This blog is for gardeners above, beyond, and below the surface. For those interested in botanical names, inventories, collection and else.

Not recommended for gardeners depending only on nurseries for the practice.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


A ll my life, probably since childhood, I have seen, smell NARDOS flowers cut.  They are sold in farmer markets and  by street peddlars.  Even today, there is a guy walking the streets of Santurce, with a bunch under his arm pit, selling this significant flowers in  the concrete/asphalt  isle culture.

For fifty years I knew this bulb, flowers as AZUCENAS.  Thanks to One Hundred Years of Solitude and Gabriel Garcia Marques from Colombia, the urge to investigate the mystery became imperative, since he mentions nardos more than once in his masterpiece opus. 

Nardos y Azucenas are mentioned in one of the best known boleros in  America, with the tittle " "Silencio".  Go to youtube with it, listen to the great version from Buena Vista Social Club.  Or any other.

There are localities in Havana and Pinar del Rio, Cuba named Azucena.  It was a popular name for women in the past.  Not anymore.

I relate the flower and the scent with botanicas, santeria and dead ones, but I do not have arguments to elaborate, it is just like that.  However, the historical popularity of these flowers with a fragrance somewhat close to  gardenias is remarkable.

One thing is pertinent. I have seen the 
Nardos, Polianthes tuberosa, in the ground, planted only TWICE, in fifty years. One, recently not far from our residence and a couple of years ago 
in Bayamon City.  I am propagating five. In the north, east and west sides in the  ground/pot to increase the possibilities of  success.

Azucena, Lilium sp. is the botanical name found when you search under that specific name often, not always.  I find the story really interesting and confusing.
It shows that common names are really a pain in the ass.  

The Polianthes tuberose, originally from Mexico, like many others, are appreciated in many places around the world.  In most places in America, they are called, known with two names, but the botanical leaves no doubt as to what really it is.

Naming our reality became a problem after Columbus arrived to these shores.
The trip was a result of Islam and its followers with the monopoly of spices
for the cooking, silk, jewelry and such.

Regarding vegetation, a lot of our native, endemic species have common names similar to those of Europe, just for their their appearance similarities. I may
go back to this subject in the future.

That is that. Apagad e idnos.


1 comment:

  1. Si que es un embrollo, pero nos gustan las plantas.

    Hasta pronto