Alpine Garden Society

Ulster Group

Plant of the Month, October 2005
 Narcissus Cyclamineus  by Harold McBride
In a genus where identification of the different species is often very difficult Narcissus Cyclamineus is surely the most distinct & easily recognised of all.
Its name recalls the way the petals are reflexed as in cyclamen.

N. cyclamineus first came into cultivation in 1608 but disappeared for nearly 300 years until it was re- introduced in approximately 1885.

A native of N.W. Portugal & N. W. Spain where it grows on river banks & damp alpine meadows it has become scarce in its natural habitat, probably due to over collecting .
CULTIVATION.  N. cyclamineus remains scarce & expensive but can be obtained from the mail-order bulb specialists.

Narcissus cyclamineus is easily grown from seed & reaches flowering stage 3/4 years after sowing. The seedlings should grown in a rich/ humus based compost & re-potted annually. They will also benefit from
several high potash liquid feeds during the growing season.

This delightful narcissus prefers a damp heavy soil which never dries out; perhaps the ideal situation to grow it is at the edge of a stream or pond where the bulbs are subject to temporary flooding. N. cyclamineus is the seed parent of many popular hybrids most of which are easy to grow & retain in the garden. 

Among the most popular are "Febuary Gold", " March Sunshine", "Dove Wings" & " Jenny". Most of the hybrids are available in garden centres,