Narcissi, Papyrus and Roman Volubilis in Morocco

Connections, connections.  Tramping round the very beautiful ruins of the Roman city of Volubilis last week, it struck me how much the ruins had not just been colonised by the wild and native plants, but how in some ruined spaces, it almost felt as if the plants had chosen consciously where to put themselves. And a very fine job they had made of their choices.

Wild tagetes and daisies carpeting the ruins

Wild tagetes and daisies carpeting the ruins

Some had placed themselves inside the ruined enclosures where market stalls and shops had once been…looking every bit like a designed piece of interior decor.

Wild tagetes colonising the stony pockets of ruined walls

Wild tagetes colonising the stony pockets of ruined walls

And on the main street running down from one of the four gates to the main plaza, isolated pockets of Narcissus papyraceus had placed themselves discreetly by the old stone way.

Narcissus papyraceus by the old stone way

Narcissus papyraceus by the old stone way

A fine clump of Narcissus papyraceus

A fine clump of Narcissus papyraceus

Not being a narcissus expert, Google helped me to identify it.  The Paperwhite Narcissus, so called, they say, because the fine petals have a delicate paper-like texture. It is native to Morocco and the western Mediterranean, but needs heat, so it isn’t found near us in South West France.  The day I saw these was the warmest, sunniest day of what had been a chilly week, so I was lucky that these determined little daffodils came out for me.  They have a wonderful scent, though I have to admit, I didn’t notice that…maybe not quite warm enough for the scent to develop.  The New York Botanical Garden had a good blog article about growing Paperwhites, and for a good overview of this lovely little thing, I found a useful piece by Davis Landscape Architects too that tells you more.

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