These early flowering Irises both share the same species name – bulbocodium – which means ‘wooly bulb’ or ‘wool covered bulb’. Presumably because they share the same sort of furry bulb (!) but I have not dug up either to inspect the below ground parts.
The lovely yellow Hoop petticoat daffodil (Narcissus bulbocodium), or narcissus, is a species which is usually found on mountain pastures in Spain, Portugal and S W France. I see it every year in a field near the coast at Cabo de Bares in Galicia, Spain. The field is damp and often occupied by cattle (including a bull!). The combination of wettness and cattle manure seems to suit this little daffodil which occurs in some profusion.
The other Iris is a small Romulea (Romulea bulbocodium) which also occurs near the coast in N W Spain, usually on rocky or grassy habitats. Both plants have been widely cultivated and come in different shades, but these are native wild flowers, photographed in later March and early April this year, in Galicia.
Both plants have been widely cultivated and come in different shades, but these are native wild flowers, photographed in late March and early April this year, in Galicia.
I am a retired entomologist with a background in quarantine pests and invasive invertebrates. I studied zoology at Imperial College (University of London) and did a PhD on the population dynamics of a cereal aphid (Metopolophium dirhodum) in the UK. I spent 5 years with the British Antarctic Survey studing cold hardiness of Antarctic invertebates and 17 years with the Food and Environment Research Agency. My main interests now are natural history, photography, painting and bird watching.