Over the course of the years of my obsession with the daffodil, the question above has arisen more than once.
Daffodil? Narcissi? Jonquils? Aren’t they all the same? And what is the difference?
Well, I’m not proposing myself as some sort of expert, but the problem comes down to regional and common names for flowers. People in different regions and different parts of the globe will refer to a flower by different names. (For example, we recently noted that frangipani and plumeria are two names for the same flower.) And often the same name may be pronounced differently in different regions: peony (PEE-oh-nee or pee-OH-nee) and hosta (HOHs-ta or HAHs-ta) are two examples that jump readily to mind. This is the main reason why when I really love some flower, I try hard to learn and note it’s scientific name. Then if I look for that, I am more likely to come up with the actual flower I want.
We all know and love the daffodil. This is a bouquet of daffodils.
The one at right center (all yellow) is the image that comes to mind when people hear the word “daffodil.”
The confusion comes in when you add in the scientific terminology. All daffodils are members of the genus “Narcissus.” Therefore, all daffodils are narcissi, and it is correct to refer to them as such.
Like most genera, the Narcissi have several species within them. And to make things even more confusing, the Narcissi have several divisons. According to the International Daffodil Register and Classified List (published by the Amercan Daffodil Society and the Roal Horticultural Society), there are thirteen division of daffodils. Twelve divisions are determined by the physical characteristics and genetic background of each cultivar, and the thirteenth division lists daffodils distinguished solely by botanical name. One of the divisions are Jonquils.
Many of the division include miniatures in them because they have the proper form. And not all daffodils are yellow any more. In the divisions, the different cultivars have names, often quite imaginative ones.
So, here are the divisions.
Division One: Trumpet Daffodils of Garden Origin. One flower to a stem, the trumpet is as long are] longer than the petal segments
Division Two: Large Cupped Daffodils of Garden Origon One flower to a stem, the cup is more than one third but less than equal to the length of the flower segments
“Ice Follies” (the white and yellow one)
Division Three: Short Cupped Daffocils of Garden Origin One flower to a step, cup no more than one third the length of the petal segments.
Divsion Four: Double Daffodils of Garden Origin Double flowers. There are three types of doubling. First: the cup is completely absent and replaced by additional petals. Second: Normal perianth but the cup is entirely filled. Third: the flower’s stamens acquire leaf-like forms which fill the cup.
Division Five: Triandrus Daffodils of Garden Origin Flowers are petite, graceful and attractive with several flowers on a stem. The flowers, which are more or less pendant, may be fragrant andthe petals are often turned back.
Division Six: Cyclaminous Daffodils of Garden Origin The petals stream backward and away int eh wake of long slender trumpet
Division Seven: Jonquilla Daffodils Member of this class are sweetly scented, more than one flower per stem, Leaves are dark green and rush like.
Division Eight: Tazetta Daffodils Bunch or cluster flowering
N. canaliculatus: (the tiny one at the bottom of the bouquet)
Division Nine: Poeticus daffodils Admired for their whiteness and bright eye. Usually fragrant
I have none of these
Division Ten: Bulbocodium Petals insignificant compared with dominant corona
I have none of these. Tried them, they didn’t like it here.
Division Eleven: Split Corona Corona segments opposite petals, in whorls Or Coronal segments alternate with petals
Division Twelve: Miscellaneous Daffodils All varieties which do not fit into the other categories
Division Thirteen: Species and Wild Forms
“Rip van Winkle”
So, jonquils are members of a specific division of daffodils. All of them are narcissi.