Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus
Common name: Pheasant's-eye narcissus
Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus is classified as a wild species and was one of the first daffodils to be cultivated. It is native to the mountain meadows of central and southern Europe. N. poeticus var. recurvus was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his book Species Plantarum in 1753.
N. poeticus var. recurvus has strongly scented, pure white flowers with recurved petals and a short, red-rimmed, medium-yellow corona. The flowers are rich in nectar and pollen and attract bees and other pollinators. Pheasant's-eye narcissus blooms in late spring from April into May and is one of the last daffodils to bloom. When the flowers fade, they can be removed, but the leaves should be left until after they turn yellow. This daffoldil tolerates wetter growing conditions.
The specific epithet means 'pertaining to poets', and recurvus is a Latin word meaning 'curved back', which describes the shape of the petals. N. poeticus var. recurvus has been awarded the RHS Award of Garden Merit for its reliability and good performance. It is grown in the Netherlands and the south of France for the production of perfume.
This narcissus can be found in Beds 50Q and 50P next to the Rose Garden.
Text and photos by Kumi Sutcliffe.