30 April 2012

poet's narcissus for betty

Narcissus poeticus is a very old daffodil associated with the Greek legend of Narcissus. I think it's one of the prettiest: clean, white petals and small yellow corona ringed with intense red. We have some variants that have the same white petals and corona, but are ringed with orange or salmon.

Normally, they're among the last daffodils to bloom, usually late in May, but all bets are off this year, because they're blooming now. They're also very fragrant, and Wikipedia says that the essential oil derived from it is one of the most popular fragrances used in perfume. I did not know that!

Have you ever noticed that the later daffodils are the ones that smell the best? I wonder if that's because when they bloom they have to compete with a lot of other flowers, whereas the earlier ones more or less have the place to themselves.

Narcissus poeticus, though the red ring on the corona is not as intense as some I've seen.
(Photo by Jean-Jacques Milan, via Wikimedia Commons.)

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