over the cemetery coexisting with the briers and roses.

I’m glad that Jim didn’t tell me how funny looking they were or I might have turned him down. I guess I was expecting a flowerbed full, but he sent me only three bulbs. To ensure that at least one of them survived, I planted one in the flowerbed in the back of the house, one in the front and one in a pot. Only the plant in the front of the house lived and stubbornly hung on, but then I thought I was losing it because each year the little plant came back more anemic than ever. It really was a weak unattractive little flower, and unlike my ordinary jonquil daffodils, it never had more than one or two ugly little blooms. It was so unattractive that I decided I didn't care.

The Little Rock area is in planting zone 8, and I did wonder if it might be affected by the mild Southern winters. Trees on the vacant lot had grown up and shaded the flowerbed. Maybe that was its problem. That theory didn't hold water.

The winter of 2014 was cold and very harsh, and in the spring the puny little thing came back healthy and colorful. I came to the mistaken conclusion that the frozen ground with the ice and snow was what perked it up. It still only managed three blooms, but I was able to see its beauty and fall in love with it. It became even more attractive when I learned its colorful history.

My ancestral cemetery c. 1850

Mt. Zion Cemetery could use a few Johnston Buttercups. Some of the old markers are unnamed, but it is still an active cemetery and Johnstons are still being buried here.
Mt. Zion Cemetery could use a few Johnston Buttercups. Some of the old markers are unnamed, but it is still an active cemetery and Johnstons are still being buried here. | Source
My grandparents' graves could benefit from a Derwydd planting
My grandparents' graves could benefit from a Derwydd planting | Source

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed- and gazed- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

~William Wordsworth

Wye Mountain, Arkansas

A field full of daffodils bloom in March. As far as I know, none are Derwydds.
A field full of daffodils bloom in March. As far as I know, none are Derwydds. | Source

Not a buttercup

The Horticultural society in Carmarthenshire had thought it extinct but they exclaimed in delight when some were found growing in a flower bed in England. That is when I decided to delve further into the plant and its true history, and maybe find a logical connection to us. So here goes.

The result of my brother’s DNA test came back that we were not genetic Johnstons at all, but Clendennings by blood. When researching the Clendennings of Wales, I found them to have a much older and more colorful history than the Johnston Clan, so I was pleased that we weren't some unknown hooligans. The daffodil has a strong connection to the Clendennings, whom researchers say go back farther than Llywelyn the Great (born 1173). (Never heard of him? I hadn't either until I researched the Derwydd.) Nevertheless, the Clendennings have a strong attachment to King Henry Tudor and aided his side in the War of the Roses, as did the Johnston Clan. In fact most of the border reiver clans fought for the Tudors, and this may be where the twain did meet.

The mystery is, when did we get a Clendenning in the family and did they possess the Derwydd daffodil and pass it on to the Johnstons? Is it possible that this daffodil is more prevalent than the Welsh horticultural society imagined? After their aghast finding of one growing in Gower, people in the UK were popping up all over the place saying that the Derwydd daffodils had been growing in their flowerbeds all along. I think the big question was, "Why didn't you ask?"

Alas and alack, my theory was shot to shreds when my little Derwydd did not bloom this year. In fact, I’m not sure that it even came up. Our winter was in fact colder with just as much ice and snow as last year, if not more. I searched diligently before, during, and after the blooming season of the daffodils. I contacted Cousin Jim who said that his didn't bloom either. Maybe they just poop out and have to rest after a good season.

I hope that I have not lost my Derwydd to some unknown disease, but I won’t know until next year. Until then I will anxiously await the blooming season and hope for the best.

I do wonder if I possess the only Derwydd daffodil in the State of Arkansas. Please feel free to comment, especially if you have some growing in your yard or old family cemetery.

Update September 23, 2015

Reader interest and comments on this article are astounding to me. When I wrote this article, I had no idea it would generate this type of response. I am so very surprised and pleased with the positive feedback. In fact, if my Derwydd ever generates more bulbs, I am thinking about planting some of them on my grandfather Johnston's grave in my hometown. Thank you all -- and keep those comments coming.


2016 -- the little Derwydd did not come up at all.

2017-- It came up and had one bud that did not open. I'm afraid it isn't getting enough sunshine and I plan to move it to a sunny location this fall.

