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 subsp. italicus (Ker-Gawl.) Baker

See Narcissus tazetta L. for a description of the species.  Italicus is similar to Narcissus tazetta but with pointed, creamy-white perianths and yellow cups.  Early flowering.  [RHSD, Baker Am.].  

Horticultural & Botanical History

First botanically described as Narcissus italicus by Ker Gawler in 1809 [BM t.1188/1809]. Recognised as a subspecies of Narcissus tazetta L. by Baker in 1888 [Baker Am.]. 

‘Probably a native of Italy.  In the parcels of Bulbs of this genus, which are annually imported from thence by the Seedsmen, we have never met with any others than those of italicus, papyraceus (No. 947) and the two varieties of orientalis already figured in Nos. 1011 and 1026.  Tazetta was never among them.  All four being very closely allied, and having been usually considered varieties of each other’.  [BM t.1188/1809]. 

‘A tender species, hardly worth cultivating here; for its flowers have a sickly hue, as if they had been deprived of light, changing, as Parkinson remarks, to “a more sullen yellow colour”, and they come out later than most of the others, which is no recommendation in forcing.  I believe it grows wild in the Island of Cyprus.’  [THS vol.1 p.358/1805-1812].

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [B.343/1857].


The Royal Horticultural Society’s Botanical names in the genus Narcissus considers Narcissus italicus Ker-Gawl. to be a valid species.  I have included it here as a subspecies of Narcissus tazetta L., following J. G. Baker, for ease of comparison with other Narcissi listed in the Hortus.  The latter name is accepted as valid by The Plant List.

Published May 20, 2009 - 10:21 AM | Last updated Aug 07, 2012 - 04:44 PM

Illustrated is a narcissus with white perianth and small, pale yellow cup.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1188, 1809.

Narcissus tazetta L. subsp. italicus (Ker-Gawl.) Baker | BM t.1188/1809 | BHL


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin

Probably Mediterranean, but according to Baker extending from the Canary Islands to China.  [Baker Am.].

  • Narcissus italicus Ker-Gawl.
  • Hermione chlorotica Jord. & Fourr.
  • Hermione italica (Ker Gawl.) Haw.
  • Hermione lacticolor Haw.
  • Hermione pratensis Jord. & Fourr.
  • Narcissus aschersonii Bolle
  • Narcissus auranticoronus Spach
  • Narcissus biancae Tod.
  • Narcissus bicchianus Parl.
  • Narcissus byzantinus Turra ex Marz.-Penc.
  • Narcissus caucasicus (Fomin) Gorschk.
  • Narcissus citrinus Link
  • Narcissus constantinopolitanus Boiss.
  • Narcissus crenulatus Haw.
  • Narcissus crispicoronus Spach
  • Narcissus decorus Spach
  • Narcissus flexiflorus Spach
  • Narcissus floribundus Schult. & Schult.f.
  • Narcissus grandicrenatus Parl.
  • Narcissus lacticolor (Haw.) Steud.
  • Narcissus lanzae Lojac.
  • Narcissus linnaeanus subsp. italicus (Ker Gawl.) Rouy
  • Narcissus neglectus subsp. biancae (Tod.) Nyman
  • Narcissus obliquus Guss.
  • Narcissus ochroleucus Loisel.
  • Narcissus patulus var. tinei (Tod. ex Parl.) Nyman
  • Narcissus praecox Ten.
  • Narcissus pseuditalicus (Rouy) Prain
  • Narcissus redoutei Sweet
  • Narcissus sardous Martelli
  • Narcissus spiralis Parl.
  • Narcissus stellatus DC.
  • Narcissus subalbidus Loisel.
  • Narcissus tazetta subsp. lacticolor (Haw.) Baker
  • Narcissus tenorei Parl.
  • Narcissus tenuiflorus Schult. & Schult.f.
  • Narcissus tinei Tod. ex Parl.


Common Name

Italian jonquil

Name in the Camden Park Record

Narcissus Italicus 


Confidence level high