Production of dwarf and smallbulbed cultivars and Narcissus species

The importance of dwarf and small-bulbed narcissus, such as Cyclamineus, Jonquilla and Triandrus types, was referred to in the section on production statistics. Many of these types have small bulbs, requiring the use of sandy soils to facilitate bulb lifting, and requiring more labor-intensive bulb handling generally. It may be appropriate to modify equipment designed for handling small bulbs like freesias or onion sets. Many are relatively 'delicate' or, like 'Tete-a-Tete', are prone to diseases such as Penicillium rots, skin diseases or smoulder (van der Weijden, 1989). The production of these types therefore requires extra care in pesticide use and in drying and storing bulbs, and examples have already been cited in the section on the production of standard narcissus bulbs.

There is very little commercial production of Narcissus species and it is limited to specialist nurseries, but bulbs of many species have been exported from Mediterranean countries, especially Portugal (Oldfield, 1989). Several Narcissus species are considered to be under threat as a result of over-collecting or loss of habitats (Koopowitz and Kaye, 1990). Commercial bulb companies are now very aware of the environmental implications of trading wild-collected bulbs, and, because of consumer interest in these attractive species, there would be scope for commercial production if appropriate, sustainable farming methods and stocks were available (Hanks and Mathew, 1997).

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