That is such an objectionable word. Perhaps that is why so many of us prefer to describe narcissus as daffodils or paperwhites. Both bloom at work, and as much as I prefer white bloom, I do not maintain favorites in this regard. I enjoy paperwhites for their whiteness as well as their fragrance. However, I enjoy classic yellow daffodils, such as ‘King Alfred’, because they are so traditional. All are blooming late this year. So is winter daphne. The weather has been cooler than it typically is, but only for the past month or so. It seems to me that if chill were to enhance bloom, it would have needed to begin somewhat earlier. Also, it seems to me that narcissus do as they please.

1. Frost is generally minor and uncommon here. However, a wet jersey that was hung to drain overnight froze solid enough to lean against this pickup. Its hanger is not hanging.

2. Cupressus macrocarpa, Monterey cypress is nothing special, but I happen to be fond of its foliage and bark. This is a hedge that never got hedged, but grew as crowded trees.

3. Daphne odora ‘Marginata’, winter daphne is still blooming! It blooms slowly through winter, but should be finished by now. Furthermore, it blooms remarkably well for here.

4. Narcissus grows wild in soil that was dumped on the perimeter of our industrial yard over the years. No one sees them there, so I collect some to bring into our meeting room.

5. Narcissus are much more abundant within the landscapes where they belong. Several sporadic colonies are sparsely naturalized. However, several new bulbs bloom only once.

6. Narcissus are even prettier close up. I consider these to be daffodil, although I do not know what the distinction is. They are blooming late, and more are beginning to bloom.

This is the link for Six on Saturday, for anyone else who would like to participate:


38 thoughts on “Six on Saturday: Narcissism

  1. Happy ‘spring,’ Tony. I love the frozen shirt. The Daphne is lovely and looks very healthy and happy. Our daffies just began to open this week, though our neighbor next door had his first open in mid-January. My first ones open look just like the ones in your photo. Is that N. King Alfred? Its amazing how the timing of bloom changes year to year. We have blueberry buds swelling. It has felt like April here this week. We dropped from mid-60s on Friday to freezing this morning. Such is February.

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    1. Happy Spring! These daphne perform well in the oddest situations. I give them what they are supposed to want on the farm, but they are difficult to grow in confinement. I gave some to Brent, and he planted one in the worst possible situation, where it is surrounded by exposed (hot) concrete and under a laundry dryer vent, but it grew very well. I can not explain it. I know that they like warmth, but I thought that they would prefer shelter from the glare. I was hesitant to add these daphne to our landscapes, so am very pleased that they perform as well as they do. ‘King Alfred’ daffodils were the standard for as long as I can remember, but then suddenly became unavailable a few years ago. I can not imagine why. The most popular cultivar is indistinguishable from it, but I would prefer for it to be the exact same. Heck, it could be the same, with a new name.

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      1. There is a lesson in that story. I’ve only tried Daphne once, in a pot near my front porch. I ‘gave it what it is supposed to want’ and it died in under a year. There are so many interesting ‘easy’ plants that I’ve not bought another.
        I didn’t notice when N. ‘King Alfred’ went off the market. We have a bulb dealer nearby, so I just searched their site for it. Here is what came up:

        We inherited lots of old daffies when we bought this place, so the ones growing here have been here for quite a while now. We always look forward to this point in spring when they all begin to open! Happy Spring!

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      2. Yes, that is about all I got.Some believe the two to be the same. I can not confirm though. Canna have the same problem. For example, classic ‘Tropicanna’ is the same as ‘Durban’, ‘Inferno’, ‘Tiger Stripe’, ‘Andaloucia’, ‘Franciscus’ and ‘Gold Ader’. To complicate matters, there is another distinct cultivar that is also known as ‘Durban’.

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    1. I probably should have thawed it before putting it on. Oh well. I enjoy daffodils very much, but do not plant any. They bloom before the rain finishes, so end up laying face down in the mud. Also, they do not naturalize as reliably as they should. I suspect that they prefer cooler winters.

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    1. Monterey cypress perform well in southern Florida?! That seems like an odd place for them. Humidity would not likely be a problem for them, but warmth might be. I know that they dislike arid warmth. I would expect daphne to be happier there than here, just because of the humidity. Daffodils impress me, even here. I think that they would prefer more chill.

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      1. Oh, so you were referring to the picture. It is a grand tree when mature, but not so interesting while small like these are. I just happen to like it because I am familiar with it. There are a few Arizona cypress here along another fence, but they do not get so grand. They like warmth, but not dampness. Daphne seems to like humid warmth, which seems odd to me. I do not consider dampness and warmth as compatible. I would be inclined to put them in the damp forested areas, but they would actually prefer more warmth. My colleague down south is inclined to put them in warm areas, but such areas are quite dry. The one that does so well for him is outside the washroom, where it gets the exhaust from the laundry dryer. I would not think that any plant would like that. Daphne seems to enjoy it. It is so weird.

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  2. I don’t know what the distinction is either, but I’m happy to see 2 kinds coming up in the spring. That shirt reminded me of my mother hanging things on the clothesline and having them freeze sometimes.

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    1. Yes, I know it happens in other climates, but it is rare here. It just does not get cold enough. As I type this though, snow is possible in the forecast here. That is VERY rare. The last snow in San Jose was in 1976. It snows here only a bit more frequently, although I can not remember the last time it did so.

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      1. It SNOWED earlier today! A bit of it actually accumulated on the beach. It was crazy! I had seen this only a few times in my lifetime. I can remember snow on the beach in Morro Bay and near Monterey. It snowed a few times at my home, but that is at a higher elevation. I had never seen it snow here.

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      2. Some people think it is fun, and kids go higher into the Santa Cruz Mountains to see more of it. Not many here know how to drive in it though, which is odd, since most who are here now are from other places where snow is common. My concern is the trees. They are not accustomed to snow,, so drop limbs that get heavy with it. Redwoods and firs are particularly susceptible, and they drop limbs from hundreds of feet up.

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      3. Hundreds of feet up, that is so dangerous. This weather is so bizarre; we don’t know what’s next. I’m afraid what our summer will be here. The last couple years have gotten hotter as they go. And drier.

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      4. Wind is actually more dangerous than snow. Limbs that are dislodged by snow tend to fall downward through lower limbs that slow their descent, although the lowest limbs and other vegetation may still be more than a hundred feet up. Wind blows dislodged limbs away from their associated canopies, which might otherwise slow the descent. Regardless, falling limbs are very dangerous.

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      5. Relative to the size of the trees, the limbs are rather small. Nonetheless, from such heights, just a few pounds can be deadly. The coastal redwood is the tallest tree in the World. We generally encounter their lower limbs that fall from less than three hundred feet up, since higher limbs burn up in the atmosphere as they fall. The Moon once made the mistake of orbiting over this region while redwoods were actively growing in spring, which is why it is so cratered now. If you look to the West, you can see how tall they are. If you ever need some redwood lumber delivered, I can aim a tree in your direction as I cut it down.

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