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Narcissus jonquilla (Wild jonquil, Daffodil)

Narcissus jonquilla Photo/Illustration: Lee Anne White


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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Botanical Name: Narcissus jonquilla nar-SIS-us jon-KWILL-ah Common Name: Wild jonquil, Daffodil Genus: Narcissus
This Division 10 Bulbocodium species blooms late in the season, bearing up to 5 fragrant and nodding golden-yellow flowers. It has cylindrical, dark-green stems to 12 inches. It is good for naturalizing, and prefers neutral to alkaline soil.
Care: Grow in average, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade (see individual species for specific requirements). In autumn, plant bulbs from 1.5 to 5 times the bulbs' height (3 inches or more in cold climates). Under glass, grow in 1 part grit and 2 parts soil mix. Deadhead seed heads (except those of species, for dispersal) and allow leaves to photosynthesize for 6 weeks before cutting back, including plantings in turf. Lift and divide clumps if they become overcrowded or perform poorly. Bulbs may be forced in autumn in a cold frame; plant with tops visible, keep moist, and when rooted, move to a cool greenhouse (less than 64°F).
Propagation: Separate bulbs and replant in early summer or early fall.
Problems: Narcissus bulb fly, narcissus nematode, bulb scale mite, slugs, narcissus basal rot, other fungal infections, narcissus yellow stripe virus, and other viruses.
Height 6 in. to 12 in.
Growth Habit Clumps
Growth Pace Moderate Grower
Light Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture Medium Moisture
Maintenance Low
Tolerance Deer Tolerant;Frost Tolerant
Characteristics Fragrant Flowers; Self Seeds; Showy Flowers
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color Yellow Flower
Uses Beds and Borders, Container, Ground Covers, Cut Flower, Indoor Plant, Naturalizing, Poisonous, Roadside, Specimen Plant/ Focal Point, Suitable as Annual, Waterside
Style Cottage Garden, Meadow Garden, Formal Garden, Rock Garden, Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest Spring Interest
Type Bulbs

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Generally speaking, daffodils perform best in full sun and well-drained soil, in areas where there is a fair amount of rainfall in the fall and spring and where the summer is relatively dry. However, cyclamineus-type daffodils seem to tolerate at least partial shade and more moisture than others do. Narcissus ‘Jack Snipe’ (pre-1951, Zones 3–8) is a charming example of this type of daffodil. Its white petals are swept back, as if it were standing in front of a fan, and its medium-length, buttercup-yellow trumpet (or nose) sticks straight out at a 90 degree angle from the stem.  ‘Jack Snipe’ is an intermediate-size daffodil, standing only 8 to 10 inches tall, and is perfect for a rock garden or the front of a flower border. This whole division of daffodils is becoming more popular not only because it tolerates some shade but also because the shape of the flower is so handsome.

Narcissus 'Tahiti' Narcissus 'Tahiti'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Although some people don’t consider double or peonylike daffodils classics, many double hybrids have been in existence for a long time. N. ‘Tahiti’ (1956, Zones 3–8) has a soft-yellow flower with bright reddish-orange interior ruffles is reminiscent of a blossom from the tropics. ‘Tahiti’ stands up straight under its own weight, even on windy days. Its coloration is eye-catching, so it makes a big impact in the garden.

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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Triandrus-type daffodils usually have one or two nodding flowers per stem and are noted for their wonderful, often fruity, fragrance. N. ‘Hawera’ (pre-1950, Zones 3–8) is a miniature triandrus-type daffodil with many elfin, pale-yellow nodding bells per stem, each with a demitasse-shaped cup surrounded by swept-back petals. This adaptable daffodil can grow in dry areas, in pots, in full sun, and in partial shade. It contrasts nicely with Muscari armeniacum and is exquisite with hellebores.

Narcissus 'Intrigue' Narcissus 'Intrigue'
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The newly opened blossoms of N. ‘Intrigue’ (1970, Zones 3–9) are a soft chartreuse-yellow. As they mature, however, the flowers become a luminous white and attract a lot of attention, especially when planted with a blood-red tulip like ‘Hollandia’. When combined with another soft-colored flower, like Hyacinthus orientalis ‘Lady Derby’, it creates a peaceful scene. An American-bred jonquilla-type daffodil with several flowers per stem, ‘Intrigue’ also has a wonderful fragrance. 

Narcissus bulbocodium var. conspicuus Narcissus bulbocodium var. conspicuus
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Hardiness Zones: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

The species daffodil N. bulbocodium var. conspicuus (Zones 3–9) has been around so long that no one can actually put a date on it. Its look is unusual: It does have six golden petals, but they are tiny, twisted, and often difficult to see. Its prominent rounded cup gives rise to its nickname, hoop petticoats. It prefers acidic soil and when happy, will reseed, blooming like buttercups in groups. Only 4 to 6 inches tall, it naturalizes itself in many areas.