Medical entomologist Geoffrey Attardo, assistant professor of entomology, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, has lined up the...
A fruit fly, spotted wing drosophila, on a raspberry. The UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's first spring seminar is on fruit flies. Alistair McGregor of Oxford Brookes University, England, will speak. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Narcissus are problematic in my Suisun City garden. Some naturalize well but others fizzle after a first season of bloom, producing only leaves until I find the time and energy to dig them out. On October 3 last year “Bill the Bulb Baron” (William Welch) presented an assortment of his Santa Cruz bulbs to Master Gardeners at the Woodland UCCE auditorium. I was dazzled! My garden is devoted to flowers, preferably fragrant ones. His wares included many varieties of fragrant tazetta-type Narcissus. I could not resist taking the plunge with three, and planted them all in locations that get plenty of winter sun.
Always enchanted by discovering perfumed Narcissus tazetta--Chinese sacred lilies--still gracing the sites of vanished Gold Rush homes, I decided to give them a second chance. Several years ago, bulbs that bloom profusely year after year for my sister-in-law in Santa Barbara gave me a few flowers the first year, then—the leaves. I thought that I may have failed because I watered that ground in summer, whereas Bill emphasized that these heirloom Narcissus thrive on summer's baking drought. Well…this time, after planting the bulbs immediately after purchase I got leaves but NO flowers. My new theory is that Suisun City simply does not get enough winter cold for this Narcissus variety.
In contrast, N. tazetta ‘Lemon Cups' are performing beautifully—the clear winner in this tale. Also planted right after purchase in early October, they started blooming in mid-February. Each 17-inch stem has five 2-inch diameter florets with a sweet citrus-y perfume.
Early October is an OK time to plant bulbs; the end of November not so much. I think that not finding the time to plant N. tazetta ‘Golden Dawn' until after Thanksgiving ruined my chances of success. All six bulbs put up scraggly leaves by mid-February but only one bloomed, with two 1 3/4-inch florets on a weak, nodding 12-inch stalk. Those flowers are lovely: clear yellow petals around an orange center fading to apricot at the frilled edge. Their fragrance is fabulous. I missed the boat by not treating those poor bulbs better.
Here's hoping that ‘Golden Dawn' recovers and that they and ‘Lemon Cups' both bloom well next year--the true proof of Narcissus success in my garden. As for the Chinese sacred lilies, my cousin in Grass Valley, a Nevada County Gold Rush town, wants the bulbs after I dig them out. I bet they will do well for her.
Three photos taken by Patricia Matteson:
- Bloomless N. tazetta (Chinese sacred lily)
- N. tazetta ‘Lemon Cups'
- N. tazetta ‘Golden Dawn'
Bloomless N tazetta - Chinese sacred lily
Narcissus tazetta Golden Dawn
Narcissus tazetta Lemon Cups
It's one of the most beautiful, incredible images of a leafcutter bee we've ever seen. Talented macro insect photographer Donna Sanders of Emerald,...
An amazing image of a leafcutter bee carrying a leaf segment back to her nest. This image, used with permission, is by Donna Sanders of Emerald, Queensland, Australia.
A male leafcutter bee, Megachile spp., on rock purslane, Calandrinia grandiflora, in Vacaville, Calif. The seventh annual International Pollinator Conference is set Wednesday, July 17 through Saturday, July 20 in the UC Davis Conference Center. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male leafcutter bee, Megachile spp., peers over a rock purslane petal. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven is the place to "bee" on Saturday, March 30 for youngsters who want to learn more about honey bees and native...
Gardening tools for youngsters at the UC Davis Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, located on Bee Biology Road, west of the central campus. A Junior Bee Gardeners' Day is set from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 30. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A six-foot-long ceramic and mosaic sculpture, "Miss Bee Haven," anchors the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. It is the work of self-described "rock artist" Donna Billick of Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Children enjoying the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This sign greets Junior Bee Gardeners at the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
In between the rains today, we saw them. So beautiful! Painted ladies, Vanessa cardui, nectaring in patches of colorful wildflowers in...
A painted lady, Vanessa cardui, nectars on five-spot, Nemophilia maculate, Wednesday afternoon, in the Biological Orchard and Gardens (BOG), UC Davis campus. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Tidy tips, Layia platyglossa, in the UC Davis Biological Orchard and Gardens (BOG) drew painted ladies, Vanessa cardui, on Wednesday afternoon. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A sign welcomes visitors to the UC Davis Biological Orchard and Gardens (BOG). It is located behind Lot 26, behind the Mann Laboratory, off Kleiber Hall Drive. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)