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.