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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Some early spring Narcissus

So the story goes something like this: Narcissus was a proud and beautiful hunter in Greek mythology, He disdained those who loved him. Nemesis lured him to a pool where he saw his reflection, fell in love with it and could not look away and there he died. some tellings of the story had that he fell in and drowned and some that he simply died of starvation entranced at his own reflection. Up from where he died sprang the beautiful spring flowers of the daffodil.

I'm not going to venture a guess at how many species are in the genus. But as a whole they all contain the toxic alkaloid Lycorine which inhibits protien synthesis upon ingestion. There has been more than a few poisonings as people have mistaken the bulbs for onions.

It's hard to beat a flower that blooms so early. Even though we are still deeply entrenched in winter at the end of January, it's refereshing to walk into the greenhouse and smell the fragrant early bloomers, and see the bright whites and yellows

I present here a few of the earliest in my garden at least.
Narcissus cantabricus ssp. foliosus
If my nose is correct this species has a very sweet fragrance, It caught me off guard on an overcast but mild late January day.

Narcissus romiuexii
Bloming in the greenhouse January 31st, 2012

Narcissus romiuexii 'Julia Jane'
Deeper yellow version of the Moroccan native that is said to grow in Cedar and Oak forests on limestome or basalt substrates

Narcissus albidus

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