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 tazetta L.

Very variable bulbous perennial with erect, broad, twisted leaves and up to 20 sweetly scented flowers with white to bright yellow perianths and white to yellow cups in winter and spring.  To 50cm.  [RHSE, Hortus, Baker Am.].

Horticultural & Botanical History

Botanically described under this name by Linnaeus in 1753 [Sp. Pl. p.290/1753].

A very variable plant: ‘Of the multiform Tazetta narcissi, about 100 have received specific names.’  [Baker Am.].  ‘Tazzetta means “small-cup” and is the name given to these flowers in Italy from the shape of the crown.  Linnaeus has spelt it with one z instead of two.’  The plant figured here strongly resembles the common garden variety ‘Soleil d’or’ [BM t.925/1806]. 

See also Narcissus tazetta subsp. tazetta, Narcissus tazetta subsp. italicus, Narcissus tazetta subsp. tazetta var. trewianus, Narcissus tazetta L. subsp. tazetta var. floribundus, Narcissus tazetta L. subsp. tazetta ‘Baselman minor’ and Narcissus tazetta L. var. ‘Soleil d’Or’. 

‘A hardy species, but whether indigenous out of any garden I know not.  It forces well, and on this account, as well as the orange tint of its flowers, is much cultivated, though the odour is not the most agreeable.  When left to multiply in the open border, it produces comparatively few flowers in a bunch, unless the soil be very deep.’  [THS vol.1 p.361/1805-1812]. 

Johnson's Dictionary gives a date of introduction from Spain of 1596, although Paxton's Dictionary gives a later date, 1759.  Redouté L pl.17/1802-1815.


History at Camden Park

Listed in all published catalogues [B.349/1843].  Many narcissi are naturalised at Camden Park, particularly on Blarney Bank.  Most of these are tazettiforms with a strong affinity for many of the plants described in the Hortus, others are clearly of more recent origin.


Published May 22, 2009 - 04:52 PM | Last updated Jul 31, 2012 - 05:09 PM

Shown is multiflora narcissus with yellow perianth and orange cup + bulb and leaves.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1299, 1805.

Narcissus tazetta L. | Redouté L pl.17/1802-1815 | BHL


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Canary Islands through the Mediterranean and Syria to China and Japan

  • Hermione tazetta (L.) Haw.
  • Jonquilla tazetta (L.) Raf.
  • Narcissus linnaeanus Rouy
  • Narcissus tazetta subsp. eutazetta Briq.
  • Pancratium tazetta (L.) Sessé & Moc.


Common Name

Polyanthus narcissus, Jonquil

Name in the Camden Park Record

Narcissus tazetta 


Confidence level high