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Plant This or That: Daffodils

Dare I say it … there is a native alternative to the daffodil (Narcissus)!  Yes, I know, I tread on dangerous ground now …lol. But, really, there are some great additions you can make to your Chesapeake spring garden.

Early spring is one of those times when natives can be really critical … pollinators need the right types of pollen as the temperature warms.

Yellow trout lily (Erythronium americanum), above on the right, will never replace the daffodil. It’s smaller, at 5″ or so, and needs spring sun and dappled or shady, moist growing conditions. It can naturalize, though, and has the most interesting leaves. Mature leaves are mottled, sort of like a trout.  Most important, trout lily blooms in early spring providing early pollen.


March means daffodils around the Chesapeake.  As you enjoy the show, please consider whether you have space to add trout lily.  For a native yellow show all Spring long, you might also plant celandine poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) above, the Chesapeake’s only native poppy, and yellow trillium (Trillium luteum) below. Celandine poppy is very easy to grow and it self sows gently.  Celandine poppy and trillium bloom soon after trout lily and often into May.


Please note, in my experience, you may find a few celandine poppies and yellow trillium in nurseries but a natives only nursery or mail order may be easiest.  Plant this trio and your garden will be popping with yellow next Spring!

For more information:

About trout lily from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, look here.

About celandine poppy from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, look here.

About trillium, from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, look here.


We want you to be as excited about planting Chesapeake natives as we are. “Plant This or That” gives you a native alternative to popular plants. Other posts highlight really fabulous fauna native to the Chesapeake.

Nuts for Natives, avid gardener, Baltimore City admirer, Chesapeake Bay Watershed restoration enthusiast, and public service fan.

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