[Wild species 11]
(North Spain & north & central Portugal)
A trumpet species allied to the lent lily, N. pseudonarcissus, N. nobilis bears larger flowers on longer stems, with a more spreading perianth, rather than segments which flop forwards over the trumpet. It is even more closely related to N. gayi (a synonym of ‘Princeps’), which has a slender, more flaring trumpet, of a paler, more luminous yellow, narrowing at the base, and a more simply lobed, crenate rim. Both possess a strong, bitter, crushed-ivy scent. The perianth of N. nobilis is broader and usually whiter than the flimsy, and often slight, perianth segments of the other two species. The trumpet is a strong, bright yellow, staining the base of the perianth a wide halo of gold. Even the perianth tube, behind the petals, is rich yellow — a handy characteristic. All three are early-flowering, promiscuous and very variable: N. nobilis might be Parkinson’s N. pyrenaeus variiformis in his Paradisus of 1629.