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 C 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 calcicola. 1d(ii) This species can be characterized as having miniature daffodil-like patent flowers to eight inches. Native to pockets among limestone in central Portugal, the rich orange-yellow flowers are less than an inch in diameter, with a cup less than 3/8". The perianth segments have an acute point, and are slightly reflexed. Up to five yellow flowers per umbel. As the name implies it grows in calcareous soil, due to the presence of limestone, but Henning Christiansen has shown the pockets of soil in which it grows have been found to be acid (pH near 5.9). Plant grown from seed and photographed by Arnold Trachtenberg.
Narcissus canaliculatus (syn. N. tazetta ssp. lacticolor, N. tazetta ssp. tazetta, N. tazetta ssp. canaliculatus). 2a(i)A - colored Narcissus tazetta like flowers. Petals white, corona yellow. Origin unknown. See also Narcissus 'Canaliculatus'.
Narcissus cantabricus. 3 - the hoop petticoats, big conical coronas. White or greenish flowers. This species comes from southern Spain, the Balearic Islands, Algeria, and Morocco, and is extremely variable with several subspecies. The plant identified in the photo as "clusii" (not a valid taxonomic name) was grown from seed obtained from the Scottish Rock Garden Club exchange and is probably identical or very similar to plants grown in the UK under this identifying or "garden" name. It has upfacing pure white flowers on very short stems. The first photo by Jane McGary of this plant and the next two from Mary Sue Ittner of this species which blooms in the fall in Northern California, sometimes as early as October and continues until sometimes January.
Narcissus cavanillesii (syn. Tapeinanthus humilis, Narcissus humilis). 1e. This is a rare Autumn flowering species which superficially resembles a member of the genus Sternbergia with thin yellow tepals than a species of Narcissus due to the lack of a visible corona. Upon a very close inspection using a hand lens, there is a suggestive lip of what a taxonomist or a botanist could construed as a corona. Regardless of the morphology, N. cavanillesii is native to mostly the southeast Iberian Peninsula, Spain, Algeria and Morocco, with a larger-flowered form reported in the Atlas mountains. It is possibly endangered in Portugal where it is only known from two populations. N. cavanillesii grows from 5-16" tall, and has been observed to come into bloom quickly after rain at the end of the dry season. The leaves are not present during the flowering period. Photo by John Lonsdale of a plant he received as N. humilis ssp. mauretanicus.
Narcissus cordubensis. 1d(i) - green-leaved jonquils. Up to three flowers per umbel, curved tube. Spain. This species is scented and very similar to Narcissus fernandesii and is included in the latter by some. It has yellow flowers with a green tinge at the base and blooms mid spring. All photos by John Lonsdale, the second and third are of the "Lemon" form (not formally recognized by Mathew).
Narcissus cuatrecasasii (syn. N. rupicola ssp. pedunculatus). 1d(ii) is a somewhat variable species native to central southern Spain from Grazalema up to Montes de Toledo. Flowers are born solitarily to a few in an umbel to six inches tall. Perianth segments appear to range in shape from apiculate to elliptic. The cup is often incurved at the margin, and variable in size compared to the segments. Overall the flowers appear average around one inch in diameter.
Narcissus cuatrecasasii var. segimonensis. Smaller flowers. From Spain, grown and photographed by Jane McGary. When this picture was added to the wiki, there was some question about whether the photo was this species or Narcissus rupicola. Harold Koopowitz who thought it looked liked the latter wrote this: "Both species are quite variable with regards, size of plant, leaves, size of flower, height and time of flowering. N. cuatrecasasii has three stamens sticking into the corona and there are three in the tube. In N. rupicola all six stamens are in the tube. In N. rupicola the opening to the tube is restricted, in N. cuatrecasasii it is wider."
Narcissus cyclamineus. 1b(A) - classic daffodils with small flowers. Yellow flowers, reflexed petals. North-west Portugal and Spain. It has "a manner that has been variously compared to an angry mule, a frightened rabbit, a kicking horse. And indeed it does have a startled expression. A group of them makes one think of a bevy of gnomes in agitated conclave." --Louise Beebe Wilder. Gardening in New York, she said it grew best in damp sandy peat in partial shade. Photo by John Lonsdale. Photo of seed on a 10 mm grid by David Pilling.
Narcissus index - Overview of the Narcissus species - Narcissus Species A-B - Narcissus Species C - Narcissus Species D-J - Narcissus Species K-O - Narcissus Species P - Narcissus Species Q-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