Sunday, 1 March 2009

Wild Daffodils

Wild daffodils on the woodland path by the hotel.

Spring is on its way and with it early spring flowers including daffodils are starting to bloom. On the short walk starting from the Hotel to the Santa Marina chapel there are plenty of daffodils growing on the edge of the woodland path next to the stream, as seen in the photo above.

Narcissus leonensis growing on the woodland path by the hotel.

In Asturias there are four species of daffodils or Narcissus. Narcissus pseudonarcissus known in this area as Narcissus leonensis is the larger species with leaves up to 35 cms long. It grows in a variety of habitats and there is quite some variation in the flowers with in the species. It’s the species growing by the stream and I also saw it yesterday on a rocky mountain at an altitude of about 950m.

Narcissus leonensis growing on a rocky mountain at an altitude of 950m.

A week ago we discovered a few plants of Narcissus bulbocodium flowering on the farm in the CastaƱarina meadow. (It is probably the sup species “cantabricus” an endomism of the Cordillera cantabrica, but I don’t want to get into a taxanomic minefield.) The leaves of this species are up to about 24 cms. This is a first on the farm and will be proudly added to our farm flora list bringing us up to 324 wild flora species identified on the farm to date.

Narcissus bulbocidium growing on the farm.

Narcissus bulbocodium on a mountain at 600m

For me one of the prettiest of daffodils is Narcissus asturiensis with leaves rarely reaching more than 12 cms. It is just starting to come into flower as the snow melts away high in the mountains and can be seen in quite large numbers. The photos of this species were taken on thursday at an altitude of 1,450m

Narcissus asturiensis

Narcissus asturiensis emerging as the snow thaws.

The dramatic asturian mountains with the snow just melting from the meadows where the photos of Narcissus asturiensis where taken on thursday.

I haven’t seen the fourth species of daffodil that grows in Asturias (Narcissus triandrus) this year, so you will have to wait for a photo of that one!

The wood land footpath from the hotel, happy walking and happy botanising!

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Hotel Posada del Valle is a small hotel in Asturias Northern Spain surrounded by its own organic farm and where we are passionate about organic farming, food, and sustainable livelihoods. In this Blog those of us who live and work at Hotel Posada del Valle open a door to share with all of you who are interested in what we are doing.