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The Ugliest Daffodil in the World: The Derwydd

The author is the proud owner of this once-thought extinct little daffodil, and it is very dear to her.

My Own Derwydd

Photo taken in 2014

Photo taken in 2014

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.

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.

Newly Planted Blooms in my Garden

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.

A Gift from Family

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 when the cemetery was abandoned, 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 wildly tangled mess, and they found the daffodils growing willy nilly 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, perhaps causing the 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 had still managed only 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 Dating 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.

My grandparents' graves could benefit from a Derwydd planting. The cemetery is full of daffodils and narcissus, but no Derwydds.

My grandparents' graves could benefit from a Derwydd planting. The cemetery is full of daffodils and narcissus, but no Derwydds.

Wordsworth Said it Beautifully

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.

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?"

Has Not Bloomed Again

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.

2018 -- I moved a bulb plant this spring, but since it had not bloomed I'm not sure that it is the Derwydd. Hopefully, it will come up and bloom next year, and I will know for sure.

2019 -- It did not come up at all. The cousin in Tennessee says his haven't come back in several years either. It appears that we may have lost them.

2020 -- The one I transplanted still did not come up, however I apparently left a bulb in the flowerbed. The plant is there, but it didn't bloom. Meanwhile SheilaN, who offered me some in the comments below came through on her promise. I had completely forgotten about her offer, and she surprised me with about a dozen bulbs. I planted them in a sunshiny spot where a number of them came up. However, only two of them produced a bud, and one of the buds died. However, the other produced a lovely bloom. You can see it in the photos below.

I want to thank Sheila so much, for your gift of these lovely plants. This is a photo of the one that bloomed beautifully. We haven't had a chance to clean the flowerbed before St. Patrick's Day yet.

I want to thank Sheila so much, for your gift of these lovely plants. This is a photo of the one that bloomed beautifully. We haven't had a chance to clean the flowerbed before St. Patrick's Day yet.

© 2015 Doris James MizBejabbers


Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 20, 2020:

Hanna, the poor little thing grew on me. LOL I think I didn't like it at first because the bud didn't really fluff out into it's true beauty. I love it now and hope my new ones will flourish. Thanks for your comment.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 07, 2020:

I can't take credit for the poem, Hanna. I love Wordsworth. He had such a way with words, he really was a "wordsworth." Daffodils are easy to grow, except for the Derwydd, that is. Is that your flowerbed in the website link? Those are beautiful. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on May 16, 2020:

Linda, at first I thought they were ugly, but they grew on me. Pardon the pun. I just love them and am hoping mine will spread. My distant cousin in Tennessee (who gave me the start of them) is having problems with his, too. They are true daffodils dating back to Llewelyn the Great in the 12th Century, not finicky hybrids, so I don't know what their problem is unless they don't like our Southern climate. But, then as I said, his great great uncle planted them right after the Civil War and they've flourished unattended in that cemetery. As for deer resistance, I would think so. We have a lot of deer (or did until the poachers last year killed off some of them) and they've never bothered mine. I find it strange that the Welsh thought they were extinct. I'll keep updating this until I find out if I mine spread. As they say, "stay tuned."

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on May 16, 2020:

Dvshearer, I just now saw your comment and I don't know why. I don't know where it's been since I checked this article's comments regularly. It came out funny, too, when I approved it, like it's been through the HP mill. I think something went wrong on HP. I certainly didn't ignore you on purpose. Where in Arkansas do you live? I live in North Little Rock. I would love to talk to you so we can compare notes. If you wish, you can email me through HubPages. I would welcome an email from you. Thank you.

Linda Lum from Washington State, USA on May 16, 2020:

I had never heard of these but now I want some. If they truly are in the daffodil family I assume our resident deer will ignore them (and trust me, the list of things they won't eat is pretty short.) Poor little thing; I don't think it's ugly. Just needs someone to love it.

