INFORMATION ABOUT POET’S NARCISSUS…
By: Nikki Phipps
The Poet’s narcissus (Narcissus poeticus), is a must have in the springtime garden. This old-fashioned flower is a native of Western Europe and close relative of the daffodil.
This plant is also known as Pheasant’s Eye Daffodil. From its bulbs shoots up slender, sword-shaped leaves that eventually gives way to spectacular clusters of star-shaped blooms. These flowers are white with a small yellow cup accented with red fringe, a true delight to behold.
Grow them in sun or light shade in well-drained, humus-rich soil. However, the Poet’s narcissus will succeed in most soils and situations, even growing well in heavy clay soils.
Place Poet’s narcissus approximately four inches in the ground during fall. Poet’s narcissus makes a great accent in mixed beds and borders but also look right at home when naturalizing within meadows or woodland settings.
Blooming later than daffodils do, Poet’s narcissus is a very ornamental plant commonly grown for its popular fragrance, but it is sometimes shy to flower. Unfortunately, the aroma of the flowers is so strong that it can actually cause some people to get a headache when they are in a closed room.
Once Poet’s narcissus has bloomed, it will go dormant in summer. The dormant bulbs are fairly hardy and will withstand low temperatures.
Propagation of this plant is through seeds or division. Seeds are best sown as soon as they become ripe and within a cold frame. Typically, the seeds will take much longer to produce flowers (several years), but once they do, they will produce flowers that flourish in your unique situation, and once they form bulbs, you will be able to harvest bulb offsets. The disadvantage to growing Poet’s narcissus by way of seeds is that you have to wait. Division of its bulbs can be performed after the leaves die down in early summer.
All parts of this plant are poisonous, so this should always be considered if small children or pets are around. However, it’s good to grow them if you have problems with rodents or deer as they do not like to eat them.