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. tazetta var. floribundus

See Narcissus tazetta L. for a description of the species.  Narcissus tazetta L. subsp. tazetta, first coined in 1812 in the Transactions of the Horticultural Society [THS vol.1, p.362/1812], is now the accepted name for tazettiform narcissi with pure white segments and yellow corona. Baker describes 3 major series of N. tazetta: Tazettinae bicolores with white segments and yellow corona; Tazettinae albae with white segments and corona; and Tazettinae luteae with segments and corona both yellow. In addition Baker provides descriptions of a number of subspecies and varieties. In terms of distinguishing the several forms grown by William Macarthur, Baker’s system is rather helpful and is also given here [Baker Am.]. Macarthur’s Narcissus floribundus is probably Baker’s Narcissus tazetta L. subsp. lacticolor var. polyanthus.

The illustration used here, of tazettiformes growing at Camden Park today, includes representatives of all three of Baker’s series. Many more forms grow in the gardens.

Baker describes floribundus as a Tazettinae bicolores, differing little from the type.  [Baker Am.].  Grey describes it as originating from the French Riviera and having 12-20 flowers per stem, with pure white segments and pale sulphur-yellow corona, ageing to white, which seems very close to Narcissus polyanthos Loisel., described as a Tazzetinae albae by Baker.  [Baker Am.].


Horticultural & Botanical History

Almost certainly synonymous with Hermione floribunda of Salisbury, a form of Narcissus tazetta common in Britain in the early 19th century: ‘My plant, which is the Grande Primo Citrioniere of our shops, with a truncated crown, more like that of the Soleil D’or, and never lobed or split in any that I have seen.  In deep moist loam it generally produces from ten to fourteen flowers on the principal stalk, and being very hardy, I can recommend it strongly for general cultivation. […] Some years ago I gained admittance into the grounds of Mr. Daniel Carter, at Fulham, who has long cultivated large quantities of Polyanthus Narcissusses for sale, and was surprised to find all the crop nearly gathered, though very early in the season.  His son, however, explained the mystery, by taking me into  a large barn, which was filled with the gathered flowers, blowing in pans of water; and he told me that by doing this, the bulbs continued to produce as abundant crops every year, as new ones imported from Holland.’  [THS vol.1 p.362/1805-1812].

History at Camden Park

Narcissus floribundus is only listed in the 1843 catalogue.


Narcissus polyanthus Loisel. is considered a true species in the RHS Botanical names in the genus Narcissus.  It is given as a synonym of Narcissus tazetta L. var. polyanthus here.


Published May 23, 2009 - 03:27 PM | Last updated Aug 08, 2012 - 02:07 PM

The photograph shows a wide range of tazettiform narcissi in shades of white, yellow and orange. Photo Colin Mills.

Narcissus tazetta L. varieties | Blarney Bank, Camden Park | Photograph Colin Mills


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin


  • Narcissus tazetta subsp. lacticolor (Haw.) Baker var. polyanthus
  • Narcissus floribundus Schult. & Schult.f.
  • Narcissus polyanthos Loisel.
  • Hermione floribunda Salisb.


Common Name

Polyanthus narcissus

Name in the Camden Park Record

Narcissus floribundus 


Confidence level high