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Thoughts & Musings by Sandra Visnapuu

Jonquil, Daffodil and Narcissus

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As a child I shared a room with my sister, our twin bed coverlets were of pink chenille in a room large enough to award each their own window to the garden. While we sisters shared much, the heady fragrance wafting through my cracked open window from the Jonquil’s outside were mine alone.

Shared for all were the glorious bulbs which appeared each year while visiting my Grandparents in Volcano, California. The Easter Sunday service was held on ‘Daffodil Hill’, with an elevation of 2,070 feet the surrounding fields floated off in a maze of yellow hues. 

The confusion came when I started hearing the very grown up word Narcissus. Regionally, the name Jonquil and Daffodil are often used and they would be correct but they are both Narcissus - the scientific name given to a group of plants. 

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Generally, daffodils are hardier with little fragrance, range in colors of yellows, whites and pinks and have sword like leaves. The Jonquils are highly perfumed and appear in clusters. Smaller, yellow with round leaves they prefer warmer climates or regions. 

It is approaching the time of the year you need to have your bulbs in order - be prepared to dig! Narcissus will reward you every year to follow with very little effort. They have the added bonus of being deer, vole, rabbit and rodent resistant.

Bulbs on my list for the Boar House this Fall include: Poeticus var. recurvus (or Pheasants Eye) considered one of the most ancient of Narcissus. It is often said to have a white face with orange eyes, hence Pheasants Eye. They are wonderfully fragrant and will thrive for those with wet soil.

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The other is Jonquillia Narsissus for its divine fragrance as well for a little family history.

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My next blog is about - the timing of the ‘Galanthus’, the Snowdrop.