‘Rijnveld’s Early Sensation’ seems to be something of a secret (despite the name). It’s just a yellow trumpet daffodil. But I think it deserves more attention.
“This two-toned yellow daffodil wouldn’t win a ribbon, but it has won a place in our hearts,” says Brent and Becky’s catalogue. Since I don’t move in show circles, I don’t know what they consider to a good daffodil. And to be honest, I hadn’t even noticed Rijnveld’s Early Sensation was two-toned – unless they mean the green streaks which linger from the opened bud, making a green star.
If you like the star effect, I found the deepest-colored ones came from the just-opened flowers I picked and put in a vase inside; sun seems to fade them a bit, though not entirely.
While Rijnveld’s Early Sensation is early, this year, its first year of planting, it has been beat out by my old established Dutch Master. The first year bulbs are planted, they tend to come out later than they do in subsequent years, so next year Rijnveld may come before Dutch Master. (It may do that anyway; the number of flowers from Dutch Master has drastically dropped this year, not my previous experience. Maybe the calcium treatments I’m giving all my Mediterranean bulbs will help.)
While my Rijnveld’s Early Sensation opened in late February and are blooming in early March, Brent and Becky, who are in Virginia, say that this daffodil often blooms in January for them. Once it opened in December. And they report that it doesn’t mind snow a bit, something I can testify to. Scheepers, which also carries Rijnveld, says the flower dates from 1943, and that it’s “the earliest to flower by two weeks, with several flowers per bulb.” The difference in bloom time could mean B&B and Scheepers have different strains of Rijnveld; I haven’t noticed any multiple flowers from my own bulbs, for instance, but it’s early days yet.
Of course the difference in bloom time could simply be a climate difference: there’s a lot of ground to cover between the Netherlands (where Scheepers gets their bulbs) or Connecticut (where Scheepers is located in the U.S.) and Brent and Becky’s trial gardens in Virginia (which does have cold winters, but not as cold as in the north).
Despite its 1943 date, I haven’t found Rijnveld’s in my heirloom (or just old) books and catalogues, unlike its early-blooming yellow-trumpet kindred, Golden Spur and Narcissus obvallaris (the Tenby daffodil). Rijnveld’s isn’t statuesque: only 12 to 14 inches (about 30 to 35 cm); it’s not unusual (except possibly in its time of bloom). The scent is pleasing, but mild. I suppose, among all the other, showier daffodils, this one just gets lost, so you don’t see it in most books or catalogues. But I love Rijnveld’s little snouts and green stars. I think more gardens should have an Early Sensation.
P.S. If this post has gotten you interested in Rijnveld’s Early Sensation, check out Fairegarden’s post on how it has colonized and spread in her garden.