Narcissus pseudonarcissus subsp. major (Curtis) Baker

Narcissus with single flowers with milky-white perianth segments and bright yellow corona, about 1.5cm broad and long.  [Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

According to Baker, a hybrid received by Alexander Macleay, then Secretary of the Linnaean Society of London, from France in 1819 and named Narcissus macleayi by John Lindley [BR f.762/1823]. ‘The other species, to which we have alluded, was presented to the Society, in 1820, by Alexander Macleay, Esq, from his garden at Tilburster; and is supposed to have been imported from Smyrna. Its appearance was very singular, and resembled a N. Tazetta become dwarf, with an umbel reduced to two flowers. The leaves were broad and green; the scape channelled, ancipitous, and nearly as much flattened as in N. compressus; spathe 1 or 2 flowered; peduncle an inch long, upright, and flattened; germen swollen and oval; tube 5/8 of an inch thick, cylindrical, enlarged at the top and green; petals white, imbricate, at 3/4right angles with the nectary, 3/4 of an inch long, the outer ones broader with a mucro; nectary 5/8 of an inch long, bright yellow, cylindrical, perfectly truncate, without notches or wrinkles. We have distinguished it by a name which will be always respected, so long as science and liberality continue to be objects of esteem.’  [BR f.762/1823]. Baker conisered it to be a sub-species of Narcissus pseudonarcissus rather than a hybrid, a view largely accepted today [Baker Am.].

‘An extremely rare bulbous plant, quite hardy, and flowering in April and May.  Our drawing was made in the Horticultural Society’s Garden.  Supposed to be a native of Smyrna.’  [BR f.987/1826].  William Herbert demonstrated that it was likely to be a cross between Narcissus pseudo-narcissus, and Narcissus tazetta.  [BR f.38/1843]. 

Narcissus macleayii was possibly introduced to British gardens much earlier than the early 19th century: ‘Old Parkinson describes his “small early white Daffodil with a large cup”. […] From this description, we have little hesitation in giving Parkinson’s plant as synonym of Narcissus macleayi.’  [BM t.2588/1825]. 

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.344/1843].


Published May 20, 2009 - 02:41 PM | Last updated Aug 08, 2012 - 04:22 PM

Depicted are bulb, leaves and bloom with white perianth and long yellow corona.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.2588, 1825.

Narcissus pseudonarcissus subsp. major (Curtis) Baker | BM t.2588/1825 as Narcissus macleaii | BHL


More details about Narcissus pseudonarcissus subsp. major (Curtis) Baker
Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Probably garden origin, France

  • Narcissus macleayi Lindl.
  • Ajax concolor Jord.
  • Ajax glaucus M.Roem.
  • Ajax grandiflorus (Salisb.) Salisb.
  • Ajax hispanicus (Gouan) M.Roem.
  • Ajax lacinularis Salisb.
  • Ajax luteus Herb.
  • Ajax major (Curtis) Haw.
  • Ajax obvallaris (Salisb.) Haw.
  • Ajax propinquus (Salisb.) Haw.
  • Ajax spurius Haw.
  • Diomedes macleayi (Lindl.) Haw. ex Herb.
  • Diomedes major (Curtis) Haw.
  • Diomedes parkinsonii Haw.
  • Moskerion hispanicum (Gouan) Raf.
  • Narcissus confusus Pugsley
  • Narcissus coronatus DC.
  • Narcissus grandiflorus Salisb.
  • Narcissus hispanicus Gouan
  • Narcissus lobularis Schult. & Schult.f.
  • Narcissus major Curtis
  • Narcissus maximus Haw.
  • Narcissus obvallaris Salisb.
  • Narcissus propinquus Salisb.
  • Narcissus spurius (Haw.) Schult. & Schult.f.
  • Narcissus triandrus var. macleayi (Lindl.) Nyman
  • Queltia bernardii Fourr.
  • Queltia coronata (DC.) M.Roem.
  • Queltia maclayi (Lindl.) M.Roem.
  • Queltia macleana Herb.
  • Stephanophorum grandiflorus (Salisb.) Dulac


Common Name

Mr Macleay’s narcissus

Name in the Camden Park Record

Narcissus Macleayi 


Confidence level high