GARDEN: Hirts' Garden's Sulphur Queen Ismene

Mar 27, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:fragrant, eye catching, easy grow

Cons:none noted

The Bottom Line: Unlike early blooming King Alfred, a true daffodil which can be expected to appear during March and April; aromatic Sulphur Queen  can be expected to blossom during June and July.


Hirts' Garden's Sulphur Queen, genus Hymenocallis, so called Daffodil Bulb - Ismene, hardy zones 8 - 10, features yellow, Daffodil like trumpets. Enchanting outsized blossom clusters ascend from Amaryllis like undergrowth at the base of near to 24 inch stems.

Dig and store bulbs to winter over if not in zones 8 - 10.  Heavily mulch if choosing to winter over in zone 7.  Mine are container, and do not winter outdoors.

Amaryllidacea, Sulphur Queen Ismene is a stunning, highly fragrant flowering bulb bearing conspicuous soft sulphur hued yellow blooms which bear a resemblance to daffodils above darkly green, strapy undergrowth.   Citrusy fragrant, blossom petals bearing green striped throats can be expected to arch back providing this bloom a distinctive shape.

With the heart of the bloom looking much like to a cup or corona having six petals surrounding it, Sulphur Queen looks a good bit like a summer blossoming daffodil atop leaf free stalks. Grown especially for its inimitable chiseled eminence that Hymenocallis adds to the container garden, in addition to its splendid fragrance, this 18-24 inch native Americas variety has long been a gardening favorite.

Some species of Hymenocallis are indigenous to  grasslands and rocky locales while others prefer a sub tropical marshy habitat.

Because these bulbs do not winter well in areas of ice and frost I find Sulphur Queen to be well suited to use as container plants on the patio where fragrance and beauty can be enjoyed especially during early evening.

Unlike King Alfred, genus Narcissus, a true daffodil which can be expected to appear during March and April; aromatic Sulphur Queen is deer and rodent resistant and can be expected to blossom during June and July.   Unlike the King Alfred which is a butter lemon yellow trumpet surrounded by a frill of yellow petals,  Sulphur Queen offers a more open trumpet lined with green.  Petals are narrow, not so copious and flare away from, rather than surround the trumpet.  Both are gorgeous.

While King Alfred Daffodils are likely the most recognized heralds of spring; Sulphur Queen and heirloom bulb dating from the early 1800s is a nice and welcome addition following the perky yellow true daffodils we see early in the season.

As with true daffodils Hymenocallis are not difficult cultivars for the garden.  I have found that nearly everyone, no matter how brown their thumb, can enjoy great success with Hymenocallis.

With blossom stalks rising upwards of 2 feet Hymenocallis Amaryllidacea, Sulphur Queen Ismene is an especially pretty, fragrant addition to the warmer clime in soil planting garden, and for container beauty in cooler temperature zones.  If the bulbs are going to be used as in ground types they can be  started indoors and moved to the outdoor bed during mid-May well after frost danger is past.  While I do not use them as such, Sulphur Queen can be used as a cut flower.

Happy to recommend Hymenocallis, Amaryllidacea, Sulphur Queen Ismene.

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Reviewed by Molly's Reviews
molly martin
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