Dvshearer on February 20, 2020:

I have a bunch of the Derwydds. Willing to share. Im in Arkansas.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 15, 2020:

The beauty of the Derwydd grew on me, Peggy. I think they are beautiful, too. My ordinary jonquils are up and blooming right now, but I still haven't seen the little Derwydd come up. I guess I've lost it. A reader sent me some Derwydd bulbs last fall and I planted them in a nice sunny spot. So far they haven't come up yet either. I've got my fingers crossed, hoping they're just not early risers.

I love that field, too. It's about 25 miles from Little Rock. There are several acres of just daffodils planted there. Thanks for your comment.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 15, 2020:

You are certainly doing your best to find the best growing spot for that Derwydd daffodil. I hope that you succeed. It has an interesting history! I loved the William Wordsworth poem and that lovely picture of a field of daffodils in bloom. As to the Derwydd being ugly, I think that it is pretty.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on June 19, 2019:

Shelah, first I apologize for misspelling your name. I am so happy to say that I received the bulbs this week. Thank you, and especially for sending me so many, so I can take a couple to my hometown and plant them on the graves of my Johnston grandparents. Thank you again, very much for your kindness in sharing these with me.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 19, 2019:

Thank you very much, Sheila. I missed your last email because we've been sick around my house. I found your email and replied to it. I definitely appreciate the offer and sent you my address.

ShelahN on April 19, 2019:

I tried contacting you through the HubPages email but possibly you haven't been receiving?

Anyway, if you would like a new start, I am happy to send you some after the foliage dies off.

Let me know the address you would like them sent to.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 31, 2019:

Carmen, this is so intriguing! These little fellows seem to be popping up everywhere now in the U.S., that is all except mine and my family's in Tennessee. Theirs haven't come up this year either. I'm glad you learned what they are. Thanks for telling me.

carmen on March 30, 2019:

I just found some of these blooming along the road on some flood buy-out ground in Dutchtown, Missouri. I had to look up these odd ducks to see what they were. They look like your Derwydd daffodils. I transplanted some to my nearby yard and hope to have clumps blooming in the future.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 28, 2019:

Shelah, that is so interesting because that is a perfect description of mine sometimes. The last time it formed a bud (2017), it was covered in a brown film, like a yellow onion skin, and it didn't open at all. Do any of yours do that?

I would love to have some of yours. If you want to give me a few, please contact me through the HubPages email on my profile. I will answer you there. I am curious to know in which state you live because I wonder if they prefer colder climates than Arkansas and Tennessee. Thank you for reading my article and contacting me.

ShelahN on March 28, 2019:

I am pretty sure I have dozens of your little 'Derwydds'

They are always imperfect though, like something is wrong with them.

The flowers open imperfectly and have brown edges.

I would be happy to give you as many as you want!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 20, 2019:

Thank you for commenting. You are just 25 or so miles away from me. I've been diligently checking, and the daffodil that I moved hasn't come up yet. I fed and watered it very well when I moved it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed because my other jonquils have bloomed and waned. I don't know if it makes any difference, but it is close to my spider lilies that go crazy in that location.

Dv Shearer on March 19, 2019:

Hi. Sorry your flower is not blooming. Yes they need more sun. They open here earlier than the others. They fo best in a deeper looser soil. I planted mine in 6 different beds and compared the difference. Im in Conway Ark.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 08, 2019:

I keep watching the spot where I planted it for signs that it survived, but so far, nothing. At first I wasn't sure that the bulb was my Derwydd, but all my other ones have come up and bloomed. Their blooms are waning, so I know I moved the right bulb. Now I just hope it does come up because it is very special to me. Thanks for reading and commenting, Aisling.

Aisling Ireland from Bolingbroke, GA on March 08, 2019:

I don't think it's a ugly at all! Daffodils are my personal favorite flower. My grandmother had them planted in her yard and I remember that seeing them bloom was my cue that spring had actually sprung. I've not her of that variety before, but they look spectacular to me. I hope the little Derwydd does come back!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 25, 2019:

Joy, it may or may not be a Derwydd. There is another one that is often mistaken for the Derwydd, but if it looks like the photo, it probably is. I thought they were unattractive at first, but now I love them. The one I transplanted hasn't come up yet, so I don't know if my Derwydd is till alive. Thanks for your comment.

