Narcissus serotinus, Narcissus deficiens, Late Narcissus, 25 seeds
This lovely wildflower, a member of the daffodil family, is a most welcome sight in Autumn when its appearance is triggered by cooler temperatures and the first rainfalls of the season in the Mediterranean region.
Narcissus serotinus is tiny and only grows to around 20 - 30 mm. It is also a solitary wildflower, appearing to be 'dotted' around in the areas where they grow. The leaves appear in the spring well after the flowers have died back having appeared the previous year. October to December are the best months to look for this little gem.
This plant is present in the western Mediterranean countries of Spain and Portugal. It has dense
populations in part of its range, some of them being located in protected areas. Although it is impacted
by overgrazing and urban development in North Africa, and there is a potential threat of future over-
exploitation of wild subpopulations for commercial purposes, these threats are not expected to cause a
severe decline of its population in the near future. It is therefore assessed as Least Concern (LC).
However, its distribution in North Africa requires confirmation as it is possible that the species is present
but rare in Algeria. Additional population monitoring and regulations to prevent future threats are
required in order to have more precise data to reassess its conservation status in the future.
This narcissus grows in stony and rocky places as well as on dryish grassy slopes.
Most Narcissus seeds are low-temperature germinators and will germinate after having spent a short period of time in a warm/moist environment. These plants grow where the rainy season is primarily autumn/winter/early spring, so this mechanism stops them from germination at the wrong time of year. It is reported that fresh seeds are easy to germinate. Harvest the seeds when they are black and becoming hard. Either sow the seeds as soon as they are ripe, or store them cool and dry over summer (e.g. in a fridge) and sow them in late summer. Don't sow them too late because if they don't get the warm end of the season followed by cool fall temperatures they will not germinate until the right time the following year. Don't throw them out - the seeds are reasonably long-lived. Thinly cover the seed to about its own width, then cover the top of the pot with some more grit (or wood chipping, sawdust, crushed quartz, etc). A well drained mix works well for sowing. Once they start to germinate (which can take about 6 weeks to one year), move them to somewhere bright and cool, but out of direct sun (Will Ashburner, Ian Black, Lauw de Jager). Some including Ian Young's Bulbs from seed say that seed should be planted deep (3 cm). ©www.pacificbulbsociety.org