Scented Jonquil - Narcissus jonquilla
by Tony Hall
One of the joys of the wild daffodils that grow in Andalucía is the variety. The earlier ones start flowering in September, with different species in flower every month from then until May, in higher areas, with the peak in March and April.
The flowering of the heavily scented Narcissus jonquilla falls in the middle. They are often found growing en masse in their hundreds, if not thousands. This narcissus seems to particularly enjoy damp soils, and is often seen growing along wet, roadside ditches.
They are usually to be found growing in clustered groups. Each bulb produces one flowering stem, with 1-3 individual flowers, occasionally up to six. The flowers are a golden or lemon-yellow, 6-petalled, with the central cup (corona) 5-6mm in diameter and with a shallowly lobed margin. The flowering stem is erect and around 40cm tall, round or elliptical. The leaves are also mostly rounded, but with a channelled base.
The best groups I have seen have been in the provinces of Malaga and Cadiz, and when seen in large numbers they make a wonderful sight.
Tony Hall, Manager of the Arboretum and Gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, specialising in the plants of Andalucía.