Picture Profile 2003: Narcissus incomparabilis (Nonesuch Daffodil)

Narcissus incomparabilis (Nonesuch Daffodil).


Artist Code 2003. Narcissus incomparabilis (Nonesuch Daffodil). Water colour on Aquarelle Arches 100% cotton paper 140lb. 12″ x 9″. Completed 16th March 2020 (50 Limited Edition prints)

And another little painting produced for book 4 in the River Friend Series I am co-authoring and illustrating with Sylvia M. Haslam entitled “INTERPRET: What do Plants tell us?”. It is part of Figure 2 in the book.

I searched high and low for a resource picture or plant called “Nonesuch Daffodil” and became most confused until I read and typed out the text! The following quotation from the book says it all.

This book, like others dealing with plant names, may at first glance appear to be rather intimidating, but this is only because even the English let alone the Latin names of the plants are unfamiliar. Think of your garden in early spring. There are some nice new leaves, long (10–12cm maybe), thin leaves under this tree and over in that grassy corner. They are in little groups, slightly blue- green in colour. In a few weeks’ time they will be double or treble the height, maybe up to your knees. You have named the plant even before you have read this far. Daffodils! And if there has been any doubt about the leaves being the right size, that is removed when golden trumpets appear—the harbingers of spring—definitely Daffodils! Who cares that they may be hybrids scientifically named as Narcissus x incomparabilis (Fig. 2), and described in that community as: “Leaves 8–15mm wide, broad, glaucous, flower solitary. Perianth 4–6cm across, pale yellow, corona 5–12mm, deep yellow, cup-shaped, about half as long as perianth F1. 4. 2n=14, 21, GB. (Clapham, Tutin & Warburg, 1952).” Although some might remember “Nonesuch Daffodil”—one of its many common names—it is just a very pretty plant to most of us!

Who knows or cares? Well, botanists not knowing daffodils do care. The rest of us rarely need to. But this recognition by looks is how to get the best interpretation.

So the painting turned out to be just a pretty daffodil picture!!!!

All aquatic plant species which live along and in the rivers and streams are extremely good indicators of the health and wealth of a waterway and the River Friend Series of little books is intended to help anyone interested in rivers to understand how important are the plants and how, for instance, they are affected by pollution and by the water source drying up. There will be around 17 titles published in time. Please visit the River Friend Website for a list of the latest published titles.

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