Narcissus triandrus albus

Jane McGary
Sat, 03 Nov 2012 10:12:36 PDT
Roland wrote:
>I am working on it
>try to get real good mother-plants
>Narcissus triandrus albus was always collected in the nature
>forbidden for the harvest there was no stock to grow
>and because not completely hardy (as far as i know)
>not really interesting to grow for the commercial growers

Many years ago I bought bulbs of this plant from an importer that I 
now suspect was selling wild-collected bulbs. Some years later, a 
Dutch bulb grower visited my garden, saw it, and asked for bulbs 
because he said it was an unusually good form. I sent them to him 
that summer, but I don't know if the form ever entered commerce. 
(Muscari muscarimi 'Frost', with the same history, has done so.) I 
didn't know it was unusual, but it is larger than the forms I have 
since grown from wild-collected seed. I brought the "good" form with 
me when I moved recently, and it is still flourishing. It has been 
perfectly hardy outdoors in temperatures down to about 12 F, growing 
in rich soil in a raised bed designed mostly for ericaceous plants. I 
won't offer seed of it to the PBS, though, because I grow so many 
Narcissus in close proximity that any seed is likely to produce hybrids.

I seem to recall reading that f. albus is actually the more common 
color form of N. triandrus, and the yellow form is more unusual to 
find. The latter is a pleasing light, clear yellow, as I've grown it 
from seed from the Archibalds. I don't have any experience with the 
hybrids, but some were bred at Mitsch Nursery near my home, so they 
should be hardy down to the mid-teens Fahrenheit.

This is just one more example of why it's important to keep growing a 
variety of clones from wild populations, though now we know that 
collected seeds are what we should use, not collected bulbs. We 
should all do our best to support reputable and ethical seed 
collectors. Chris Chadwell is still pursuing his longstanding 
practice of selling shares in his expeditions (and I bought one 
recently, hoping my efforts in helping arrange his US lecture tour 
next spring will encourage him to treat me to some of the cream of 
the crop, which has not always been the case for US investors).

Jane McGary
Portland, Oregon, USA

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