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Narcissus

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
nar-SIS-us
This plant has medium severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

The genus Narcissus is named for a beautiful youth who became so entranced with his own reflection that he pined away and the gods turned him into this flower.

The best time to plant Narcissus bulbs is in the fall.  Plant in groups of at least 6 to sweeping masses and they can be mixed with all varieties of other spring-flowering bulbs. You will be able to plant 10-12 bulbs per square foot planting them 2-3 inches apart so consider that when making a purchase. Plant the bulbs 8 inches deep.  The flowers follow the sun so consider this when planting and be sure to have any shaded areas toward the back of the bed.  These plants grow best in full sunlight to PM only or AM only sun and, while drought tolerant, require moisture during the growing season.  They are great for use in beds, borders, rock gardens, as fresh cut flowers, ground covers, and in woodland gardens.

The flowers bloom during mid to late spring, between February and May, for 2-3 weeks total.  After the flowers have bloomed, the top portion of each flower stem may be removed as practicable to prevent seed formation, but foliage should not be cut back until it begins to yellow.  They reproduce by offset bulblets and requires a warm (60 to 70F) - cool (32 to 40F) - warm (50 to 60F) annual thermoperiodic cycle.  They can be injured at temperatures below 23 degrees F (-5C) when planted.  Bulbs can be left undisturbed for a number of years. If bloom quality and quantity decline over time, clumps may be divided by digging just after the foliage dies back. 

The Narcissus genus has 13 divisions or shows or cultivar groups. 

Division I - Trumpet Narcissus
Division II - Large-cupped Narcissus
Division III - Small-cupped Narcissus
Division IV - Double Narcissus
Division V - Triandrus Narcissus
Division VI - Cyclamineus Narcissus
Division VII - Jonquilla Narcissus
Division VIII - Tazetta Narcissus
Division IX - Poeticus Narcissus
Division X - Bulbocodium hybrids
Division XI - Split Corona Narcissus
Division XII - Miscellaneous Narcissus
Division XIII - Species, Wild Variants and Wild hybrids

Some varieties can be forced to bloom indoors in the winter.  The bulbs are poisonous but only if large quantities are eaten.

Insects Diseases and Other Plant Problems: No serious insects or diseases.  Bulb rot may occur in wet soils.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Geophyte with flat or reed-like leaves
  • Flowers with 6-parted perianth and projecting corona
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#hardy#sun#showy flowers#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#partial sun#showy#cut flowers#rabbit resistant#mass planting#flower arrangements#cpp#rock garden#groundcover#rock gardens#borders#beds#cutting garden#fantz#border front#nectar plant spring
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#hardy#sun#showy flowers#poisonous#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#partial sun#showy#cut flowers#rabbit resistant#mass planting#flower arrangements#cpp#rock garden#groundcover#rock gardens#borders#beds#cutting garden#fantz#border front#nectar plant spring
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Narcissus
    Family:
    Amaryllidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northern Africa, Europe, Afghanistan, China, Japan
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract butterflies.
    Bulb Storage:
    These bulbs do not need to be stored.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 8 in. - 2 ft. 6 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Ground Cover
    Perennial
    Poisonous
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Pink
    Variegated
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Tubular
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Many different colors flowers appear single or in a cluster on top of a naked stem. Tubular projection above the 6 spreading petal-like parts. Blooms February to May for 2-3 weeks. Perianth tubular with 6 free lobes, and the lobes are spreading to reflexed. A petaloid corona arises from the perianth throat junction. Corona is cylindrical, cup-like, or saucer-like. Flowers can grow alone or in clusters at the top of a naked stem, each white to yellow to red. Inflorescence is a scapose umbel or reduced to a solitary flower.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Rosulate
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow, erect, flat or terete strap-shaped leaves are erect in sprawling clumps. Leaves grow alone or in groups in a basal rosette.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Fairy Garden
    Formal English Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Drought
    Rabbits
    Salt
    Problems:
    Contact Dermatitis
    Poisonous to Humans
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    Medium
    Poison Symptoms:
    TOXIC ONLY IF LARGE QUANTITIES EATEN. SKIN IRRITATION SEVERE! Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, trembling, and convulsions; may be fatal. Contact dermatitis ("lily rash") following handling of bulbs, flowers, and stems.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Phenanthridine alkaloids such as lycorine, also calcium oxalate crystals.
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    Yes
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves
    Roots
    Stems