Cornwall’s newest daffodil will be named by school children at an exhibition celebrating the county’s daffodil history which opens on St Piran’s Day.

The name has been chosen from 60 suggestions made by children who are growing the un-named daffodil for its first public appearance at the Falmouth Spring Flower Show on March 21 and 22 at the Princess Pavilion, Gyllyngdune Gardens. Daffodil grower Ron Scamp, the flower show’s president, gave samples of the un-named daffodil pictured here, to local primary schools. He says, ‘During its development in the past ten years it has been known by its trial number 840 6Y-O. It finally has a name and I am delighted that the children took such a keen interest we had 60 entries to choose from. The daffodils grown by the children will make their first public appearance at the flower show. There I will present an official certificate of registration from the Royal Horticultural Society to the pupil whose name we choose .’ The childrens’ bulbs have been grown with the advice of Falmouth’s Cormac gardeners Howard Burns and Matt Stannard ,with Jacqui Owen of Tempus Leisure, the visitor and education officer at Gyllyngdune Gardens co-ordinating the naming competition with the schools and Ron Scamp.

The name of the new daffodil will be revealed at a free photography exhibition ‘Then & Now: Cornwall’s Daffodil Families’ which runs from March 5th to 28th in the foyer of Falmouth’s Municipal Buildings on the Moor. It features the history of daffodil growers from the Isles of Scilly, and the Penzance and Falmouth area.

One such family are fourth generation farmers and brothers James and Jeremy Hosking of Fentongollan Farm, St Michael Penkivel on the banks of the River Fal estuary . It was their father Jim Hosking who started sending daffodil flowers by post in the early 1970s. Today they grow over 300 different varieties producing around 15 million flowers sent nationwide and to Europe via their Flowers by Post service.

John and Josephine Smith of Old Town, St Mary’s on the Isles of Scilly started growing daffodils in the 1880s. Descendants of this family photographed by Gibsons of Scilly in 1894 still grow daffodils on the islands . The man standing at the back of the family portrait is John Smith’s son Harry who moved to the mainland in 1922. Today fifth generation farmer Stuart Smith grows daffodils and other flowers at Rosebud Cottage Flower Farm, Rosudgeon , Penzance, using the same working methods handed down by his great-great-grandfather.

Cornwall has the world’s largest daffodil farm which dates from 1885, and has bred some of the world’s favourite daffodils including the most commercially successful miniature the Tete-a-Tete bred by Alec Gray ( 1895-1986) who lived at Treswithian, near Camborne. It was first shown at the Falmouth Spring Flower Show in 1949.

The show’s committee member Jean Carr who has researched the exhibition says, ‘It seems fitting that Cornwall’s newest daffodil will also be making its first public appearance at this year’s flower show. This exhibition would not have happened without the wonderful photographic archives in this county and the personal photographs of daffodil farmers including one from James Hosking’s family taken in the early 1970s. Then the daffodil pickers were from local families, often woman and children working at weekends and during school holidays. The caption on this photograph reads ‘Fentongollan Farm. Special People. The Seekin[g]s and Hughes Families’. I would love to know if any member of their families today can remember daffodil picking with their mothers when they were children .’ As well as the photography exhibition the Library will display books on Cornwall’s daffodil industry , Falmouth Art Gallery is showing a selection of their floral themed art works billed as ‘Not Your Average Flower Show’ from March 2nd to 28th, , and local artist Elle Sambrook will design a living plant installation for the foyer of the Town Hall.

These events are curtain raisers for the Falmouth Spring Festival which opens on March 12th with Paint The Town Yellow Day when thousands of daffodils are distributed to shops and shoppers by school children and students.