Questions & Answers

    © 2015 Doris James-MizBejabbers


      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 6 weeks ago

        Yay, Jackie! I believe you do. Now I'm curious as to where you live and how you got it. Would you care to share that information? Thank you for the link and the comment.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 9 months ago

        Greensleeves, I love hearing about your plants. The Derwydd did come back this year, but it had only one bud. I say "bud" because it never did open. I think it didn't get enough sunshine to make the energy to open, so this fall I plan to move it to the row of spider lilies around the roofline of my underground house. It will be in the sunshine next spring. Its flowerbed was in sunshine when I planted it there, but trees have grown up to shade it from a neighbor's property next door. So we will just wait and see what happens. Keep your fingers crossed for my pretty little baby, will you? Thank you for reading and your lovely comment.

      • Greensleeves Hubs profile image

        Greensleeves Hubs 9 months ago from Essex, UK

        A great title MizBejabbers, but wholly wrong in my opinion (as I'm sure you really agree!!) :) They say 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' and if I had some of these in my garden they would be among my most treasured bulbs. The reason? I don't go in for fancy modern over-bred hybrids - these ones may be hybrids but they clearly have an ancient and colourful history, and that's what appeals to me.

        I grow anything unusual or bizarre (among the plants I collect are cacti, carnivorous plants, alpines and exotic bulbs) so these daffodils would fit in very nicely. And for you, the ancestral connection really should make your plant very special, so I sincerely hope in the time since the previous comment on this hub, your Derwydd Daffodil has survived and developed. Let us know. Really nice to hear about this unusual variety of daff!

        N.B: Lucky that these weren't the daffodils which inspired Wordsworth to write his poem - 'A host of greenish daffodils' just wouldn't have worked so well would it? :)

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Carolyn, I'm not sure. I clicked on your link, but is this link to your own daffodil or is this to a photo of the Van Scion? I want to make sure that I'm seeing your own flower. Mine isn't quite that ragged and is a paler yellow. Yours is a more vivid.butter color. I still want to check it out some more.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Carolyn, they look the same to me. Let's do some more research before we give up. I'm so excited to hear from you. I think the one that I said died in my backyard flowerbed several years ago came up this year. Every now and then a stunted strange daffodil comes up in that bed but it doesn't look like any kind I know. Maybe if I move it to a sunny spot this year, it will come back next year and bloom. There's hardly a sunny spot on my property, though, so I'll have to go on a hunt. Maybe I can plant it between the spider lilies that surround the top of my atrium. May we be friends on FB and research this together?

      • profile image

        Carolyn Wright 2 years ago

        Okay so I may have been mistaken I think mine are the Van Sion Daffodils...I hope yours has come back!

      • profile image

        Carolyn Wright 2 years ago

        Oh my I am pretty sure I have several of these daffodils, and I have been trying to identify them for a while now with no luck till your article! I have some under trees that don't do so well, and I have one I planted away from trees, and you would not believe your eyes, its stunning this year, and its hardy to the wind, and rain, and will not fall over like the regular doubles!! It is huge, and the blooms are huge on the one with no trees...the ones under trees are still kinda puny and small.... I will read, and reread this post as I want to absorb it all, and learn as much as I can about them. I am adding a few links to images, and hopefully they will work here. Take a look, and see if you think they are the same flowers ...this is images of my healthy ones...I have the small ugly puny ones too..... I also live in Arkansas!

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Vespa, I hope mine is still alive. Our daffodils are coming up, but I still don't see the Derwydd. I hope it wasn't crowded out by my spider lilies. Thank you for reading and your great comment.

      • vespawoolf profile image

        vespawoolf 2 years ago from Peru, South America

        I'd never even heard of a Derwydd until I read your article. I hope yours blooms again. I think all flowers are beautiful. The origin of this flower and your family heritage was all very captivating. Thank you for sharing!

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Nell, are they blooming? You are farther north than we are. Mine are up about 4 inches high with no blooms yet. I haven't checked on my Derwydd to see if it is going to come up this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

        I went back and looked at your previous post. I'm assuming you don't have any Derwydd's?

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

        I came back for another look as I saw my first bunch of Daffs today! here in the south of England, they were growing at least a month early. fully grown, and about 6 of them! and no, its not ugly! lol!

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        @ Billie Kelpin: Going back to your post of six months ago, I don't think I realized that it was the website that you mentioned that first alerted me to the Derwydd being a Welsh daffodill rather than a "Johnston Buttercup". I have my own post on there under the name of "American Johnston."

