‘ White Star’ (J.C. Williams)
(J.C. Williams, pre-1909; purportedly ‘Princess Mary’ × ‘Horace’)
Searching fruitlessly for this in the Tazetta and Poet Divisions for twenty years, I stumbled across a perfect image of this charming flower in The Garden, 1910. Confusingly tucked away in Division 3, in spite of its strong resemblance to N. × medioluteus. Although larger, more shapely and refined, the soapy scent is unmistakable, and the closely crimped, saucer-shaped corona changes from mimosa to a richer canary-yellow or even aureolin. The milk-white perianth segments are of more consistent form and less rumpled. At maturity the lower three stamens are buried in the moss-green eye, and the perianth recurves. We are delighted to have put a name to this delightful taller, neater, slightly earlier-flowering and less-tousled relative of the May lily. Bred at Caerhays Castle by P.D.’s cousin and life-long friend, and apparently last offered commercially in 1930.