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Can narcissi cross breed?

I moved into a place a few years ago that has a well established bank of beautiful dwarf and, so I am told, wild narcissi.  They are small and quite delightful.  We work hard to keep it clear of brambles and bracken and each year they are spreading.  There are a few clumps of bigger, cultivated narcissi growing amongst them and I am concerned they might cross breed so that eventually the wild narcissi will no longer be 'true'.  Does anyone know if this can happen and should I dig up the non wild varieties growing nearby to stop this from happening? 



  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337

    The vast majority of narcissi self-propagate by developing new bulbs underground and these are clones so are always true to type.  Crossing can occur, but will only affect plants grown from the seeds.  Narcissi seeds rarely develop and even if they do and go on to germinate, they will take several years to produce flowering bulbs.

    Basically don't worry but if you want to be 100% sure just make sure you dead-head all of the flowers when they go over. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    Not sure if different narcissus species can cross but cultivars of the same species will and all seed back to something closer to wild.

    I think I'd have the large cultivated ones out, for me they'd spoil the effect.image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    Bob is right, I didn't think to mention that, the existing bulbs won't change, only their offspringimage

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,337

    I think I'd have the large ones out anyway for exactly the same reason as nut - would spoil the effect for me too! image  I have some huge daffodils which have come up in the middle of a newly planted patch of lovely dwarf ones and they look awful.  I'm having them out as soon as the rain stops.  Doing it while they are in flower is the only way to be sure of which are which!

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • This is really great advice.  Thanks so much as it had been worrying me.  (I obviously don't have enough to worry about!). They are stunning and local people do a 'drive by' to see them at this time of the year.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    Hi Alice, I'd love to see a photo if you can upload one. Start with the tree in the tool bar. I don't know what you do to load from a phoneimage

  • Thanks to your advice, we have just agreed to move the biguns, as we have loads of space and it would be great just to have the small ones growing in a swathe.  As weather so rubbish today and no gardening to be done, am going to have a cheeky glass of wine instead.

  • Of course I will get a photo. I will wait for the wind and rain to subside and take one this weekend.  Hope they don't get too battered and bruised,

  • nutcutletnutcutlet PeterboroughPosts: 26,569

    Trying to leave the wine in the fridge til laterimage

    Got a bit of writing to do this afternoon, all the letters come out in the wrong order once the bottle is openimage

  • Ha ha.  Know what you mean.  I've got some scandinavian dramas to watch so better not have too much vino as need to be alert for the subtitles. Have a good weekend.

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