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Oh, goodness, if she was adopted, there's no telling what her Welsh name was. They have some doozys.

      • Mel Carriere profile image

        Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

        Her last name was Miller, but she was adopted into the Miller family. Her biological father came from Wales, but census records don't list what his name was.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        AlicaC, thanks for your lovely comment. I hope to do an update saying that it is blooming.

        Mel, I wish you had included your paternal ggm's last name. Maybe we are ancestral kin. The daffodil is one of the most prevalent flowers grown in my state, and our jonquil daffodils are just beginning to come up. Thank you so much for your nice comment.

      • Mel Carriere profile image

        Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

        Plant and humanity joined together in an unbroken symbiotic connection that dates back centuries. I find it fascinating that your little flower helped you discover yourself. My paternal great grandmother was from Wales, but I know nothing about daffodils. Thanks for sharing the Wordsworth poem, and for writing this lovely hub.

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

        This is a lovely story. I hope your daffodil blooms again. I think the flower looks unusual, but I don't think it's ugly. I'd love to grow a Derwydd myself.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Snowsprite, I've learned to love it. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Snowsprite profile image

        Fay 2 years ago from Cornwall, UK

        I thought it was a pretty daffodil in most of the pics.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Suzette, you are very welcome. As you can see, my Welsh genetics came as quite a surprise to me. Thank you for your sweet comment.

      • suzettenaples profile image

        Suzette Walker 2 years ago from Taos, NM

        Such an interesting hub! Actually, I don't think this Welsh daffodil is ugly, actually I think it is quite pretty. I am part Welsh so this is good news to me. Thank you for introducing this daffodil to us and your history behind it. I love the Wadsworth poem!

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Thank you, I really appreciate your comment, Brian. I hope that my comments are engaging to gardeners. I just wish my Derwydd would be more prolific, too.

      • B Brian Hill profile image

        B Brian Hill 2 years ago

        You are right. There are many engaging comments on this article, and they are well deserved. I don't know what to add, except that I was drawn to the picture as a gardener, and found your reflections captivating. Really Great!

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        They are unusual and pretty. I just hope mine blooms next year. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • kalinin1158 profile image

        Lana Adler 2 years ago from California

        Awww they don't look ugly at all! Lovely flowers, and I adore daffodils. Even the name is fun to say. Thanks for introducing me to this lovely fella :)

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Sujaya, I think he did. Now you've inspired me to include the whole poem.

      • sujaya venkatesh profile image

        sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

        Wordsworth might have found this beautiful too

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Rtalloni, I think the reason they can't be purchased online is because they had been lost to the horticultural experts. Maybe people in the UK who say they have them in flowerbeds will donate enough to get them started commercially again. My one and only has not been multiplying and spreading in my flowerbed, so I don't have enough to start a business. It's a lonely little plant. Thanks for your interesting comment.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Deborah-Diane, I'm really proud to know that our ancestor planted these "extinct" flowers in this country and they've thrived through neglect. I love them. Thank you for the read and the comment.

      • RTalloni profile image

        RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

        Thanks for the introduction to the Derwydd and a neat read. I was hoping that by the end of the hub you would tell us where to buy them. Checked to see if they could be purchased online, but found nothing. Maybe you should start a side business!

      • Deborah-Diane profile image

        Deborah-Diane 2 years ago from Orange County, California

        What a fascinating history you relayed on these flowers. I don't think of them as ugly at all! It is interesting how your family may have played an important role in bringing them to our country.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Thank you. Coming from you that is a real compliment. I appreciate the share, and thanks for the angels.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

        "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" for sure....All things in nature have their own special beauty.

        Thank you for sharing this individual with us...I had not seen one of these before this.

        Hoping all is good with you and yours...Angels are on the way to you ps

        shared pinned g+ tweeted

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Thank you, Demas. That means a lot coming from a good writer like you. Have a great day. Love and light,

        Miz B.

      • Perspycacious profile image

        Demas W Jasper 2 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

        Flowers, pleasing or not to the eye,

        perform their function for they know why.

        Your Hubs are so well done that it is no mystery why they have been viewed over 100,000 times.

        Thanks for this one.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Papoose, that's cute! If a Native American didn't want to be found, their descendants in most cases hit a brick wall. I have Eastern Band Cherokee from a different line that I can't prove because I don't know my gg-gm's Indian name, but she and her children came to the Ozarks in 1811.

