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what narcissus is it? (and who moved my labels?)

Varieties of Narcissus from the gardenHAVING AN OLD GARDEN HAS ITS POSITIVES—AND PITFALLS. Yes, there are grown-in plants, enough to divide, spread around and share–if only you could find the names of the damn things. Nowhere is my “what happened to the label?” plight more dire than among the Narcissus, some of the very first things I planted 25 years ago. This year I’m trying to catalog them on “film” and do the homework to give them names again. Can you help, perhaps?

I promise myself I’ll do this every spring: cut one of each kind of daffodil here, record it with the camera, track down its name. And then spring gets away from me. I did manage to get the dozen above and another few below so far, though, before they withered; I missed the little extra-early guys–again.

fragrant white narcissusComparing old notes and current catalog photos, I did pretty well with this batch, but that small-cupped yellow beauty (bottom row, far left, of top photo) with the orange rim is going to elude me, I can just tell, and some of the others look like certain varieties except they’re smaller or bigger than they’re supposed to be according to the listings I can find. Here’s where I am so far (with my “notes to self” in parentheses):

Top photo, left to right:

Top row: ‘Tahiti,’ ‘King Alfred,’ ‘Mount Hood,’ ‘Ice King’

Middle row: (like ‘Spellbinder’?), (like ‘Acropolis’ but smaller?), (came with pink-cupped mix, no way to I.D.), (like ‘Merlin’ but big!)

Bottom row: (unknown), ‘Barrett Browning,’ ‘Thalia,’ ‘February Gold’

Photo of white varieties, left to right:

Top row: (don’t know; like a giant ‘Cheerfulness’), (‘Ice King’ faded to white, as it ages?)

Bottom row: ‘White Lion,’ ‘Ice Follies’

ALL HELP IS WELCOME! The first person to figure out that yellow one trimmed so daintily in orange might just get a prize…. And even if you have no names to name, tell me this: Anything over there lurking label-less in your garden? Anybody whose name you just cannot recall? It happens to the best of us (or so I’m telling myself).

More about Narcissus:

  • My Flower-Bulb FAQ page includes what to do about non-blooming clumps; if and when to feed, and when to remove fading foliage, among other issues.
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  1. Linda Pastorino says:

    Hi Catherine , I think it is more for me because it bothers me that I forget myself on some of names . People come and do ask some times. Also the particular cultivar sometimes makes for a different placment and then one forgets and the information gets lost. I’m a bit if a stickler for cataloguing and perserving, so it’s mainly my problem, the plants don’t care! I love your poppies and the feel of the relaxed areas so nice! thanks for showing!

  2. Catherine says:

    Hey Linda, I got a ‘D’ in Latin, and my teacher said (25 years later) she gave it to me… Gardens are about the love of baby plants growing into adults… remember to say excuse me when you brush by them… and enjoy.

  3. Cynthia says:

    There is a great daffodil show in Greenwich, they remembered which was planted.
    You could bring your pics there…….and voila!

    It’s the Greenwich Daffodil Society, at Christ Church In Greenwich. Mark your calendar, or there might be a closer one to you….

  4. Kelly Norris says:

    Hey Margaret,

    Hope you’re well! Just catching up on emails and thought you might try http://www.daffseek.org (a great resource from the American Daffodil Society). The search function may not be the most vigorous, but the photo database is of incalculable worth. You could probably also drop Brent Heath a line…..he can identify daffodils like a genealogist studying heirloom family photos.

    1. Margaret says:

      Welcome, Kelly, and thank you! I know where I will be spending some down time — when the garden allows some down time. :) What a resource! So good of you to share it.

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