Archive for April 9, 2009

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Daffodil, Affodil

In Bonnefont Cloister garden Detail from The Hunters Enter the Woods Narcissus poeticus

Above, from left to right: Rain-drenched daffodils in Bonnefont Cloister garden; a detail from The Hunters Enter the Woods; the later-blooming pheasant’s eye narcissus.

The daffodil now flourishing in Bonnefont Garden is not the wild Lent lily, Narcissus pseudo-narcissus, but a subspecies, N. pseudo-narcissus obvallaris, known as the Tenby daffodil. The parent species, N. pseudonarcissus, the daffodil of the Middle Ages, was not available to us at planting time last fall, but we will obtain stock this year. We had long believed the bulbs that we obtained every year from a Dutch bulb company to be the wild Lent lily. When that particular company ceased to stock the bulbs, we began to look for other sources. I had a conversation with Scott Kunst, a noted expert on historical bulbs, who doubted that what we had been planting had been the true N. pseudonarcissus. Read more »