        We aren't supposed to promote our hubs here, but let's just say I wrote about a nasty surprise in one of mine. It doesn't concern Indians.

      • Missy Smith profile image

        Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

        Oh wow! I'm so excited you explained this to me MizBeJabbers, all my grandparents are gone now and my dad doesn't seem to know why our name changed. It seems my great grandmother was not so friendly at times. Lol. I can still remember my grandad and his sisters and brothers sitting with those very stern Indian faces with their lips in that pooch position. I'm laughing, because the fact is, I do the same thing when Im in deep thought. My hair is naturally brunette not blonde, and I looked so much like the Indian side growing up my grandads nickname for me was Papoose. That's all he and my grandmother ever called me. :)

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Missy, I like how you think. Yes, I love the beautiful faces of the Derwydd, too. As far as Native American ancestry, I wish somebody could come up with a good way to check out NA ancestry of people who hid from the rolls. A lot of times when the native married a white person, like my ggm did, they changed their Indian name to a white name for the marriage. I've looked up her English name everywhere I can think of, but nobody has ever heard of her. There are rolls that list the native names along with the English rename, but I haven't been able to find her on any. You might check those out. Good luck.

        Thank you for reading and your comment.

      • Missy Smith profile image

        Missy Smith 2 years ago from Florida

        Daffodils are so pretty lying in the open fields, but I have to tell you, I think the Derwydd daffodil is quite exotic and beautiful. If I were in a flower shop, and I had a choice between the regular daffodil and the Derwydd, I would go straight for the Derwydd. Although the common daffodil is beautiful too, I love the unique look of that Derwydd.

        As far as ancestry; it's so interesting isn't it? I think I have some Scottish from my mom's side. From my dads, we are definitely American Indian (Cherokee) his grandmother, my great-grandmother was full-blooded. However, to look up everything may be a bit of a problem, because apparently, our last name is supposed to be Keller or Kellerman and was changed when my dad's grandparents came to Florida. I have no idea why. It will remain a mystery. :)

        This was an all-around interesting hub MizBejabbers. Take Care.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Sujaya, I appreciate your reading and commenting.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Well, Jackie, as you know, we have a common saying in the South, "He's so ugly he's cute." The secret to hens and chicks is neglect. I had some hens and chicks since a woman gave me a start in 1987. All of a sudden this year, they all died. I have no idea why. They've been through heat and cold and wet and dry. One year when we lived in a bad neighborhood, I thought someone had stolen them. At least six months to a year later, I found them under a pile of lumber Mr. B had negligently placed in front of them. I didn't know you could kill them, so I certainly don't know why mine died. They just stopped replenishing themselves and died off. I just hate it when I lose plants I've had forever.

        Oh, BTW, you may know this, but never, ever bring them in the house in the winter. I was the "killer of hens and chicks" until this woman told me not to bring them in. They will live through 0 degree temps outside.

      • sujaya venkatesh profile image

        sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

        should get Wordsworth's opinion i suppose

      • Jackie Lynnley profile image

        Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

        Isn't there beauty even in ugly? I think there is; like newborns. Just so ugly we fall in love with every one we see. lol

        I have absolutely no luck with hens and chicks and I love them so much!

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Peachpurple, I think they are very pretty now that I've gotten used to their funny little blooms. I'm not sure who the daffodil society was quoting about them being ugly. They didn't name sources. Thanks for defending my li'l darlin'.

      • peachpurple profile image

        peachy 2 years ago from Home Sweet Home

        honestly, these flowers aren't ugly, at least better than rafflesia

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Thank you, I have to call you Amazing! for that information. I hope it works in this case. I appreciate your taking time to read and comment.


      • amazmerizing profile image

        amazmerizing 2 years ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

        Ahhh and now she must LOVE it!!! If it comes back of course... my mother worked for many years at a large gardening supply and nursery and she told me that some flowers will refuse to grow for a time and then just pop back... so dont give up hope! And now we also find your true meaning of the term heirloom flowers! Namaste!

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Audrey, I misstated. It didn't come up this year, and neither did Cousin Jim's. We are both very disappointed.

      • AudreyHowitt profile image

        Audrey Howitt 2 years ago from California

        Not so ugly really! Perhaps it has perked up since?

