The world's first blue daffodil, 10 years in the making, is finally in flower, Gardens Illustrated can exclusively reveal.
Blue daffodils do not exist in the wild, so this new cultivar, named Narcissus 'Poisson d'avril' has been genetically engineered at a top secret location in Wales. Two genes that conflict with each other were added to the UK’s native wild daffodil, Narcissus pseudonarcissus, including one for the blue plant pigment delphinidin.
Narcissus 'Poisson d'Avril' reaches 20cm high and has a long, thin trumpet and flared petals petals that contrast with the grey-green foliage. It flowers slightly later than many daffodils, making it a good companion for late spring bulbs such as tulips. It has an exceptionally long vase life, which means that it makes an excellent cut flower.
The bulbs will now be propagated by a specialist process known as twinscaling and it is hoped that a limited number of blue daffodil bulbs will be available to buy by 2030. It is thought that they will fetch high prices, much as new and rare snowdrops do – a single snowdrop bulb recently sold for £1,850.
"Daffodils will become the new snowdrops," predicts head scientist Dr Rub Isch. "We did some research ahead of the colour change and discovered that most people don’t like yellow daffodils anyway."
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