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Erlicheer Paperwhite Bulbs Are Our Favorite to Force

Virtues: We love 'Erlicheer' paperwhites for the fragrance of their flowers, their creamy white color and their reliability when forced to bloom indoors as winter decorations. This type of daffodil has also proven itself as a good choice for gardens in the South of the United States. Makes a good cut flower.

Erlicheer paperwhite narcissus

Common name: 'Erlicheer' paperwhite, 'Erlicheer' paperwhite narcissus

Botanical name:Narcissus 'Erlicheer'

Flowers: Clusters of creamy white double-petaled daffodil flowers appear atop slim stems in winter (when forced) or spring (in the garden). Flowers are sweetly fragrant. Individual 'Erlicheer' paperwhite flowers are about an inch wide, but a cluster of them can be three to five inches around.

Foliage: Grassy green leaves appear alongside the flower stem and then die back after flowering ceases.

Habit: Flowering stems and foliage grow 8 to 18 inches tall. Together they make the plant 6 to 8 inches wide.

Season: Winter for flowers if forced indoors; spring for flowers if grown outside.

How to grow 'Erlicheer' paperwhite narcissus: To grow outdoors in the southern US, plant them in the fall, five to six inches deep in well-drained soil and full sun. Allow the foliage to die back naturally in late spring. To force 'Erlicheer' for winter bloom indoors, place the bulbs shoulder to shoulder atop a bed of pebbles in a vase. Add enough water so that it just barely touches the bottoms of the bulbs. Keep the paperwhite bulbs in a cool, dark place (ideally, 45–60˚F) for a couple weeks, then move them into warmer temperatures and bright light. When forced indoors, paperwhite narcissus generally bloom within 3 to 6 weeks of planting. Discard the blooms when the flowers fade.

More on forcing bulbs in water

Another favorite paperwhite bulb: 'Galilee'

Read how to force amaryllis bulbs to bloom indoors in winter

Find the best species and cultivars of flower bulbs for all seasons, uses and garden conditions in Bulbs for Garden Habitats.

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Learn about the gardens, plants and landscapes that inspired Beatrix Potter in Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life.