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Nell, I hope it didn't get its little feelings hurt. It's kind of strange that cousin Jim said his didn't bloom in Tennessee either. I'm hoping it is a cyclic thing. It seems funny to me that the U.K. horticulturists thought it extinct when so many people say they have them in their flowerbeds there. They must not be very observant. I would like to know if they bloomed in the U.K. this year. Let me know if anyone claims to have one.

        I got in on an interesting comment this weekend from a family trying to sort out whether a couple of household members in a federal census were natural children or nephews. It happens a lot here while we are trying to sort out ancestors for application into some of our major historical societies. Thanks for the comment.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Me, too. Lawrence. I hope to see it back. I love daffodils and most grow very prolific here. I never thought of them as ugly. I don't know who dubbed the Derwydd as ugly; someone in Britain, I think. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

        lol! maybe it doesn't like being called ugly and wants you to wait till next year! what a great hub! love the Daffodil, not sure if I have ever seen one over here in England, but I am definitely going to be on the lookout for one now! And that was interesting about your family DNA! I will have to do mine one of these days, probably find out that I am from somewhere completely different to where I though we were from! lol!

      • lawrence01 profile image

        Lawrence Hebb 2 years ago from Hamilton, New Zealand

        Miz B

        Here in NZ the daffodil is the symbol of the Cancer society. They hold their annual fundraiser on the first day they bloom by selling daffodils, consequently over here no daffodil is thought "ugly!"

        Awesome story and here's hoping it blooms next year


      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Thanks for your nice comment, Ann. I am now proud of my Welsh heritage, just like I'm proud of my English and Scots heritage. I wish it would multiply so I could put it on my Johnston grandfather's grave.

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

        I love daffodils but I've never come across this one, even though I lived in Wales for a while (in Cardigan). This one is a little different, to say the least! Quite pretty though and unusual in that it's green.

        Daffodils tend to arrest their growth if it's too cold to grow so maybe yours did that this year. Let's hope so.

        Fascinating hub regarding this flower. I knew the 'oak' connection even though my Welsh language knowledge is basic. I'm now back over the border in England but we visit friends in Ceredigion now and then.

        Good read, thanks.


      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Billie, thanks for your help. This flowerbed was here when we bought the house in 1994, and there were three cedar or spruce type shrubs planted there along with some regular jonquils. We had a bad drought which killed the shrubs, so I planted more bulbs instead. We live in an underground house (which I've written about) and the flowerbed is actually on our roof. I think it is commercial soil that the former owners probably bought at a home supply store.

        The thing that is strange to me is that Jim said his in Tennessee didn't come up this year either. I haven't read anywhere that this plant has a blooming cycle.

        However, a groundhog dug half of it up a couple of years ago, and at first, I was afraid it had eaten the bulbs. Now we have to fill in the large excavation left by the groundhog. Mr. B has a soil test kit, so I'll get him to test the soil and see what we need to do. That is some good information to have, so many thanks to you.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Larry, it isn't the prettiest flower around, but it is a treasure (like old jewelry that doesn't sparkle but you love it because it was great-grandma's). Thanks, my friend.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Faith, having this flower in my family was quite a pleasant surprise. You might check with the older members of your family to see if there are any heritage plants. Thanks for reading and commenting.

      • Billie Kelpin profile image

        Billie Kelpin 2 years ago from Newport Beach

        MizB, I was fascinated with this story of the little flower (Our hearts always go out to the underdogs. I couldn't resist checking on this Did you read this information? It might still be possible to amend the soil. PS. I kind of am falling in love with the looks of that flower! ( ) :

        Ideally the pH should be around 7 to 6.5 and should be cultivated to a depth of 2 spits with well-rotted animal manure or compost incorporated into the lower spit. Before planting the following fertiliser can be incorporated at the rate of four ounces (110 grammes) per square yard ( 1 square yard = 0.81 square metres) - 5 parts by weight of superphosphate, 5 parts of bone meal, 5 parts of suphate of potash and 1 part of hoof and horn. or

        If you have heavy clay, you can amend it with river sand to improve porosity; if you have sand, chopped leaves are the recommended amendment. DO NOT USE MANURE OR MUSHROOM COMPOST. Heavy, rich compost leads to a quick case of summer bulb rot! Also, when you amend clay, ensure you dig much deeper than the bulbs' root systems will travel - do not create a bowl that holds water and thus promotes rot. Chopped leaves are the recommended mulch - the weight is light enough not to smother emerging foliage, and the nutrients released by their slow decay function as slow-release fertilizer in good proportions for what daffodils desire.

