|Narcissus tazetta in Israel|
Narcissus tazetta (Paperwhite, Bunch-flowered Narcissus, Chinese Sacred Lily, Joss flower) is a perennial ornamental plant that grows from a bulb. Cultivars of N. tazetta include 'Paperwhite', 'Grand Soleil d'Or' and 'Ziva', which are popularly used for forcing indoors, as is the form of N. tazetta known as Chinese Sacred Lily.
N. tazetta is native to southern Europe and cultivated throughout the world, especially Asia, the Levant, and northern Africa. It is grown commercially for its essential oil, mostly in southern France. An interspecies hybrid, with Narcissus poeticus, is also grown for its essential oil.
Six subspecies are accepted by the World Checklist of Selected Plant Families:
- N. tazetta subsp. aureus (Jord. & Fourr.) Baker – south-east France, Sardinia, north-west Italy, Algeria, Morocco
- N. tazetta subsp. canariensis (Burb.) Baker – Canary Islands
- N. tazetta subsp. chinensis (M.Roem.) Masam. & Yanagih. – south-east China, Japan
- N. tazetta subsp. corcyrensis (Herb.) Baker – Corfu (Greece)
- N. tazetta subsp. italicus (Ker Gawl.) Baker – Mediterranean from southern France to Greece
- N. tazetta subsp. tazetta – widely distributed from the western Mediterranean to Afghanistan
Narcissus tazetta contains a fragrant compound found in only a few other plants, including roses and Acnistus arborescens, called orcinol dimethyl ether, which is almost undetectable to the human nose. Experiments with honeybees have shown they can readily detect it.
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