Spring bloom in the CA mountains and "daffodils and narcissus"

johngrimshaw@tiscali.co.uk johngrimshaw@tiscali.co.uk
Fri, 11 Mar 2005 09:12:04 PST
There is nothing new in the "confusion" between daffodil and narcissus as
common names! As I wrote to the pbs list on 22 March 2004:

'...many idle and ignorant Gardiners and others, who get names by stealth,
as they do many other things, doe call some of these Daffodils Narcissus,
when as all know that know any Latine, that Narcissus is the Latin name, and
Daffodill the English of one and the same thing...

John Parkinson,  Paradisi in Sole, Paradisus Terrestris, 1629

Parkinson's fulminations have borne no fruit and Dave Karn's are unlikely to
either. I think we have to accept that 'daffodil' and 'narcissus' are
semi-overlapping vernacular names for members of the genus Narcissus, but it
is still annoying to be asked by the idle and ignorant 'What's the

John Grimshaw

Dr John M. Grimshaw
Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens

Sycamore Cottage
Nr Cheltenham
Gloucestershire GL53 9NP

Website: http://www.colesbournegardens.org.uk/
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <DaveKarn@aol.com>
To: <pbs@lists.ibiblio.org>
> I grow daffodils.  And have for nearly six decades.  All through that time
> have found a confusion being perpetuated everywhere -- and most
prominently by
> the Dutch (who really should know better!).  I rather imagine, however, it
> was they who started this business of "daffodil" referring only to the
> yellow trumpet daffodil and "narcissus" to the white perianth examples
> colored coronas.  The fact of the matter is that all daffodils are
narcissus and
> all narcissus are daffodils.  Daffodil is the commonly used term to refer
to all
> forms of the genus Narcissus (the botanical descriptor).  In other words,
> two terms refer to the same thing.

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