King Alfred Daffodils
I have good news for you and I have bad news for you about King Alfred Daffodils.
Daffodil Good News - Daffodil Bad News
If you've planted this daffodil in the last few years, the odds are that you don't really have the true variety. That's the bad news.
The good news is that you have something better. What happened is that this good old plant (introduced in 1899 by John Kendall) became the generic name for those big, showy, golden, trumpet-flowered daffodil plants.
The breeders have been busy giving us newer and better varieties with bigger blossoms, better performance, and more more blossoms. Europeans have snapped these newer varieties up and stopped growing the older ones.
Why Is This Happening?
For some unknown reason, North Americans wouldn't give up on the name "King Alfred"; even though there are far better plants on the market. So, when the supply of this bulb runs out, others are substituted for it. You're getting a better bulb but you're not getting the old standard. You're getting the "King Alfred" look; but not the actual bulb. The few remaining true bulbs are mostly reserved for a small commercial trade in Europe.
What You're Getting
What you're likely getting from a mass merchant or garden center is one of these:
Narcissus 'Golden Harvest': yellow trumpet daffodil introduced in 1920
Narcissus 'Yellow Sun': yellow trumpet daffodil introduced in 1940
Narcissus 'Dutch Master': yellow trumpet daffodil introduced in 1948
Narcissus 'Standard Value': yellow trumpet daffodil introduced in 1949
And quite frankly, unless you're a collector you want these newer plants as they are so much better garden performers.
Shopping Resources for this Page
A wide variety of daffodil bulbs can be found here (including "King Alfred Daffodils" :-)
Flower Gardening with Spring Bulbs Ebook
Doug's Ebooks Can Be Found Here