Colin Mills, compiler of the Hortus Camdenensis, died in late November 2012 after a short illness. As he always considered the Hortus his legacy, it is his family's intention to keep the site running in perpetuity. It will not, however, be updated in the near future.

Narcissus x medioluteus Mill.

Hybrid of Narcissus poeticus L. x Narcissus tazetta L.  Leaves to about 70cm, and stem to 60cm, bearing usually 2 but occasionally 1 or 3, flowers per stem, with white perianth and shallow, wavy-margined pale yellow corona.  Late flowering.  There are a number of garden varieties.  [RHSD, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described as Narcissus medio-luteus by Miller in his Gardeners’ Dictionary in 1768: ‘Daffodil with two flowers in a sheath, a short bell-shaped nectarium, and nodding flowers’ [Gard. Dict. ed. 8, p.4/1768]. Still commonly known today as Narcissus biflorus, the name given to it by Curtis in 1792 [BM t.197/1792].

‘As it grows readily, increases in a greater degree than most others, and is both ornamental and odiferous, it is no wonder that we meet with it in almost every garden, and that in abundance. […] It usually produces two flowers, hence we have called it biflorus; it frequently occurs with one, more rarely with three.’  [BM t.197/1792]. 

Narcissus biflorus is a very old plant described by Gerarde and by Parkinson in 1629, who record it as being very common in country gardens throughout England.  ‘If this plant had only appeared lately, I should have thought it had been produced by the Dutch florists; but as it was unquestionably in most of our country gardens, so early as the 15th century, it is most probably one of Nature’s mules. […] The name of Biflorus is very ambiguous, for the peduncle has frequently only one, but sometimes three flowers.’  [THS vol.1 p.364/1805-1812]. 

William Herbert demonstrated that it was a hybrid between Hermione, a form of Narcissus tazetta, and Narcissus poeticus.  [BR f.38/1843].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [B.336/1857].  Prior to its recent reintroduction I had not seen this plant in the gardens at Camden Park.  It is a shy flowerer in the district.  It readily offsets but only puts out blooms in a very good season.


Narcissus biflorus Gren. & Godr. = Narcissus pseudonarcissus L. which see.

Narcissus biflorus Schur (1866) = Narcissus poeticus subsp. radiiflorus (Salisb.) Baker which see.

Published May 17, 2009 - 04:50 PM | Last updated Aug 08, 2012 - 04:49 PM

Shown are  leaves and two flowers with a white perianth and small, yellow corolla.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.197,1792.

Narcissus x medioluteus Mill. | BM t.197/1792 as Narcissus biflorus | BHL

Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Europe, including Britain

  • Narcissus x biflorus Curt.
  • Narcissus x albus Mill.
  • Narcissus x cothurnalis Salisb.
  • Narcissus x dianthus Haw.
  • Narcissus x grenieri K.Richt.
  • Narcissus x loretii Rouy
  • Narcissus x tazettopoeticus Gren. & Godr.
  • Narcissus x triflorus Haw.
  • Narcissus poeticus Huds.
  • Autogenes x biflorus (Curtis) Raf.
  • Stephanophorum x biflorum (Curtis) Dulac
Common Name

Twin-flowered narcissus, Primrose peerless narcissus

Name in the Camden Park Record

Narcissus biflorus 

Confidence level