The Narcissus flower got its name from the ancient Greek story of a young man of the same name who was so beautiful and arrogant that the goddess of revenge, Nemesis, cursed him for breaking so many hearts. She caused him to fall madly in love with his own reflection in a pond. Narcissus was so in love that he would not leave his reflection and he pined so for it that he wasted way until he fell in the pond. He drowned and turned into beautiful, fragrant, yellow flower.
Most people are familiar with the common yellow, trumpeted "Daffodil". A pretty flower, but it can't hold a candle to its other brothers and sisters in the Narcissus family, from the tiny Paper Whites we associate with Christmas, to big, blousey double-blooms of early spring. The Narcissus family is blessed with both gorgeous blossoms and a perfume that is next to none - from subtly spicy, to knock-your-socks-off heady and sweet. There are 40 species of Narcissus and thousands of varieties. Most of them are either yellow or white or a combination of both; however, they also come in orange, peach, salmon, and even pink!
One of the first flowers to bloom in the garden in Spring, Narcissus make an excellent cut flower with a long vase life; but, never put them in a vase with other flowers! They secrete a sap that shortens the life of other cut flowers. As a garden plant, however, they are excellent to use in mixed planting, mostly because nothing will eat them. Animals and bugs completely avoid them. They act like protective soldiers for other bulbs and plants that deer and rodents love to eat. Only the cut stems secrete the caustic sap.
They also are a prolific naturalizer and will grow all most anywhere. They multiply quickly and create lovely large clumps in just a couple of years. I grow over twenty varieties here on the farm and if you sign up before the end of April for the Spring or Full Season CSA, you will receive beautiful bouquets of fragrant Narcissus as part of the early pre-season bonus!
I'll never forget traveling around Ireland in March and seeing the pastures filled with dancing yellow and white clumps of cheerful Narcissus, with newborn lambs playing amongst them. They truly are the harbingers of Spring.
Valmont Valley Farm
Where Beautiful Magic is Always in Bloom
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