Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes
This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.
When you plant your bulbs this fall, are you going to plant daffodils, narcissus or jonquils? If you are not read on. These delightful blossoms are some of the most vigorous and colorful spring flowers but many gardeners are fooled by the names. Confusion has existed over the proper name for these plants for many decades. Are they a daffodil, narcissus or jonquil? Narcissus is the generic botanical name given these plants in 1753. In England, the flowers are commonly were known as daffodils. The name spread to other countries by English-speaking people According to the American Daffodil Society (ADS) the name daffodil and narcissus are synonyms and are interchangeable. Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for all daffodils, just as Hemrocallis is the genus name for daylilies. Daffodil is the common name for all members of the genus Narcissus, and the ADS suggests that name unless you are writing scientific papers. In some parts of the country any yellow daffodil is called a jonquil but the name is usually incorrect. As a rule, jonquils have several yellow flowers per stem, strong scent, and rounded foliage. The term "jonquil" is correctly applied only to a select group of daffodils. If you follow the genealogy, narcissus is the correct botanical name for the genus; daffodil is the correct common name for all members of the genus; and jonquil correctly refers to one particular division of the genus. Daffodils are a diverse group of flowers. Most botanists think there are at least 25 species and several natural hybrids. In addition to the species, the Daffodil Data Bank lists over 13,000 hybrids so there is certain to be something to please even the fussiest gardeners. All of the daffodils are divided among the twelve divisions of the official classification. Daffodils were brought to Britain by the Romans. They thought that the sap from daffodils had healing powers but the sap actually contains chemicals that can irritate the skin. The name narcissus is not Roman but comes from Greek mythology. A young very handsome Greek named Narcissus was quite taken with himself. A nymph called Echo had the misfortune to fall in love with Narcissus but he broke off the relationship. Heartbroken she hid in a cave and finally died. Later, Narcissus, as a part of his vanity, saw his face in a pool. As he leaned over to see himself better he fell in and drowned and was turned into the flower. One of the strange dichotomies of nature is that although daffodils have not been in bloom for several months and will not be seen for several more, now is the time to plant these marvelous flowers. Fall is the time to plant the spring flowers. Matt Palmer, Tooele County Extension Agent and Larry Sagers, Regional Horticultural Specialist for Utah State University Extension Services are teaching Home Landscape Design this fall and winter. This eight week class will cover designing your home landscape, drawing your landscape plan and what plants will grow well in Tooele County gardens When: Classes begin Oct 4 and are held on selected Wednesdays for eight weeks. Meet at the Tooele County Extension Service Auditorium at 151 North Main in Tooele. The Advanced Landscape Design Class is open to those who complete the basic course. Course Content: The course includes a garden field trip, landscape booklet and CD to help you with your plant selections. Other optional USU publications are available at the class. Registration: Please preregister for the course so we can have materials available for you. Call the Tooele County Extension Service office at 435-843-2350.