The South’s Winter Daffodils

January 25, 2009 | By | Comments (0)

I have a question. During Christmas I was visiting my Mama in Middle Georgia. She lives just south of Macon. She always had these great groupings of narcissus blooming. All my life we have called them Christmas narcissus! They are wonderful when not much else is blooming. Well, I came home and called some friends offering to share the Christmas narcissus and they said, “What are they? Are they the ones you force at Christmas?” Now understand, I now live in Aiken,SC where a lot of the residents are not born and bred! So I did some web search to find of info about them, but was surprised how little I could find. Is this just the name my Mama used because they bloomed around Christmas? Can you help me more so I can share with my “now” southern friends!

Answer: I believe the narcissus you are describing are the same ones people force into winter bloom indoors. They’re called paperwhite narcissus. They aren’t hardy in northern gardens, but because they need little to no winter chill, they can be planted outdoors from Birmingham and Atlanta as far south as central Florida. Barring a sudden, severe freeze when the bulbs are flowering, they’ll bloom throughout the winter and come back the next year. So many paperwhites are planted in gardens around Beaufort, South Carolina that residents there refer to them as “Beaufort snow.” Looks like your mama is growing “Macon snow.” Grumpy


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