April 8, 2019 By Moss Elvis In Garden Plants
Of all the genus the little cup or bunch-flowered narcissus, N. tazetta is the most cosmopolitan. Its range extends from Syria through Kashmir to China. Paintings offer a record that this narcissus was grown in China, one thousand years ago. There it is persuaded to grow in time for the Chinese new year, hence the popular name new year lily. The Tazettae section of narcissus is not easy to establish in gardens, except those with a very climate, though some of the varieties bred from species are of stronger constitution.
By the early part of the nineteenth century there were about three hundred varieties being grown by Dutch nurserymen. A species of the Tazettae section, which has become natural on the Scilly Isles, occasioned a change in the islands’ farming economy and practice. Boxes of natural ‘Scilly Whites’ which were picked and sent as a speculation to market by a local farmer proved so profitable that it encouraged him to include cultivating narcissus as part of his crop rotation. The practice spread the islands’ farmers until exporting cut blooms became a major source of income.
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