N. cantabricus flos.

Jane McGary janemcgary@earthlink.net
Sat, 15 Nov 2008 18:25:56 PST
Kevin asked,
At 01:22 PM 11/15/2008, you wrote:
>Does the foliage of you N. cantabricus come out long before the flowers?

This species has a number of different subspecies (or varieties, or 
forms -- you'll have to ask Dr. Koopowitz about Narcissus taxonomy, a 
subject on which I resolutely refuse to risk opinions). In some cases 
the leaves are well developed before a bud emerges, and in others the 
leaves seem to be about half their ultimate length when the scape 
(flowering stem) is about half as long as the leaves. I noticed some 
like that in the bulb frame today.

I feel that the different subspecies, or whatever they may be, are so 
mixed up in cultivation that it is unwise to apply names like 
"foliosus" and "monophyllus" to plants one has grown from seed of 
cultivated origin. In addition, N. cantabricus has been hybridized 
with N. romieuxii and there are some lovely intermediate forms.

In flower here today are a N. cantabricus selection from Walter Blom, 
and seedings received as N. eugeniae, which I must look up to see 
what the "correct" (i.e., British taxonomists') name is. The latter 
are pale yellow and up-facing.

Kevin also asked whether he should chill N. rupicola ssp. watieri 
bulbs. I don't know, because they do get chilled here naturally. Ask 
Harold. For those unfamiliar with it, this is a very lovely pure 
white subspecies, from North Africa; N. rupicola ssp. rupicola is 
deep yellow. I have had hybrids of N. watieri appear as self-sown 
seedlings between the pots, but I don't know the other parent; the 
flowers are pale yellow. There is another member of this complex 
called N. atlanticus, or rupicola ssp. atlanticus, which has 
cream-colored flowers; and one that bears multiple flowers on a 
scape, called N. calcicola. N. rupicola and N. calcicola are hardy in 
the open garden for me, but I haven't risked the others out of the bulb frame.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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