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 x compressus Haw. var. primulina

Narcissus x compressus Haw. is probably a hybrid between Narcissus jonquilla L. and Narcissus tazetta L., with characteristics intermediate between the two.  [RHSD].  The plant described as Narcissus intermedius by Baker has about four, deeply-channelled leaves and umbels of up to ten flowers with oblong, spreading, bright lemon-yellow perianth segments and short, cup-shaped, orange-yellow corona. According to this author Hermione primulina, which he considers a distinct variety of Narcissus intermedius Loisel., has imbricated segments and a corona with a spreading margin.  [Baker Am.]. The synonymy given here is for Narcissus x compressus Haw. rather than for primulina. The varietal name is included to assist differentiation.

Horticultural & Botanical History

Botanically described as Hermione primulina by Haworth in his Synopsis Plantarum Succulentarum in 1812 [Syn. Pl. Succ. p.329/1812]. Placed in Narcissus by Schultes in 1830 [Syst. Veg. vol.7, p.977/1830]. However Haworth had previously published the name Narcissus compressa and as primulina is now considered a form of this earlier plant the name generally accepted today is Narcissus x compressus [Trans. Linn. Soc. London vol.5, p.245/1800].

The plant referred to by Baker, described and illustrated in Curtis’s Botanical Magazine as Narcissus bifrons var. beta, has four flowers to the umbel, with bright yellow perianth segments and deeper yellow corona [BM t.1299/1810].  The segments are imbricated and broader than the type and the corona somewhat spreading as illustrated here.  However neither Narcissus primulinus Haw. nor Hermione primulina Haw. are mentioned as synonyms in the text although Hermione compressa Haw. is, the latter described by Baker as having a large plane 6-lobed corona [Baker Am.]

Dietrich gives Narcissus compressus Haw. and Narcissus bifrons Sims as synonyms of Narcissus primulinus Haw. [Vollständiges Lexicon der Gärtnerei und Botanik p.114/1837], in agreement with the identification given here.

History at Camden Park

Listed only in the 1857 catalogue [B.348/1857].


Narcissus primulinus is also given as a synonym of Narcissus bertolonii Parlatore [1858] var. primulinus Maire [1959].  [RHS - Botanical names in the genus Narcissus].  This is very unlikely to be Macarthur’s plant.

Published May 22, 2009 - 04:34 PM | Last updated Aug 08, 2012 - 03:08 PM

Illustrated is a narcissus with yellow perianth and deep yellow cup.  Curtis's Botanical Magazine t.1299, 1805.

Narcissus x compressus Haw. var. primulina | BM t.1299/1810 as Narcissus bifrons var. beta | BHL


Family Amaryllidaceae
Region of origin


  • Hermione × alba Haw.
  • Hermione × bifrons Salisb.
  • Hermione × compressa (Haw.) Haw.
  • Hermione × longiflora (Willd.) M.Roem.
  • Hermione × primulina Haw.
  • Hermione × radiata (Delile) M.Roem.
  • Hermione × tripartita (Hornem.) M.Roem.
  • Narcissus × intermedius Loisel.
  • Narcissus linnaeanus subsp. intermedius (Loisel.) Rouy
  • Narcissus × longiflorus Willd.
  • Narcissus × primulinus (Haw.) Schult. & Schult.f.
  • Narcissus × radiatus Delile
  • Narcissus × tripartitus Hornem.
  • Tityrus × compressus (Haw.) Salisb.


Common Name

Cowslip-cupped narcissus

Name in the Camden Park Record

Narcissus primulinus 

Confidence level high