Bradley McCarson, South Carolina

Narcissus deficiens (miniatus)

October 4, 2019

Categories: Autumn Blooming Daffodils, Daffodil Types, Hybridizing, Miniatures, Seedling, Species

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My first N.deficiens flowering after just 3 short years from seed.

This is my first Narcissus ever to bloom from seed.

8 responses to “Narcissus deficiens (miniatus)”

  1. Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio Mary Lou Gripshover, Ohio says:

    Good for you, Bradley.  It took me 5 years to get bloom from seed, may 4 if I was lucky.  Nice pics, too.

  2. Bradley McCarson, South Carolina Bradley McCarson, South Carolina says:

  3. Harold Koopowitz, California Harold Koopowitz, California says:

    The name N. deficiens was applied by Haworth to a specimen that had no corona – hence the name. His rather poor drawing suggests that there were leaves at the time of flowering. N. miniatus has a corona and no leaves when it flowers, N. deficiens cannot be equated to N. miniatus, no matter how much certain taxonomists would like to do that. Unfortunately, Haworth made no herbarium specimens so we do not know what the plant he described actually was. Remember that the RHS is not always correct.


  4. David Adams, New Zealand says:

    In May I received some seeds of deficiens from Harold. There must be 5oo that have germinated over the last couple of days. I will be interested to monitor its progress. Thanks for your kindness Harold.

  5. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:


    I admire your stout defence of your creation of the name N. miniatus. This debate is likely to run, there are many opinions

    amongst reputable botanists and taxonomists and thankfully the miniatus name now seems to be losing credence. I am neither

    botanist or taxonomist, just a keen observer in the wild and a follower of opinion.

    I will be glad when the name N. obsoletus properly replaces both deficiens and miniatus as currently applied by separate groups to

    the ‘Orange morphe’ of N. serotinus.

    Unfortunately you and others have tried to apply the name obsoletus to the very beautiful Spanish version of N. elegans, a proposal

    that I hope will not catch on. Comparison of the Spanish and other N. African or Island forms of elegans is due and I understand Fernandez Casas

    has an opinion about the Spanish form.

    You are right – the RHS may not always be right – indeed a big mistake was to give credence to the name N. miniatus by prematurely

    publishing it in the RHS Daffodil and Tulip Year Book 2005/6. For a while many of us accepted the name – indeed most of the photographs under the

    name N. miniatus in Daffseek are from my camera! Something I may need to address.

    Botany/Taxonomy are funny professions – open to all opinions – but without any regulatory policeman. And so we are allowed to differ.

    Best regards,


  6. Rafael Diez, Spain says:

    Brian I think it is not correct to use in any case N. obsoletus to replace N. miniatus/N. deficiens, as the plate shows a plant with two leaves when it blooms, something that never happend in N. miniatus/N. deficiens. They can have or not just one leaf when it blooms, if you have a plant of N. deficiens or N. miniatus with two leaves when it blooms is because there is a vegetative division in the main bulb sharing the same tunic. I consider N. elegans is a different species from N. obsoletus, N. elegans is well know since Desfontaines, but I think N. obsoletus has been under the same name. It is a similar case between N.miniatus/N. deficiens and N. serotinus, they have been considered the same species and now they could be even 3!! species if genetics confirm it.

    N. miniatus/N. deficiens is very different species from N. serotinus this is one of the best diagnostic characther, the perianth tube. In general N. serotinus could be the smallest daffodil in the genus


    The only think is I am not sure if N. obsoletus could be used, due the nomeclature rules, (correct me if I am wrong), but is not legal to name a plant based  only a drawing without a type locality or herbarium sheet. If that is right, probably N. obosletus have to be call, Narcissus malacitanus, something that doesn’t make me very happy…



  7. Brian Duncan, Northern Ireland Brian Duncan says:


    I’m glad you get in on the obsoletus/deficiens/miniatus debate. As you know I’m a supporter of the N. obsoletus name based on local studies of the autumn flowering daffodils on several trips and particularly on the compelling articles of Dr John David, )RHS head of taxonomic research) in the RHS Daffodil, Snowdrop & Tulip Yearbook 2009-2010 and by Sally Kington in the 2017 edition if the same publication. You have mentioned again the notorious ‘Parkinson’s Plate’ as a justification for your view. I think too many people have regarded this plate as an infallible identifier and on which to reach their conclusions. Such plates/drawings are not allowable as conclusive identifiers and I am unconvinced by the 2 leaf argument as there are exceptions – indeed you cite such exceptions in your e-mail.

    I hope you can source the two articles I referred to and that we can continue the debate in a less public discussion when we next meet. If you do not have the Year Books please let me know and I’ll try to get copies to you.

    Best Regards,


  8. Rafael Diez, Spain says:

    Thank you Brian!

    I know you don’t like this name ‘obsoletus’ for this elegant plant!! 🙂 but the good news is that there is other name for this plant. Fortunately we have botanists in Spain who have already published names for all plants: those that exist, those that don’t exist and those that may exist in the future. I hope we will debate those subjects in your next expedition in my car with you as co-pilote!