March 27, 2007

The Collectors Species Narcissus

Narcissus triandrus ssp. triandrus

A parent of many of the triadrus hybrids that one finds at garden centers like Thalia, this precious rare bulb is perhap the choicest Narcissus for growing in a cool to cold greenhouse or as part of a collection of miniature daffodils in a protected alpine house or alpine garden. Again, native to the Mediterranian, Spain, Portuagal, these species must go dry in the summer, and also can't handle the coldest of temperatures, such as what we here in New England can't avoid.

The triandrus narcissus are perhaps my favorite section, followed closely by the cyclamineus and the bulbocodiums. This particular sub species has twisting foliage and dangling bells of blossoms. I could onyl find two nurseries who still carried the bulb, and only one in the U.S., A little costly, I must admit, for such a tiny precious thing, but I think that my 3 bulb investment may succeed, I have pollenated it with a few other Narcissus species that are blooming now, and time will tell if any seed took. As I said earlier, Narcissus collecting, hace become a new passion. Od course, only the rarest will do! An here are the first to start blooming in the cold glass greenhouse, where they have spent thier winter, protected from frost, but still nestled up against the coldest glass in the corner.

Narcissus bulbocodium ssp. tenifolius

This pot jsut came back after a week at the New England Flower Show in Boston, where it won a cultural certificate from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. Funny thing is, it is rare, but not nearly as rare and the triandrus species above, which, with nearly a $100 bulb, and five or six blossoms that somehow, magnificantly never rotted away before blooming, still only came in eith an honorable mention. Still, I am so pleased that they grew and blossomed, since they are a bit fussy, (they require fantasically fast drainage, and are planted almost in pure granite chips). The Bulbocodium isn't exactly common, anyway, especially this sub species, in fact, I bet only a handful of growers keep it well in the state, it's just perpective, I guess, since I keep a few pots of this species.

Funn thing is, this same pot won a gold medal and the National Garden Club Gold Medal last year, which surprised us, since it came with an engraved certificate which made my college degree look tatty, and this tiny plant one a silver tray engraved, from a prestigeus jeweler in Boston, yes... All that for a 4" pot of daffodils. A bit ironic, when one thinks that our Irish Terrier Margaret won the national Irish Terrier Specialty best of winners categary at our national specialty show in Montgomery, last year, and all she won, was a glass vase that someone bought at the mall. I'd have to admit that at the end of the day, the Dog show, cost perhaps over $10,000 to win, when one adds in the cost of a nationally rexognized dog handler, the flights across the country to the handler in Santa Barbara, the boarding, the training, ugh. It does't make sense, does it? No wonder the dogs pee on the daffs.


  1. Handsome girl you have there. Is she still out showing, or has she retired to being a pampered pet?

  2. Gorgeous pictures, as always. Can you explain the pot-in-a-pot picture? (Is that just decorative, or does it have a plant reaason?)


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