"No gradual bloom is wanting; from the bud, First born of the spring, to summer's murky tribes: Nor Hyacinths of purest virgin white, .
Low bent, and blushing inward; nor Jonquilles, Of potent fragrance; nor Narcissus fair, As o'er the fabled fountain hanging still."
Named from the youth Narcissus, who, as the poets tell us, was changed into this flower.
This family are mostly hardy, bulbous-rooted plants, many of them too well known for description; all suitable to ornament the garden. They may be planted in October or November, in any good garden soil, about three inches deep, and need not be taken up oftener than is necessary to separate the roots when they become matted together, as they will in three or four years.
The Two-flowered Narcissus, Pale Daffodil, or Primrose-peerless, is of a pale-cream color, with a yellow cup in the centre; a very pretty species. Of the Common Daffodil, there are many varieties, with a white flower and yellow cup; a yellow flower and deep golden cup; a double flower, with several cups one within another; the Great Yellow Incomparable, double and single. The double variety is called Butter and
Eggs Narcissus, by the English, and by the Dutch, Orange Phoenix, and is considered the handsomest of all the species. It has large and small petals; the large, lemon color, filled in with small orange-colored ones. All these species flower the last of April.
The Great Jonquille is yellow; the scent of it so powerful as to be hardly endured. This, with the Common Jonquille, are altogether yellow; but the last-named has a cup deeper colored than the petals. There is variety with double flowers. There is a species called the Hoop-petticoat Narcissus, called in France Medusa's Trumpet, of which the cup is two inches long, very broad at the brim. Of this, there are a number of varieties; one, pale citron color; another, darker and larger; both curious and pretty; in flower first of May.
The White, or Poet's, Narcissus, has a snow-white flower, with a pale-yellow cup in the centre, fringed on the border with a circle of reddish purple. It is sweet-scented; in flower last of May. There is a variety with double flowers; these are the most desirable of the tribe.
The Polyanthus Narcissus is the most desirable of all; but, alas ! it is not so hardy. It requires to be planted five inches deep, and well protected, to do well. The bulbs are quite large. The flowers are produced the last of May, in trusses of from six to twenty flowers. There are many varieties of this flower. Some have entirely white flowers; others, white, with yellow, citron, or orange cups; yellow with yellow; and entirely yellow or orange-colored flowers. There is a variety with double flowers. This species of Narcissus succeeds well when grown in pots; or it is fine for flowering in glasses.