This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Narcissus Incomparabilis. Peerless Daffodil.
Petala 6 aequalia: Nectario infundibuliformi, 1-phyllo: Stamina intra nectarium.
NARCISSUS incomparabilis spatha uniflora, nectario campanulato plicato crispo petalis dimidio breviore, foliis planis.
NARCISSUS latifolius omnium maximus amplo calice flavo sive Nompareille. The great Nonesuch Daffodil, or incomparable Daffodil. Park. Par. p. 68.
This species of Narcissus, though well described and figured by the old Botanists, especially Parkinson; has been overlooked by Linnaeus.
It is undoubtedly the incomparable Daffodil of Parkinson, figured in his Garden of Pleasant Flowers; and the incomparabilis of Miller's Dict. ed. 6. 4to. the latter informs us, that he received roots of it from Spain and Portugal, which fixes its place of growth.
It is a very hardy bulbous plant, and flowers in April; in its single state it is very ornamental, the petals are usually pale yellow, and the nectary inclined to orange, which towards the brim is more brilliant in some than in others; in its double state, it is well known to Gardeners, by the name of Butter and Egg Narcissus, and of this there are two varieties, both of which produce large shewy flowers, the one with colours similar to what we have above described, which is the most common, the other with petals of a pale sulphur colour, almost white, and the nectary bright orange; this, which is one of the most ornamental of the whole tribe, is named in the Dutch catalogues, the Orange Phoenix; its blossoms are so large as frequently to require supporting; its bulbs may be had of many of the Nurseries about London, and of those who, profiting by the supineness of our English Gardeners, import bulbs from abroad.
Like most of the tribe, this species will grow well without any care, the bulbs of the double sort should be taken up yearly, otherwise they are apt to degenerate.