Question for U.K. Experts–Tenby daffodil

April 6, 2008

Categories: Daffodil Types, Historics, Species

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U.K. Experts
I gave a daffodil talk to the local Welsh society a couple months ago. Of course I discussed the Tenby daffodil, the national flower of Wales, which I understand is N. pseudonarcissus obvallaris.
At our daffodil show in Cincinnati today, we had both N. pseudonaricissus and N pseudonarcissus obvallari on the show table and N. p. obvallaris was obviously more refined looking than N.p.
I know the history of this flower in Wales is somewhat murky and full of legend. However, this local Welsh society is investigating acquiring bulbs next spring and learning about forcing bulbs. Can anyone point me to a source for either or both of these species?
This group is about 40-50 active members.
Bill Lee

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5 responses to “Question for U.K. Experts–Tenby daffodil”

  1. Tony James says:

    Hello Bill,
    Ron Scamp listed  N.p. obvalaris in his catalogue last year. I haven’t yet seen the 2008 version.
    The price was 3 for £2.00,  10 for £5.00 or 50 for £30.00.

  2. John Beck says:

    Hello Bill,
    Ron Scamp listed  N.p. obvalaris in his catalogue last year. I haven’t yet seen the 2008 version.
    The price was 3 for £2.00,  10 for £5.00 or 50 for £30.00.

  3. Clay Higgins says:

    I have two large beds of them that are getting so many bulbs they need thinned two years ago.  If someone wants them bad enough, come over and enjoy the digging and they are yours.
    the still put out seed every year X OPS.

    Clay Higgins


  4. Hein Meeuwissen says:

    Hello Daffnetters,
    I follow this story of the Tenby daffodil for my father grew n.obvallaris fron the seventies and I still grow them.
    About 10 years, maybe longer ago A bulb exporter visted me with his client from Wales to see our n. obvallaris. The man was interested in buying bulb of Wales national flower to plant it in his country again.
    He gave me a present: A booklet called The  Tenby Daffodil “a remarkable story of the true Welsh daffodil”. By David Jones.
    ISBN 0 904696 05 7 copyright 1992 David Jones.
    In the Chronology of dates concerning the Tenby daffodil:
    Middle Ages Italian Monks settle in Pembrokeshire and one theory has it that they brought bulbs of n obvallaris for both decorative and herbalist purposes.
    1106 : A colony of Flemings settle in Pembrokeshire. One theory teels that they brought the daffodil with them.
    1796 : first mention of the flower in R.A. Salesbury’s “Promodus in Horto ad Chapel
    Then some more facts about naming and in 1836 Robert Salesbury finalising the nomenclature by naming it Narcissus pseudo narcissus obvallaris.
    Then more historical facts till 1977:
    Obvallaris, The Tenby daffodil listed in the first edition of the British Red Data Book of rare and endangered vascular plants.
    And in 1991 The Tenby Daffodil chosen as a featured flower of the 1992 Garden Festival Wales at Ebbw Vale. Commenting on the the choice of N. obvallaris Festival hoticultural co-ordinator James Wilson Says:
    “We decided that you simply could not have a Welsh Garden Festival without daffodils and nothing could be more appropriate than the Tenby One.
    I am very happy with this booklet and sometimes wonder why anyone started hybridising if we have the most beautiful mini trumpet that is over 900 years old. (Btw I do some hybridising myself).
    Best regards, Hein Meeuwissen, Voorhout, Holland

  5. David Liedlich says:

    Thanks for the history Hein.  That was an interesting chronology.  It seems a few different groups of people are credited in the origins!

    Dave Liedlich