        "Daffodils will sometimes fail to flower. Common causes are bulbs being planted too shallowly, damage to the foliage the previous season, and clumps becoming too congested." from BBC Plant Finder.

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 2 years ago from Oklahoma

        I don't know about ugly, but certainly not pretty, lol.

        Great hub!

      • Faith Reaper profile image

        Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA


        Loved this interesting story and your family history behind this beauty (in my eyes) of a flower. I do find all the history of flowers fascinating. I have never seen a Derwydd.

        Hmm, no you have me curious as to maybe my family bringing any type of flower with them!

        I think that our flaws make us beautiful, just as this flawed flower here ...beautiful.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        Having computer problems today, so I'm answering enmasse. Sorry.

        Crisp. at first I thought something was wrong with the flower, but now I think they are beautiful, too. I wish I had more.

        John, when I found this flower's history, I got really enthusiastic about it. Did any of your ancestor's bring it to Australia with them?

        bravewarrior: Neither did I think of flowers' family histories. I love this daffodil's connection to our family tree and hope to discover more of its and our history.

        Bill, what is the old saying, "he's so ugly he's cute?" While I can't exactly call it beautiful, it sure is a cute little thing. Thanks for reading because I wrote it.

        Thanks everyone for reading my hub and your wonderful comments. Sorry for not being able to reply individually. I use Mr. B's computer on weekends, and he has the funkiest programming in the world on it. I guess that's what to expect from a computer geek.

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

        I would have read this simply because you wrote it, but what a great title for the article. I just had to read it having seen that....and you are right, that is one ugly flower. :) That makes is pretty in my book. :)

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

        Miz B this is fascinating. I never really thought about our flora and fauna as having histories, but I guess they do. It's very cool that this mysterious flower led you to discover more about your family tree. That's pretty powerful!

        I hope your gem shows her face next year. Sometimes plants will do that. I hope you keep us posted!

      • Jodah profile image

        John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

        Interesting story and it's great that you have a flower that was previous thought extinct, MizB. It was also good that it resulted in you tracing your ancestry back to the Clendennings of Wales. We like bulbs and I bought my wife a collection of mixed bulbs for her birthday. There are some daffodils among them but not the Derwydd obviously. Voted up.

      • CrisSp profile image

        CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

        Interesting info but I have to disagree...they look pretty to me and I wouldn't mind them growing in my backyard.


      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        DJ, I enjoyed your story because I used to relate to that. My sister had the green thumb in the family. Seems like I have to grow plants that thrive on neglect, like wild violets and hens and chicks. I like your idea of putting a dog collar on it, and I can tether it to the golden chaintree it is under. I don't have any dog food so I wonder if it likes Meow Mix. Thanks for the hilarious comment.

      • MizBejabbers profile image

        Doris James-MizBejabbers 2 years ago

        drbj, well, I didn't originate the nomenclature, but maybe it was insulted because I repeated it. I hope you're right that it's just moping. Thanks for your lesson in flower PC. LOL

      • profile image

        DJ Anderson 2 years ago

        A delightful story, Miz B.

        When I married my second husband, he would take me to flower nurseries to pick out plants. He even bought me a book about

        house plants. He had forgotten that unlike his first wife, I knew absolutely nothing about plants.

        I tried. Lord knows I tried, but some people are not cut out for nurturing plants. Whatever we brought home suffered a slow, miserable

        death. Still my husband persisted, "Honey, do you see anything that you would like to take home and kill?" So, my horticulture days were short lived.

        Miz B, I know more about dogs than I do plants. If your little Derwydd

        pops it's little head up next spring, may I suggest that you place a tiny dog collar on it and perhaps tether it to a fixed object. It is a must that you provide plenty of food and water. Most dogs demand that, as well.

        See, bet you never saw the likeness until now. It would not hurt to create

        signs like "Be kind to your Daffodils". It makes them feel loved.

        Good luck,


      • drbj profile image

        drbj and sherry 2 years ago from south Florida

        Perhaps your Derwydd Daffodil was offended by your nomenclature of 'ugly' and decided to teach you a lesson this year. Here's hoping it is just moping and will return in glory next year.

        And thanks for the fascinating 'daffodil' lesson, m'dear.


      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

      Show Details
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)