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Flower of the Day (March 10, 2015) – Daffodil

Serendipity asked me a question regarding daffodil and narcissus and I didn’t have a good answer for her.  Here is what I found out.  (below info and small photos found at this web page.)  For future reference, I use the word daffodil for these basic types of flowers.  I don’t try to distinguish between them.  Way to confusing.

Common daffodils have single blossoms and flat, strappy leaves.  In different regions, you will hear all four terms – sometimes incorrectly – used to refer to the happy yellow flowers that lead the way for spring. There are some differences, though. Here’s a guide to help you name your plants correctly:

Paperwhite Narcissus

  • Narcissus: The term narcissus (Narcissus sp.) refers to a genus of bulbs that includes hundreds of species and literally tens of thousands of cultivars! The Narcissus genus includes daffodils, jonquils, and paperwhites, among many others, so when in doubt, this is the term to use. However, when someone says “Narcissus,” they’re usually referring to the miniature white holiday blooms of Narcissus tazetta papyraceous, known as paperwhites.


  • Daffodil: This is the official common name for ANY of the plants that fall into the genus Narcissus. So, if the plant is considered a Narcissus, it is also considered a daffodil as well. However, most people use the term “daffodil” when referring to the large, trumpet-shaped flowers of the Narcissus pseudonarcissus. These are those big, showy, familiar bulbs that bloom in spring that we all know and love.


  • Jonquil: This term actually refers to a specific type of daffodil known as Narcissus jonquilla, although the name is often used as a more general term for daffodils in certain parts of the country. They are most easily identified by their dark green, tube-shaped leaves as compared to other types of daffodils which have flat leaves. Jonquils also tend to have clusters of several flowers, instead of just one bloom, along with a strong scent.
030714 fff

This is a photo of a daffodil from last year.

Qi (energy) hugs


17 replies »

  1. I’ve always called the flowers with the large trumpets ‘daffodils’ and the flatter ones with the small trumpets ‘narcissus’ … though ‘Narcissus’ is technically the family name for all of them. Fascinating info and lovely images – I love the way you’ve captured the light through the petals on the last shot.


  2. This is like the question someone asked me about my cardinal. He asked if it was a bunting. I always thought it was a grosbeak. It turns out, it is neither, but depending on which book you look in, may be considered either or both categories.

    I always though the smaller bi-color flowers were narcissus and the big yellow ones, daffodils. I have both of them in my garden and have no idea what to call them. Thank you for the lesson 🙂


    • I’m sticking with daffodil because that is what know for this type of flower. If I were you, I’d stay with what you know. I don’t think it really matters. 🙂 It was interesting to research it though 🙂


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