Jane McGary
Thu, 22 May 2008 11:21:09 PDT
Regarding the offensive or otherwise scent of paperwhite narcissus, note 
that different cultivars have different fragrances. The most common one on 
the market is, I believe, 'Ziva', and it's one of the stronger-smelling.

There are many wild varieties and cultivars derived from Narcissus tazetta 
that have lighter scents. I enjoy the one sometimes known as N. panizzianus 
and also find N. pachybolbus inoffensive. Another early-flowering plant 
with a pleasant, sweet scent is N. cordubensis, which has small gold 
flowers on tallish stems.

In flower now is the pleasantly scented wild form of Narcissus jonquilla, 
which I grew from seed collected in the Pyrenees by a contributor to the 
NARGS seed exchange some years ago. The flowers wouldn't please daffodil 
specialists because they tend to be a little bicolored, but I like them. I 
grow them in a large container where I can keep them adequately watered, as 
they don't like to dry out completely in summer (or, I assume, be soggy all 

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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