Joy VanHorn on February 24, 2019:

i have the green tinted one in Central MS. It has 1-2 unattractive blooms a year. Another one I have is all yellow and blooms better with 3 a year.

JSaxton on September 16, 2018:

I don't know that I have seen the Drewydds. I've see the daffodils like the ones at Wye Mountain. They bloom all over here.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 16, 2018:

Jennifer, do you mean you have this exact little Welsh daffodil? Note that it is what would be termed a double bloom. Or do you mean you just love daffodils? Regardless, I'm sure your mom appreciated it. If you have any Derwydds, please let me know. It really is an unusual daffodil, not like the single blooms that are most common.

Jennifer Saxton-Sweet on September 15, 2018:

Wow!! I had no idea about this history of the daffodil. I grew up seeing them everywhere and was the one flower I would pick to give to my mom. She would put it in a little vase on the table. Today, I see they are pretty ugly unless you see a bunch of them growing in a field somewhere.

Thank you for sharing this.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 04, 2018:

Ronnie, how interesting. I wish you could post a photo because I would love to see it. You didn't say if you had any Derwydd daffodils. I Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

Ronnie on September 04, 2018:

Very interesting reading about the daffodils as I am the owner of Derwydd Mansion in Llandybia Wales

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on April 07, 2018:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 23, 2017:

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 from Essex, UK on August 23, 2017:

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? :)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 20, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on March 20, 2016:

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?

Carolyn Wright on March 20, 2016:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on February 04, 2016:

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.

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on February 04, 2016:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 28, 2016:

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 from England on January 28, 2016:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 21, 2016:

@ 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."

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 21, 2016:

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

Mel Carriere from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 21, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on January 21, 2016:

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 from Snowbound and down in Northern Colorado on January 21, 2016:

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.

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on January 20, 2016:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on November 18, 2015:

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

Fay from Cornwall, UK on November 18, 2015:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 18, 2015:

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.

Suzette Walker from Taos, NM on October 18, 2015:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 14, 2015:

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 on October 14, 2015:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 07, 2015:

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

Lana Adler from California on October 07, 2015:

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 :)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on October 07, 2015:

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

sujaya venkatesh on October 07, 2015:

Wordsworth might have found this beautiful too

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 28, 2015:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 28, 2015:

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 on September 26, 2015:

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 from Orange County, California on September 26, 2015:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 23, 2015:

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

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on September 23, 2015:

"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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 18, 2015:

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

Miz B.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on September 17, 2015:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 15, 2015:

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 from Florida on September 15, 2015:

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. :)

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 15, 2015:

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 from Florida on September 14, 2015:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 11, 2015:

Sujaya, I appreciate your reading and commenting.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 11, 2015:

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 on September 11, 2015:

should get Wordsworth's opinion i suppose

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 10, 2015:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on September 10, 2015:

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'.

peachy from Home Sweet Home on September 08, 2015:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 25, 2015:

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 from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA on August 24, 2015:

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!

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 14, 2015:

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

Audrey Howitt from California on August 14, 2015:

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

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 10, 2015:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on August 10, 2015:

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 from England on August 10, 2015:

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!

Lawrence Hebb from Hamilton, New Zealand on August 04, 2015:

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


Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 24, 2015:

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.

Ann Carr from SW England on July 24, 2015:

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.


Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 20, 2015:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 20, 2015:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 20, 2015:

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 from Newport Beach on July 19, 2015:

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! (http://www.ivydenegardens.co.uk/Bulb%20Narcissus%2... ) :

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 from Oklahoma on July 19, 2015:

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

Great hub!

Faith Reaper from southern USA on July 18, 2015:


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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 18, 2015:

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.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 18, 2015:

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. :)

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on July 18, 2015:

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!

John Hansen from Queensland Australia on July 18, 2015:

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 from Sky Is The Limit Adventure on July 17, 2015:

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


Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 17, 2015:

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.

Doris James MizBejabbers (author) from Beautiful South on July 17, 2015:

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

DJ Anderson on July 17, 2015:

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 and sherry from south Florida on July 17, 2015:

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.

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