Exclusive new daffodil varieties honour Sidmouth and its greatest benefactor

The new daffodil variety named after benefactor Keith Owen, who left his £2.3million fortune to Sidm

The new daffodil variety named after benefactor Keith Owen, who left his £2.3million fortune to Sidmouth - Credit: Archant

The town at the heart of the Valley of a Million Bulbs and the benefactor who dreamed it up are being honoured with two exclusive new daffodils.

The new 'Sidmouth' daffodil

The new 'Sidmouth' daffodil - Credit: Archant

The ‘Sidmouth’ and ‘Keith Owen’ varieties will go on sale to residents for the first time tomorrow morning (Saturday), and only 150 will be available of each.

They were developed by a specialist, registered with the Royal Horticultural Society, and have been adopted by the newly formed Sidmouth Daffodil Society.

A spokesman said: “The society, chaired by Sally Blyth, has been formed to build upon the achievements of the ‘Million Bulbs’ scheme, and to promote further bulbs, and planting, not just daffodils, throughout the valley. We have also been planting other varieties around the town to add to the feast of spring colour for which Sidmouth has become renowned.

The new bulbs are precious – the society has received only 200 bulbs of each variety, which represents the world’s entire supply: they are totally new plants.”

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The two new varieties have been developed in the South West and both have gone through rigorous testing to ensure that they are reliable, healthy and attractive.

The ‘Keith Owen’ is white in colour and the ‘Sidmouth’ is yellow and has a pleasant scent. The former is named after a banker who left his £2.3million fortune to the town. His dying wish was to create a valley of a million bulbs, which the Sid Vale Association has been working to realise since 2013.

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The society spokesman added: “The hope is that over time, the two unique daffodils will become a recognisable and special feature of the town. We think a ‘Sidmouth’ bulb could be the local gift of the year.

“Each bulb will cost £3, which is a lot for a single bulb, but very reasonable indeed for a totally new variety.

“The Sidmouth Daffodil Society is retaining 50 bulbs of each variety for the purposes of increasing stock, but 150 bulbs of each will be available tomorrow (Saturday) at Barrington Tea Garden in Salcombe Road from 11am. Purchases will be restricted to 10 bulbs in total per household, and purchasers are expected to do their best to plant them as soon as possible in the most favourable circumstances to preserve and develop the variety.”

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