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 jonquilla L.

Erect to spreading, narrow, semi-cylindrical leaves and heads of up to 5 strongly-scented, golden yellow flowers, with small, pointed perianths and tiny, flat cups, in spring.  To 30cm.  There are a number of varieties varying in stature or form of flower.  The narcissi often given the common name of ‘Jonquil’ are usually tazettiformes.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described by Linnaeus in 1753 [Sp. Pl. p.290/1753].

‘The fragrant jonquil is a native of Spain, flowers in the open ground, about the latter-end of April, or beginning May,  and will thrive in almost any soil or situation, but prefers, as most bulbs do, a fresh loamy earth; indeed such soil is favourable to the growth of most plants, as being exempt from a variety of subterraneous insects, which are apt to infest ground which has been long cultivated.  It is found in the gardens with double flowers.  Our plant accords exactly with the description of Linnaeus above quoted, but must be carefully distinguised from some others very similar to it.’  [BM t.15/1787]. 

‘A general favourite in most gardens where it is either grown as a hardy spring bulb or forced for the sake of its brilliant, golden-yellow, sweetly perfumed flowers.’  [Burbidge].  Introduced to Britain in 1596.  [JD].  THS vol.1 p.358/1805-1812.

History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.341/1843].  Probably the plant received per ‘Sovereign’ in February 1831 under the name of Jonquil.  [MP A2948].


Published May 18, 2009 - 06:41 PM | Last updated Jul 16, 2012 - 04:57 PM

Illustrated are bulb, narrow leaf and bright yellow flower with small cup.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.15, 1787.

Narcissus jonquilla L. | BM t.15/1787 | BHL


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin


  • Narcissus juncifolius Salisb.
  • Hermione jonquilla (L.) Haw.
  • Hermione juncifolia Salsb.
  • Jonquilla juncifolius Fourr.
  • Queltia jonquilla (L.) Herb.
  • Queltia juncifolia Salisb.
  • Tityrus jonquilla (L.) Salisb.


Common Name

Wild jonquille

Name in the Camden Park Record

Narcissus Jonquilla 


Confidence level high