Glossary of Hybridizing Terms for Daffodils


There are continuing interactions among daffodil enthusiasts worldwide. Hundreds of individuals communicate continually via – and use for research, reference and enjoyment. National, regional, and local daffodil societies present and exchange information via their Internet websites. Enthusiasts read show reports, newsletters, Journals and Annuals issued by daffodil societies worldwide. With this continual communication – especially among English-speaking daffodil communities – the American Daffodil Society recognized that there needed to be a common understanding of essential terms.


The Glossary of Hybridizing Terms for Daffodils provides definitions of hybridizing terminology – from pollinating to exhibiting – accepted by all daffodil communities. It was developed using recognized botanical and horticultural sources, as well by soliciting inputs from daffodil hybridizers throughout the world. The Glossary has been approved by the American Daffodil Society Board of Directors.

Hybridizing Terms

Breeder; or Bred by (person): the hybridizer of the cultivar.

Bred in (location): where the cultivar was hybridized or the seed was collected.

Clone (verb): to reproduce asexual y (eg, by natural bulb division, bulb-chipping, or the meristem process)

Clone (noun): a copy produced asexual y (ie, with the same genetic constitution).

Cross (two plants) (verb): transfer pollen from one plant onto the stigma of another. (Short for “cross pollinate.”)

Cross (noun): a mating of plants. (Descriptive formula: give the name of the female recipient first, with a “x” separating from the name of the male pollen donor.)

Cultivar: a plant grown as a seedling, sport, or a selected wild form maintained in cultivation.

Grex: all progeny, as well as any subsequent progeny, of a particular cross.

Group (noun): an assemblage of plants that share one or a few distinctive characteristics, defined under a single registration.

Grow: cultivate.

Grower: the person who cultivated the plant.

Hybrid: a cultivar resulting from the crossing of cultivars or species.

Hybridize: make or supervise the making of a cross between cultivars or species.

Hybridizer (of a cultivar): the person who either made or supervised the making of the cross yielding the seed.

Introduce: initially distribute.

Introducer: the person or firm that first distributes the cultivar.

Introduction: a cultivar newly offered for distribution.

Name: a word or term by which a cultivar is known. A cultivar with name registered with the Royal Horticultural Society is written with single quotation marks around it (e.g. ‘Blue Carpet’, ‘Alba’).

Number: a numeric or alpha-numeric designation assigned to identify a cross or selection.

Open pollination: pollination accomplished without human assistance (eg, by insects or wind)

Originate: grow to first flowering. (Synonymous with “raise”.)

Originator: the person who grew the cultivar to first flowering. (Synonymous with “raiser.”)

Pollinate: fertilize; transfer pol en onto a stigma.

Raise: grow to first flowering. (Synonymous with “originate.”)

Raiser: the person who grew the cultivar to first flowering. (Synonymous with “originator.”)

Register (verb): complete and submit a successful application for inclusion of a cultivar in The International Daffodil Register and Classified List maintained by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

Registrant. the person who registered the cultivar.

Seedling: an unnamed cultivar grown from seed.

Select: choose a seedling, sport or particular species form for continued evaluation.

Selection: a seedling, sport, or particular species form chosen, identified and segregated for continued evaluation.

Selector: the person who chooses a seedling, sport, or particular species form for continued evaluation.

Self (verb): pollinate using the pollen of the same plant or its clone.

Siblings: cultivars from the same parentage.

Sisters: see “siblings.”

Sport: a genetic mutation of a plant.