Harold Koopowitz, California

Spring Species and Questions

January 23, 2013

Categories: Daffodil Types, Miniatures, Species

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The garden has some of the earliest spring species coming into bloom.

Narcissus lusitanicus, is always among the first and this year is no exception. Here are two plants showing some of the range in form. The more open one is from a sibling cross sown in 2010. The one with better form is wild collected. I try to make seeds each year because these tend to be short time visitors in my garden.





When we collected autumn flowering N. tazetta in Crete some years ago they set seed which was planted. Some of the seedlings flower in the mid-Autumn but this one is among the last to flower and it has an unusual cup. As the floret ages the cup gets flatter and flatter. I need to cross this with the autumn tazetta that gets flounces on its cup as it ages. A picture of that was posted last year.







The last, looks like a poor N. dubius. Some dozen years ago I bought a large quantity of bulbs of N. dubius from Hoog and Dix a Dutch bulb firm that specialized in species among other things. I always assumed that these were originally wild collected or from wild collected seed. One of these flowered differently from all the rest and its leaves were also different. At first glance it appeared to be small jonquil with a bunch of yellow flowers but it had prostrate wide dark green leaves unlike those of a jonquilla. Perhaps, it is an apodanthe but I could not identify the species if it was. N. dubius has leaves that are glaucus (blue-grey) and flatter and tends to hold them somewhat erect. This plant is both pollen and pod fertile. I self pollinated it and got copious seeds. The first has just flowered and to my surprise is white and looks rather like a poor N. dubius. The perianth is not as smooth or waxy as N. dubius. Was the yellow parent a natural N. dubius hybrid or a throw back to the jonquilla side of the original ancestor because N. dubius is thought to have originated as a hybrid between N. papyraceus and a small jonquilla species?

Note added. the flower pictured opened while we were away at a conference last weekend. I find this afternoon that buds are opening yellow and then fading to white.


2 responses to “Spring Species and Questions”

  1. Bob Johnson, California says:

    I would like to thank Harold for sharing his photos and insights on the daffodil species in his collection. I find these very interesting and truly appreciate their beauty and uniqueness .

  2. Lawrence Trevanion, Australia Lawrence Trevanion, Australia says:

    Hi Harold,

    This looks pretty much like dubius as I know it. Will try to post a photo in a new post.