Paper-White Narcissus – Narcissus papyraceus

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Paper-White Narcissus – Narcissus papyraceus

Common Name: Paper-White Narcissus

Botanical Name: Narcissus papyraceus, nar-SIS-us pap-i-RA-see-us

Decorative Life: 5-8 days.

Flower Color: ,

Availability: ,

Family Roots:
  • As a member of the Amaryllidaceae (amaryllis family), its common relatives include Agapanthus, snowflake, snowdrop, Nerine, kafir-flower, Amaryllis and Lycoris.
  • Native to the western Mediterranean.
  • It is a monocotyledon produced from bulbs.
  • From 10-20 very fragrant florets are produced on a leafless stem (scape) 15 inches or more in length.
Storage Specifics:

Can be stored at 32-33F for up to 10 days or 36-38F for up to 8 days. Dry (preferred) or wet store but keep stems upright to prevent stem bending (geotropism).

  • Some references say this plant was named after Narcissus of Greek mythology, who turned into this plant after killing himself because he could not reach his reflection in a pool.
  • Narcissus is a Greek name said to be derived from “narke” (numbness, torpor) in reference to its narcotic properties.
  • Very often grown in homes using just gravel and water. The bulbs contain essentially all of the nutrition and therefore only need water, light and carbon dioxide (from air) to grow and flower.
Recent Research Findings:

Van Doorn (1997) demonstrated that when freshly cut daffodils (not paper-whites) are placed in the same tap water with freshly cut roses, the roses wilted very rapidly due to the slime that is exuded from the cut stem ends of the daffodil. However, if a germicide was added to the water such as bleach, this negative effect on roses can be eliminated. It is therefore important to hydrate daffodils in a solution that contains a germicide such as found in flower foods or the bleach example noted above.