Miniature Trumpet Daffodil
"There is a tiny yellow daffodil,
The butterfly can see it from afar."
'Topolino' means "Little Mouse" & has been used of everything from a model of a Fiat sports car, to the Italian name of Mickey Mouse, to a libretto, to the mouse on your mouse-pad beside your computer, as well as a miniature trumpet daffodil.
This dwarf bicolor is an heirloom variety developed before 1923 by father-&-son hybridizers John & Henk Gerritsen, in the Netherlands. Other of their dwarf creations, 'Little Gem' & 'Baby Moon,' have also proven to be of lasting interest to gardeners.
'Topolino' has grey-green foliage which stands between six & eight inches tall. The flowers are so cute & small, having pointed petals that are ivory white to cream-colored, & bold bright lemon-yellow trumpet somewhat long & narrow with ruffled edges.
This recipient of the Award of Garden Merit wants full sun & moist well-draining soil. Blooms can start very early, as early as February & certainly throughout March.
It is one of the easily forced varieties that can be induced to bloom indoors earlier in winter. As a rule bulbs that are forced indoors are so depleted that it is not worth putting them in the garden afterward as they may never recover.
But forced narcissi recover more often than do forced tulips or crocuses, so if it may be worth a try. When the flowers of forced bulbs are finished, preserve the grass & get them into soil as soon as possible, in pots if it is still too cold out, but right in the garden if it is nearly spring & only a few frosty mornings are expected. Keep them moist so that the foliage does not die back right away; the longer the leaves stay green the better the odds of recharging the bulb for future years' blooms. If they do not bloom well the next year, they will probably do so the year after that. It is never worth trying to force them indoors a second time.
We planted a drift of 'Topolino' in front of our 'Apricot Surprise' deciduous azalea, to the left of a second drift of miniature daffodils which are called 'Jetfire.'
The very, very, very first one of its blooms to appear in our garden was at the end of the first week of March (2004), when several of the earliest daffodils began to show. That first 'Topolino' in our yard is immortalized in the photo at top. The drift of 'Topolino' for its second year in the ground was in fat full bud a full month sooner, with the first few opening into full flower before the end of the first week of February (2005), a year when many bulbs were up a month earlier than usual.
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