Sunday, February 28, 2016

Are they Daffodils or Jonquils?

The question of  'Daffodils, or Jonquils?'  is frequently asked.

All Jonquils are Daffodils. All Daffodils are not Jonquils, but they are all Narcissus.

Come explore what's blooming in my garden today and I'll point out some of the different types.

These are Trumpet Daffodils.

These are Jonquils; cultivar is 'Sweetness'

Both are early bloomers. Other daffodils will extend the season until late March, ending with 'Baby Moon' and some other late bloomers.

This is a Cyclamineus daffodil, 'Tete a Tete'
a short-necked early bloomer. 

Large Cupped Daffodils including 'Fortune.'

'Ice Follies' is a great daffodil with white petals
 also from the Division 'large cupped' daffodil.

Two last views of some 'Sweetness' jonquillas that I moved when they stopped blooming in too much shade. Looks as if they're happy here if they could get a little timely fertilizer.

Narcissus are separated into 13 divisions, including the familiar Large Cups, Trumpets, Jonquillas and so on. I think the British just use 10 divisions. It's okay to call all of them Daffodils. I do. Mostly.

Here's your botany lesson for today: Narcissus (the genus, not the Paperwhite narcissus that can be forced in water --Paperwhites are Tazetta daffodils, isn't that confusing?) Anyhow, Narcissus the genus is in the family of Amaryllis. To further confuse you, the family Amaryllis contains the big colorful blooming Amaryllis that we force at Christmastime. Those are now called Hippeastrums.

All this naming business started with Linnaeus in the 1700s. Botanists still do not always agree and they're always moving things from one family to another, or changing names of things. 

I call this Hippeastrum an Amaryllis.
It surprised me this week with blossoms.

It doesn't really matter what you call the plants in your own garden, the Nomenclature Police are not coming after you. It does help if you get close enough to the correct name that people know what you mean. Like Daisy.

Gerbera Daisy blooming in my garden today.


  1. They're beauties, by any name. 'Ice Follies', particularly lovely.

  2. I've always wondered about the daffodil/jonquil distinction, so thanks for the explanation. Sounds a lot like the rhododendron/azalea distinction -- all azaleas are rhododendrons, but not all rhododendrons are azaleas. I always enjoy seeing your daffodils, whatever they are called. -Jean

  3. Glad to know I am safe just calling all of them daffodils. I have a few blooming now too but have no idea which ones they are. I bought them in a large group from White flower Farm and the varieties were not individually names. I love all of them.

    Yours are beautiful and in such clean and tidy surroundings so they really stand out.

  4. I don't have any Daffodils blooming quite yet in my garden, but it won't be long. I have great memories of seeing Daffs blooming like wildflowers all over hills and roadsides in England, many years ago when I visited MIL.

  5. Thanks for clearing(?) that up! I call them all daffodils, too. Yours are beautiful as is your amaryllis!

  6. Very interesting. I didn't realize there were so many types. Now I'll be watching closely.

  7. The only daffodils to bloom this year are Campernelle and Ice Follies. Lots of foliage for others came up but not a sign of a bud anywhere. Very depressing. Since I am zone 8b I am pretty sure there won't be any.

  8. Did you pot up and put your agapanthus in the greenhouse?

    1. I left the white agapanthus seedling in the pot it was in last spring. I potted up a gallon pot and one a little bigger of blue agapanthus. They sat out in front of the greenhouse all winter and were nipped a bit but never died back, as the winter was fairly mild.

      Even the agapanthus in the garden fared fairly well and have new growth.


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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