February - one of the leanest months for foraging and growing flowers, lends itself quite well to the cold and wet conditions necessary for growing Narcissus bulbs. These beauties, so fleeting in nature, come up in our yard around this time for only a few short weeks, and then they are gone - until the next year. They are so fragrant that I can only bring in a few stems at a time, as they take over our entire home with their scent.
A few interesting facts about the Narcissus (thanks to Wikipedia):
- The Narcissus is a genus belonging to the Amaryllis family - which actually makes since now that I think about it, given their general shape and texture.
- The Narcissus arose from the Iberian peninsula and adjacent regions of Southwest Europe.
- The origin of the name Narcissus is unknown, but is linked to the term "Narcotic" the Greek word for intoxicated.
- Narcissi are long lasting bulbs that propagate by division - they are also insect-pollinated.
- Like other members of their family, these flowers produce a number of different alkaloids, which provide protection to the plant - but may be poisonous if ingested.
Here are some photos of the Narcissus I cultivated from my garden.