Talkin’ Dirt with Kathy – Daffodils and Narcissus

The world seems sad
Midwinter’s gloom,
But all is well
When the jonquils bloom!

Last reminder to anyone who may have interest in traveling to Gibsland tomorrow for the Jonquil Jubilee!  Gibsland is known as the Daffodil Capital of Louisiana.  Go to www.jonquiljubilee to get more information.

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Throughout my life, I have always heard those yellow spring bulbs referred to as daffodils, jonquils and narcissus.  Since I am planning to attend the festival in Gibsland tomorrow, I thought I would research these three terms.  I went to the website of the American Daffodil Society and found some answers.


NONE.  The two words are synonyms.  Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for all daffodils, just as ilex is for hollies.  Daffodil is the common name for all  members of the genus Narcissus, and its use is recommended by the American Daffodil Society at all times other than in scientific writing.


In some parts of the country any yellow daffodil is called a jonquil, usually incorrectly.  As a rule, but not always, jonquil species and hybrids are characterized by several yellow flowers, strong scent, and rounded foliage. The hybrids are confined to Division 7 and the term “jonquil” should be applied only to daffodils in Division 7 or species in Division 13 known to belong to the jonquil group.

After reading the part about Division 7 and division 13, I have become totally confused.  To clarify, there are thirteen different divisions for daffodils based upon the number of blooms per stem, whether they have scent, trumpet size and type, foliage, and other things.  The thirteen divisions can be found at if you are interested.

As for me, to stay out of trouble, I’m just going to refer to all of them as daffodils and not mention the word jonquil unless I check it out first!

What makes daffodils so attractive to me is that under good growing conditions, they should outlast any of us.  While some kinds of bulbs tend to dwindle and die out, daffodils should increase.  Also, the flowering season of daffodils is from six weeks to six months, depending on where you live and the cultivars you grow.  After blooming, let the daffodil plant rebuild its bulb for the next year.  The leaves stay green while this is happening.  Once the leaves begin to yellow, then you can cut the leaves off but not before.  You definitely need to let the person doing the mowing at your house know to go around the foliage until it has turned yellow.

The photos I have attached today came from my yard.  The only one I can definitely identify as a jonquil is the first one.  Notice the tubular foliage.  My favorite daffodil is the second one that is cream colored with the pale apricot center!  Just perfect.

Also, I have heard that the tulips have begun blooming at Biedenharn Gardens so you may want to check those out as well over the weekend!  Happy spring.

Kathy VanVeckhoven, Realtor
(318) 388-0941
Click here for more Talkin’ Dirt with Kathy Articles

One thought on “Talkin’ Dirt with Kathy – Daffodils and Narcissus

  1. Pingback: Talkin’ Dirt with Kathy – April Dirt « John Rea Realty

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