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.

Ismene narcissiflora (Jacq.) M.Roem.

The strap-like basal leaves sheath at the base to form a false stem, the flowering stems bearing umbels of up to 6 strongly scented white flowers, sometimes striped green.  To 60cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described by Jacquin as Pancratium narcissiflorum in 1807 [Jacquin p.68/1807]. Placed in Ismene by Max Roemer in 1847 [Fam. Nat. Syn. Monogr. vol.4, p.186/1847].

Introduced to Britain in 1800.  [JD].  ‘The genus Ismene is distinguished from Hymenocallis and Pancratium by a curved tube, and round green seeds, and from Hymenocallis by its short conniving filaments, of which the upper three dip into the cup. […] The species of Ismene are, 1. Amancaes; 2. calathina; 3. nutans; which last is figured in this work, No. 1561, unde the name of P. calathinum, which was afterwards corrected.   The genus Ismene requires complete rest and drought in the winter; it thrives in the greenhouse, if not started too early in the season, better than in the stove.  [William Herbert in BM t.2685/1826].  FS f.440/1849.  

History at Camden Park

Listed in the 1845, 1850 and 1857 catalogues [B.266/1845].


Published May 17, 2009 - 01:03 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2012 - 12:18 PM

Shown are a line drawing of the whole plant, leaves and white, daffodil-like flowers.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1224/1809.

Ismene narcissiflora (Jacq.) M.Roem. | BM t.2685/1826 as Ismene calathina | BHL


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin


  • Hymenocallis narcissiflora (Jacq.) J.F.Macbr.
  • Hymenocallis calathina (Herb.) G.Nicholson
  • Ismene calathina Herb.
  • Ismene tagliabuei M.Roem.
  • Pancratium calathinum Ker Gawl.
  • Pancratium narcissiflorum Jacq.
  • Siphotoma calathina (Herb.) Raf.


Common Name

Peruvian daffodil

Name in the Camden Park Record

Ismene calathina 


Confidence level high