Friday, February 24, 2012

Daffodil, Narcissus and Jonquils, Oh My!

"The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days"  Robert Leighton



Had a question from the reader mailbag about how to tell the difference between Daffodils, Narcissus and Jonquils. Checking our 'bible', I found that all of them fall under the category of NARCISSUS. It serves as a catch-all of new flower forms, with size and color being a denominator.They are broken down into 13 divisions. For example, jonquils are smaller and have clusters of 2-4 rather small, fragrant flowers. Daffodils come in many varieties and can be small-cupped or large-cupped. Also in this group are hybrids, miniatures and polyanthus, or bunch-flowered with small-cupped white and yellow flowers in clusters.They are actually in the amaryllis family. Flowers of the tazetta-group species are commonly called paperwhites.

Narcissus bulbs are permanent, increasing from year to year, and hardy in cold and heat. The best things to know about this group is that flowers usually face the sun; keep that in mind when selecting a planting place; And, gophers hate them and will not eat them. They will grow in all zones.They are poisonous to eat.

The name NARCISSUS has a fascinating history. There are a few variations, but mostly they center on a vain youth of Greek mythology named Narcissus. In one version, he became so obsessed with his own reflection as he kneeled and gazed into a pool that he fell into the water and drowned. In another version, he died of starvation and thirst from just sitting by the edge of the pool until he gave out, gazing at his reflection until he died. In both versions, the Narcissus plant sprang from where he died. The Greeks say that the gods turned his remains into the Narcissus flower.
 'Narcissus' by Michaelangelo Caravaggio 1599
 The Daffodil is the national flower of Wales, where it is traditional to wear the flower on St. David's Day (March 1). The Narcissus is the national flower symbolizing the New Year in Kurdish culture.If the Narcissus blooms on Chinese New Year, it is said to bring extra wealth and good fortune throughout the year.
Harry Potter character Narcissa Malfoy, the mother of Draco Malfoy, was named after Narcissus and was described as being incredibly vain and arrogant. Her sister, Bellatrix Lestrange and cousin Sirius Black were described being incredibly beautiful, as were all members of the Black family.

There! That was all you wanted to know (hopefully) about daffodils, narcissus and jonquils~and probably more!

You MIGHT be a Redneck Gardener If:
  • You mow your lawn and find a wheelbarrow
  • You think a chain saw is a musical instrument
  • You move your refrigerator and the grass underneath it is yellow
  • You don't water your front yard rather than mow it.
  • You know how many bags of fertilizer your car can hold
  • You've ever cleaned your house with a leaf blower
  • You empty the trash when you have enough to fill up the pickup.
  • You can amuse yourself for more than an hour with the hose
  • You've been cited for reckless driving on a riding lawn mower.
  • You move your weed-eater to take a bath



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