Thursday, February 19, 2009

A flower by any other name...

I've finally gone completely off the deep end, and completely off-topic in this blog about Route 66 and Afton Station. But now that daffodils/narcissus/jonquils are blooming here in Oklahoma, I've been in a couple of discussions about which of those names are correct. This morning, I was determined to find out the answer, and I did. Well, here it is, although I think I'm even more confused now. LOL! However, I've been arguing for the name "daffodil" all along, so now I think I have some vindication that I was correct. This is according to The American Daffodil Society:

What is the difference between daffodils and narcissus?

None. The two words are synonyms. Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for all daffodils, just as ilex is for hollies. Daffodil is the common name for all members of the genus Narcissus, and its use is recommended by the ADS at all times other than in scientific writing.

What is a jonquil?

In some parts of the country any yellow daffodil is called a jonquil, usually incorrectly. As a rule, but not always, jonquil species and hybrids are characterized by several yellow flowers, strong scent, and rounded foliage. The hybrids are confined to Division 7 and the term "jonquil" should be applied only to daffodils in Division 7 or species in Division 13 known to belong to the jonquil group.

Here's a jonquil from Division 7, just for comparison. See the rounded leaves and more than one bloom per stalk. That's what causes it to be called a jonquil, although it's still a daffodil. :-)


Beth said...

I've always called them daffodils, but my Mom calls them jonquils. I had no idea they are also the narcissus!

Anonymous said...

I think you'd go more off the deep end if you religiously stayed on topic all the time, No Matter What.
We all go naturally off-topic at times. I owned a flower business many years ago & they always came wholesale labeled: Daffodils, so that is good enough for me.
I was having a word argument with someone today. He says octopi(plural of octopus) and I say octopodes. I think I'm right; he thinks he's right :-). ~Mary