Hoop Petticoat Narcissus

"Atlas Gold"
Yesterday's gales ripped the roofing felt off our large shed so my gardening tasks were set aside on a sunny, still day as I ripped the skin off my fingers and made the roof watertight again. Time however to photograph the various hoop petticoat narcissus that looked pretty in the sun on the display bench. Narcissus bulbocodium are surprisingly unused in our gardens. They are often described as being "unusual" though appear in all the catalogues, if not the garden centre shelves. Given good drainage they are reliable and do particularly well in pots. In 2015 they were flowering for Christmas Day. They have taken a little longer this season. The common name comes from their similarity to the Victorian whalebone hoop petticoat. I intend to plant a drift in the rockery this autumn as they should make quite a spectacle. Who knows, I may take a risk and attempt to naturalise them in the front lawn and go completely native, my sister-in-law having remarked that our garden is getting more like a woodland glade as each year passes. I took it as a great compliment. For now, I've limited myself to clay pots in which I have a number of varieties, many of which look remarkably similar to be honest.

FS12611 (Seedling)
"Mary Poppins"
"Limey Lass"
Narcissus cantabricus
"Lemon Flare"


  1. Were those gales the product of the storm Doris I've heard about? We get strong winds here too but nothing to rip roofs up! The hoop petticoat Narcissus are pretty things - while I've seen them in on-line posts on occasion, I've never seen any growing here in Southern California.

  2. The winds were from Doris hitting 87 mph very near us. The hoop petticoats come originally from southern Europe and Morocco so can obviously thrive in warmer conditions. An idea!

  3. Noticing your comment to Kris, perhaps I should give these a go. It has been very hit or miss with both Mediterranean and African bulbs here. I have yet to get the knack of second-guessing what will work! For instance, Ornithogalum arabicum bloomed well the first year, but has mostly just divided itself into smaller non-blooming plants since. Narcissus tazetta varieties are doing well, but N. canaliculatus won't bloom at all... Please pardon my rambling! Little N. bulbicodium might be worth a try! Any advice?

  4. You are not rambling, Amy. Your Ornithogalum may have been too pampered. I have often made the mistake of over-feeding plants I like. Tough love perhaps? The small narcissus are certainly worth a try - cantabricus is filling a small pot with bloom as I type. The tazetta varieties are indeed reliable. "Minnow" is cheap and cheerful, and "Paperwhite" is potted in our front porch and gives a delicious perfume. Good luck with the hoops.


And remembering .....

Galanthus 'Mighty Atom'