Also known as bunch-flowered narcissus, this herbaceous perennial is native to the Mediterranean from Portugal to Turkey but naturalized in many areas including the Middle East, Asia, Australia, South America and North America.  It is a member of the amaryllis family,  Amaryllidaceae, that also includes snowpdrop, leek and garlic.  The plants grow from a bulb and have long thin  flat basal leaves that are blue-green, strap-shaped and 5-16″ tall.  Loose umbels of  3-20 fragrant flowers appear on leafless stems from early to mid spring and consist of spreading white perianth segments 1.5″ wide surrounding a  yellow cup-shaped corolla less than 1″wide and tall.  Paperwhite narcissus spread easily and are heat and drought tolerant so are a good choice for naturalizing. The are particularly attractive when planted in large groups.   Unlike other narcissi, N. tazzeta does not need a chilling period so is a good bulb for frowing in pots indoors and forcing.  Cut flowers are excellent in the vase.  The genus name, Narcissus, honors the beautiful Greek youth who fell in love with his own image.  The specific epithet, tazzeta, is the Italian word meaning little cup, and refers to the corolla.

Type: Perennial spring blooming bulb

Bloom: Loose umbels of 3-20 fragrant flowers with white perianth segments surrounding a yellow cup-shaped corolla in mid spring

Size: 5-16″ H depending on variety

Light: Full sun to light shade

Soil: Average, medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 5-9 (depending on variety)

Care:  Put bone meal or superphosphate to the planting hole when planting in the fall; allow foliage to fade naturally after blooming

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Division of bulb offsets

Companion Plants: Grape hyacinth, forget-me-not, bleeding heart

Outstanding Selections:

‘Avalance’ (very fragrant, strong stems, profuse flowering)

‘Canaliculatus’ (5-6″ tall with small flowers)

‘Inbal’ (totally white flowers)

‘Minnow’ (6-8″ tall, pale yellow petals and buttercup yellow cup)

Photo Credit: Wikipedia





By Karen