Cold Blooded and Narcissistic

Narcissus romieuxii ssp. romieuxii (Romieux Hoop Petticoat Daffodil)

The low temperature on the morning of January 17, 2024, was 19 degrees. The open flowers of this hoop petticoat daffodil were unfazed as you can see in this photo taken at 10:00 am when the temperature had risen to 23 degrees. The Alpine Garden Society’s website indicates that the flowers can tolerate temperatures as low as 5 degrees F without damage, which is a very valuable ability for a winter flowering bulb! Like many winter flowering plants this daffodil has many flower buds which are produced over 6 weeks or more. What a treasure to have in the garden on a morning when most everything else is frozen solid. 

This hoop petticoat daffodil, specifically Romieux hoop petticoat daffodil, is native to the Atlas Mountains of Morocco where it grows in cedar and oak woodlands. In its native habitat it experiences long dry summers, and it needs this in our gardens, which is why it thrives in our soils that have been heavily amended with Stalite Permatil gravel. Where happy, it multiplies freely. An alternative treatment is to grow it in containers and then keep the pots dry all summer once they go dormant. 

A close cousin of Romieux hoop petticoat is the much better-known Narcissus bulbocodium which is from southern France, Spain, and Portugal. It too is known as hoop petticoat daffodil. It does not require the dry summer rest, so it is a very easy bulb for gardens in much of the US. It blooms in spring. Both have foliage throughout the winter months as do a number of other Narcissus species. 

Narcissus romieuxii ssp. romieuxii

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