Tuesday, April 28, 2009


The little sweeties seen in the image above are true jonquils. Each flower is about the size of a penny and has a potent, characteristic fragrance.

Just when gardeners new to the genus Narcissus think they have gotten straight the usages of the words daffodil and narcissus, they no doubt encounter the generally dubious usage of the word jonquil. The etymology helps here: jonquil itself is derived from the Latin word for rush, juncus. Have you ever seen the foliage of a rush? Jonquil foliage looks like rush foliage: very thin, superficially tube-like but actually not round in cross section. From that, it’s an easy step to the point of view (encouraged here if not everywhere) that no daffodil with flat leaves is a jonquil.

No comments: