Species Team

Species information, including photographs and historic images, was incorporated into DaffSeek in 2010 by a team of world renowned botanical experts in the genus Narcissis. The species information in DaffSeek uses the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS’s) compilation of botanical names in the genus Narcissus (available on the RHS website (www.rhs.org.uk)). The team carefully evaluated and selected content and photographs from many sources in order to assure that information presented was of the highest integrity. Additional volunteers provided invaluable support towards the completion of this project. DaffSeek provides accurate reference material for people interested in researching narcissus species.

Species Team Leader

Brian Duncan, MBE, lives in Omagh, Northern Ireland and is the Team Leader for the DaffSeek Species Project. Brian served on the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Daffodil and Tulip Committee for more than thirty years, being Chairman for eleven years. Brian has served in many other capacities for the RHS, including as a member of the Daffodil and Tulip Yearbook Committee and the Show Schedule Committee and as Chairman of both the RHS Trials Committee and the Advisory Panel on Narcissus Classification. He travels frequently to Europe to find and study Narcissus species in their native habitat. Brian’s mentor and frequent traveling companion is the world renowned species expert, John W. Blanchard, VMH. While observing and photographing species in the wild, Brian assesses the viability of species in their habitat. Brian describes himself as a species enthusiast and daffodil hybridist from Northern Ireland, which is an understatement in view of the many contributions he has made to the daffodil world.

Species Team Mentor

John Blanchard, VMH, was born in Dorset, England and has extensive experience of studying Narcissus species in their natural habitat, as well as growing and observing them in cultivation. He has written many articles on this subject and lectured widely. He is the author of the classic book, Narcissus A Guide to Wild Daffodils, which is a must for every daffodil hunter. John has made frequent trips to Europe for the single purpose of evaluating the vitality and vulnerability of Narcissus species. John was Chairman of the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Daffodil and Tulip Committee for many years and of the Advisory Panel on Narcissus Classification. In 1997, John received the Victoria Medal of Honour (VMH), the most prestigious personal award made by the RHS. He received the American Daffodil Society Gold Medal for his work with wild daffodils. John is recognized around the world for his in-depth knowledge and experience of Narcissus species. John is the mentor for the DaffSeek Species Project and plans to continue to provide counsel and advice upon request.

Species Team Members

(Ordered by Last Name)

Kathy Andersen, Ph.D., lives in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, United States and is a past president of the American Daffodil Society (ADS). Kathy’s interest in the species began in 1987 when she read an RHS Yearbook article by John Blanchard. The following year, Kathy embarked on her first trip to Spain. In more recent years, Kathy has traveled to Spain, Portugal, France, and Morocco, often more than once each year, seeking the familiar as well as the seldom seen species. Kathy served as ADS Species Conservation Chairman on several occasions on the ADS Board of Directors. In 1994 she and Marilynn Howe presented a paper, “Bi-colored Trumpet Daffodils of the Pyrenees”, at the second International Symposium on the Taxonomy of Cultivated Plants.

Juan Andrés Varas Braun, J.D., was born in Santiago, Chile and currently lives in Valdivia where he is a law professor at the Universidad Austral’s Law School. In 2007, he was appointed by the Chilean government as a judge pro tempore in Valdivia’s Court of Appeals. In March 2010, Juan Andrés assumed the office of Governor of the Los Ríos Region of Chile. His interest in daffodils began in 1996, while looking for older varieties planted by his grandmother at their family farm at Villarrica. While in Madrid, Spain, studying for his doctorate, Juan Andrés enjoyed searching for Narcissus species in the wild and today continues to return to Europe for that reason.

John David, Ph.D., was up until recently Head of Botany at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and is now the Chief Scientist, working at the RHS Garden Wisley in Surrey, UK. Through his university training and subsequent career he has built up his knowledge in plant systematics and especially in plant nomenclature, having had input to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature and more recently been a member of the Editorial Commission that produced the latest (8th edition) of the International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants, which was published in 2009. This knowledge was used to help with the compilation of the “list of botanical names in the genus Narcissus” drawn up by Sally Kington. He has a deep interest in the Amaryllidaceae, including growing a modest range himself, particularly the genus Nerine, but also Narcissus, and is the Project Leader for the Narcissusmonograph project being led by the RHS. He is founder and editor of the journal Hanburyana, published by the RHS, which is devoted to papers on cultivated plant taxonomy and nomenclature.

Mary Lou Gripshover lives in Milford, Ohio, United States. She is the American Daffodil Society (ADS) liaison with the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and serves on the RHS Advisory Panel on Narcissus Classification. She is the National Daffodil Registrar for the United States and chairs the ADS Information Management Committee. Mary Lou went on her first trip in search of species in 1995 and beginning in 2000 has traveled overseas every year since. Her motivation for these trips was to see the regions and types of conditions in which the species grew in the wild and photograph them in their native habitat. Mary Lou is a daffodil hybridizer and also grows Narcissus species. Mary Lou is a past president of the American Daffodil Society. She is considered the mentor for DaffSeek and has also played a prominent role in the preparation of the species data and photographs.

Sally Kington lives in London, England and was at the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) for 20 years as International Daffodil Registrar. In consultation with the RHS Working Party on the Classification of Narcissus, Sally drew up the list of botanical names in the genusNarcissus as published in the International Daffodil Register. Sally has traveled to various parts of Europe on botanical expeditions when, in addition to careful record-keeping, she has taken a particular interest in the variation of species within populations and from separate regions. Sally has provided review and verification of the literature and iconography of the species that was invaluable to the DaffSeek Species Project. She will continue to help check and proofread information as it is added to DaffSeek in future.

Harold Koopowitz, Ph.D., was born in South Africa and currently lives in Santa Ana, California, United States where he is a professor emeritus of Ecology with an emphasis on Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine. His long-standing interests in the hybridization of a variety of specialist plants, including daffodils, clivias, and slipper orchids, have led to the publication of several books on horticulture and plant conservation. Harold makes frequent trips to evaluate Narcissus species in the wild in various regions in Europe. In the 2005-2006 RHS Daffodil and Tulip Yearbook, Harold, along with Derrick Donnison-Morgan and Ben Zonneveld, authored the description of Narcissus miniatus, an autumn-flowering species found in Spain. Harold served as Species Conservation Chairman on several occasions on the ADS Board of Directors.

Theo Sanders lives in Essen, Germany and is a retired professor for Material Science at the University of Duisburg-Essen. Theo’s hobby is hybridization of narcissus. In 1973, he made his first crosses with daffodils on a very small scale. In 1996, he started to cross standard daffodils with a large number of different species daffodils. At the 2008 World Daffodil Convention in the Netherlands, Theo displayed a large collection of his most recent colorful seedlings. He incorporates species into his extensive daffodil breeding program. Theo enjoys searching for Narcissus in their native regions and has traveled widely in Spain and Portugal in this pursuit.