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Type:Perennial bulbs
Soil requirements:Dry in summer
Pest issues:Uncommon
Disease issues:Uncommon

Narcissus is the Latin name for a group of hardy, mostly spring-flowering, bulbs. There are several Narcissus species that bloom in the autumn. Daffodil is the common English name for all narcissus. The botanic name of the genus is Narcissus. They are mostly native to the Mediterranean region, but a few species are found through Central Asia to China. The range of forms in cultivation has been heavily modified and extended, with new variations available in nurseries practically every year.

The name Narcissus is derived from that of the narcissistic youth of Greek mythology, Narkissos. Though "Narcissi" is sometimes given in dictionaries as the grammatically correct plural of "Narcissus", The American Daffodil Society prefers the use of "narcissus" for both singular and plural. (the Webster's Third New International Dictionary gives "narcissus", "narcissuses" and lastly "narcissi" as plural forms)

The name Daffodil is derived from an earlier "affodell", a variant of asphodel. The reason for the introduction of the initial "d" is not known, although a probable source is an etymological merging from the Dutch article "de," as in "de affodil". From at least the sixteenth century "Daffadown Dilly" or "daffadowndilly" has appeared as a playful synonym of the name.

Narcissus are sometimes called jonquils in North America, but strictly speaking that name belongs only to the rush-leaved Narcissus jonquilla and cultivars derived from it.

Paperwhites refer to the species Narcissus papyraceus.

Description[edit | edit source]

The flowers have a central trumpet-shaped corona surrounded by a ring of petals. The traditional daffodil has a golden yellow color all over, but the corona may often feature a contrasting color. Breeders have developed some daffodils with a double or triple row of petals, making them resemble a small golden ball. Other cultivars have frilled petals, or an elongated or compressed central corona.

The foliage is simple, straplike with linear veination, fleshy, juicy, hollow, more or less glaucus.

Daffodils are poisonous, and if eaten could result in death.[1]

Growing conditions[edit | edit source]

Moist, fertile, well-drained. To avoid disease problems do not irrigate in summer.

Types[edit | edit source]

The horticultural divisions include:

  • Trumpet daffodils
  • Large-cupped daffodils
  • Small-cupped daffodils
  • Double daffodils
  • Triandrus daffodils
  • Cyclamineus daffodils
  • Jonquilla daffodils
  • Tazetta (Poetaz or Bunch-flowered) daffodils
  • Poeticus (Poet's) daffodils
  • Bulbocodium daffodils
  • Split-corona daffodils
  • Other daffodils which don't fit the above divisions
  • Species and wild hybrids
  • Miniature daffodils are found in all divisions.

Species[edit | edit source]

Uses[edit | edit source]

Cut flowers.

The daffodil serves as the national flower of Wales. One species, Narcissus obvallaris, grows only in a small area around Tenby. In Wales it is traditional to wear a daffodil on Saint David's Day (March 1).

The flower is a common decoration flower during Chinese New Year.

Various Cancer Societies around the world use the Daffodil as fundraising symbol. "Daffodil Days" are organised to raise funds by offering the flowers in return for a donation. Is used to develop a large number of hybrids and cultivars. Modern daffodil cultivars are important ornamental crops. The bulb, leaf, and flower are used to make medicine. They are used  for whooping cough, colds, and asthma. It is also used to the skin, to treat wounds, burns, strains, and joint pain.

Maintenance[edit | edit source]

Propagation[edit | edit source]

Harvesting[edit | edit source]

Pests and diseases[edit | edit source]

Generally free of problems in good soil, but prone to diseases in wet soils. Mammal pests generally avoid this plant.

Leaf Spots

  • Didymellinia macrospora

White Mold

  • Ramularia vallisumbrosae

Decay (storage):

  • Sclerotinia narcissicola

Blights, Scorch

  • Stagonospora curtissii
  • Sclerotinia polyblastis

Basal Rot

  • Fusarium oxysporum var. narcissi

Crown Rot

  • Pellicularia rolfsii
  • Sclerotium delphinii

Bulb Rot

  • Penicillium
  • Sclerotinia narcissi

Root Rot

  • Cylindrocarpon radicicola


  • Narcissus Mosaic Virus

Flower Streak

White Streak

  • Narcissus Silver Leaf Virus

Yellow Stripe

  • Narcissus Yellow Stripe Virus


Root Lesion

  • Pratylenchus

Stem and Bulb Rot

  • Ditylenchus dispaci






Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  • Christopher Brickell and Judith D. Zuk (1997). The American Horticultural Society A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. DK Publishing. pp. 689–696. {{cite book}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Pirone, Pascal P. (1978). Diseases & Pests of Ornamental Plants (Fifth Edition ed.). John Wiley & Sons, New York. pp. 366–370. {{cite book}}: |edition= has extra text (help); Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Cranshaw, Whitney (2004). Garden Insects of North America: The Ultimate Guide to Backyard Bugs. Princeton University Press. p. 607. {{cite book}}: Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)
  • Pippa Greenwood, Andrew Halstead, A.R. Chase, Daniel Gilrein (2000). American Horticultural Society Pests & Diseases: The Complete Guide to Preventing, Identifying, and Treating Plant Problems (First Edition ed.). Dorling Kindersley (DK) Publishing, inc. p. 200. {{cite book}}: |edition= has extra text (help); Cite has empty unknown parameter: |coauthors= (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  1. The poisonous qualities of daffodils