Narcissus is a genus in the Amaryllidaceae family native to Europe, North Africa and Asia. As a popular garden plant it has been hybridized heavily, and there are new ones being introduced every year. Among all of the attention focused on the hybrids, species Narcissus tend to be overlooked. That's a shame, since many of the species have a delicate charm of their own.
Unfortunately, the naming of species Narcissus is a mess. Bulb expert Brian Mathew reports that they can be difficult to classify, with various authors identifying anywhere from 26 species to more than 60. Because Narcissus have been in cultivation for so long, some plants believed to be species are known only in gardens, with no known wild populations to verify them. All of this confusion is reflected in commerce, where bulbs may be sold under a variety of different names. We've done our best to classify the following photos, but this page is definitely a work in progress. Please let us know if you find an error. The species D-J will be found below.
Note: The letter and number codes after each species name refer to Brian Mathew's taxonomy of Narcissus species, which you can read here.
Narcissus dubius. 2a(i)B - white tazetta-like flowers. Up to six flowers in an umbel. France and Spain. Genetic studies indicate that this may be a hybrid between N. assoanus and N. papyraceus. Photograph by Arnold Trachtenberg.
Narcissus elegans. 2a(ii). Autumn-flowering bulbs with narrow leaves and very shallow coronas. Up to seven tiny flowers in an umbel. Petals white or greenish, corona is green, brownish, or orange. Italy and North Africa. First photo by John Lonsdale, photos two and three by Michael Mace.
Narcissus elegans var. elegans forma auranticoronatus: orange corona.
Narcissus elegans var. elegans forma elegans: narrow white petals and green corona.
Narcissus elegans var. fallax: pointed, green-white petals.
Narcissus elegans var. flavescens: pointed, cream-colored petals.
Narcissus elegans var. intermedius: wider petals.
Narcissus fernandesii. 1d(i) - green-leaved jonquils. Up to four flowers per umbel, curved tube. Portugal-Spain. Very similar to Narcissus cordubensis which is sometimes included with it. It is native to Spain and Portugal and has one to five fragrant deep yellow flowers on an eight-inch (20 cm.) stem. It blooms late winter, early spring. Photos by John Lonsdale and Mary Sue Ittner.
Narcissus fernandesii var. marianicus.
Narcissus fernandesii var. rivas-martinezii. Straight tube, from Spain.
Narcissus gaditanus var. minutiflorus. Smaller flowers.
Narcissus hedraeanthus. 3 - the hoop petticoats, big conical coronas. Straw yellow flowers. Spain. Photos by John Lonsdale.
Narcissus jacetanus var. jacetanus: Incised corona, grows on limestone.
Narcissus jacetanus var. vasconicus: Small flowers, northern Spain. Ian Young of the Scottish Rock Garden Club reports that this is one of his favorites, with good sized flowers that have a widely flared corona. You can read his comments here.
Narcissus jonquilla. 1d(i) - green-leaved jonquils. Up to five fragrant yellow flowers per umbel. This species blooms in winter and occurs in Spain and Portugal where in is found in damp grassy places. It has small yellow flowers and rush like leaves. It has a strong fragrance that is liked by some but not all. Photo by Mary Sue Ittner.
Narcissus jonquilla var. henriquesii. 1-2 flowers per umbel. Portugal. Considered to be Narcissus fernandesii by some of the Narcissus authorities, but Mathew lists it as a separate variety. Photos taken in March by Jay Yourch
Narcissus index - Overview of the Narcissus species - Narcissus Species A-B - Narcissus Species C - Narcissus Species K-O - Narcissus Species P - Narcissus Species Q-R - Narcissus Species S-Z - Narcissus hybrids - Division 1 - Division 2 - Division 3 - Division 4 - Division 5 - Division 6 - Division 7 - Division 8 - Division 9 - Division 10 - Division 11 - Division 12 - Miniatures