Here is the latest communication from Jan and Lynne Dalton.
Since our first report forwarded on 28th January both the weather and the daffodil sightings have picked up considerably. Our trip to Lires and Cape Finisterre (Cabo Fisterra) took us along the coastal road from our campsite near Ribeira, throgh picturesque fishing villages and past golden sandy beaches. Being on a peninsula ourselves and having to cross onto two other peninsulas to reach our destinations, we had to negotiate several river estuaries. One of these was the beautiful Rio Tambre which is one of the best river systems for finding N. cyclamineus, in our opinion.
We got to Lires, which is about 20+ kilometres north of C. Finisterre, where Brian, Wendy and James found N. cyclamineus almost growing on the beach when they last visited here! We were slightly earlier than they were and unfortunately, only managed to find one solitary early flower of N. cyclamineus, but we did find Tulipa australis in flower in a meadow just before the village! This plant seems to crop up everywhere we go throughout Northern Spain- from East to West.
As we were in the area, we decided to take the opportunity to detour down to Cape Finisterre, simply to see it and say we had gone as far West on mainland Europe as it is possible to go.(A bit like John o’Groats and Land’s End). However, on the tiny back roads that led from Lires to the Cape, we did manage to spot a very large, vigorous form of
N. bulbocodium in two fields bordering the road. Unfortunately, being in a rather large motor-home and no pull offs anywhere nearby, we couldn’t stop to photograph them. Just one of the disadvantages of carrying your house around with you. Never mind, we DID see them and Wendy and James had also found a similarly large N. bulbocodium themselves on a previous trip on the next peninsula down!
A few days later, (Feb.6th), we returned to the N. lagoi site near Friol, where the flowers had really started to grow on strongly and more of them. How they manage to survive in the cart tracks, where a lot of them were growing, is beyond me and yet, we have found other species growing in similar situations on numerous occasions. The plants were now taking on the stature that suggested they were certainly not the straightforward N. asturiensis. Whether they turn out to be a tetraploid form of N.asturiensis as per var. villarvildensis we wait to see? (leaf samples are being investigated by Ben Zonneveld as we speak!).
My Botanical Guide to Asturian Plants suggests that N. asturiensis var. villarvildensis‘ range stretches from the Serra d’Estrella in Portugal, to Caceres,Central and Northern Spain and over to the Navarra region! Which seems an extremely huge area for a variety to cover, without having been recorded and named prior to the aforementioned var. villarvildensis? Which of course it probably was, by Linnaeus, as N. minor.
Friday, 15th Feb 2013, weather-wise, our warmest, sunniest day of our trip so far and beaten only by the location of a meadow/field with 5,000 + N. cyclamineus in full sun and in full flower – what a magnificent sight they were. Still a good few buds to open later together with those under the shade of the stream-side trees, hopefully, prolonging
the flowering for a few weeks longer so the later arriving party of Daffodil Society members will have something to see in March? The GPS reading for this location showed an elevation of 563 metres above sea level! Who said this was a flower of the flatlands and low-lying meadows. Also, not a twin-headed stem to be seen. and amongst the thick brambles and on into the adjoining field and along the bank-side of the nearby stream. I doubt if they will still be in full flower by the time Reg, Jackie and Gwynne arrive on 19th March, excepting for the odd late flower that nature always seems to supply as a ‘catch all’ safety measure? When we first found them 10/11 years ago it was about 20th March and there were only three flowers left! Fingers crossed! A further visit to the N.lagoi site revealed them now flowering under the trees
We also found N. bulbocodium coming into flower in a field just below our campsite and we have just today (20th March) found a very white form of N. triandrus coming into flower,also at the lower end of our campsite. So things are really starting to move now!
I will send in a further report later as the season progresses, so keep watching. I have also forwarded the camera memory card to James to extract some pictures to accompany this report at a later point.
For now, Hasta Luego.
Jan & Lynne.