Narcissus romieuxii

Jane McGary
Thu, 25 Feb 2010 10:31:52 PST
Jim McKenney had some comments on Narcissus that he received from my 
surplus list. Most of the Bulbocodium section increase rapidly so I 
sent a lot of these out, with the caveat that I was sending them 
under the names with which I received them. Many came from Monocot 
Nursery (Michael Salmon), under the "split" names preferred by 
Spanish botanists at the time. John Blanchard in his book on 
Narcissus species has recommended lumping many of these entities, a 
strategy supported by the DNA research done by Ben Zonneveld.

Jim wrote:
>The plant received as "albidus kesticus" intrigues me: it's the largest
>flowered of any hoop petticoat I've ever seen. As I know them, the flowers
>of most of the hoop petticoat sorts are about the size of an almond. The
>flowers of "albidus kesticus" are much bigger; I have not measured them, but
>the corona looks big enough to comfortably cup a nickel.

Yes, this is quite a large form. It apparently should be called N. 
cantabricus ssp. cantabricus var. kesticus (Maire & Wilczek) 
Fernandes. Blanchard (1990) wrote: "As far as I know it has not been 
in cultivation in Britain until very recently. Michael Salmon has 
located a white bulbocodium in the valley of the Kest [Morocco] which 
must presumably be this variety, and has kindly given me a bulb. ... 
The flower, which has no pedicel, is about the same off-white colour 
of var. foliosus, but slightly larger and with the corona rather more 
expanded." My plants were grown from seed of the wild-collected bulbs 
at Salmon's nursery. It is one of my favorite Narcissus here.

The species of this section appear to hybridize freely in my frames 
and the plants flowering in the plunge sand between the pots are 
always interesting, though often of obvious hybrid origin. There are 
also named hybrids, especially between N. romieuxii and N. 
cantabricus, such as 'Joy Bishop'. I also have the clone N. romieuxii 
'Julia Jane', which seeds freely -- sometimes producing some white 
offspring obviously sired by N. cantabricus.

Jane McGary
Northwestern Oregon, USA

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