I love the hoop narcissus though I’ve lost a few tiny varieties over the years. ‘Spoirot’ is very attractive and very reliable. Definition first: usually one flower to a stem; perianth segments insignificant compared with the dominant corona; anthers dorsifixed (ie attached more or less centrally to the filament); filament and style usually curved. In summary, dispense with the petals, concentrate on the cup. To illustrate the form, I’ve chosen ‘Spoirot’, a miniature bred by Rob Barwick from Brook Bulb Farm in Tasmania,  Australia. A self confessed one man band, Rob is one of Australia’s leading hybridisers of narcissus. He was featured in an article for the American Daffodil Society in 2008, the relevant section follows a snippet from his 2000-2001 catalogue. Finally, I’ve just read a finely illustrated 2016 article from the Alpine Garden Society Victoria Group Narcissus the Dwarf Forms featuring some bulbs originating from Brook Bulb Farm. It has provided me with a shopping list too, particularly Narcissus Ben ‘Bler a cross between ‘Spoirot’ and another great hoop ‘Julia Jane’. Rob considers it his finest cross. I have the latter though I am unable to find ‘Ben ‘Blur’ here in the UK. I have to say it has been interesting finding out about these men and women whose dedication, interest, patience and knowledge have given us these superb varieties of narcissus.

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