What Is The Difference Between Daffodils And Jonquils?

What Is The Difference Between Daffodils And Jonquils?

What Is The Difference Between Daffodils And Jonquils?

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Those first blooms of the year that brighten up late winter with their vibrant yellow and white blooms go by different names. There are folks that call them all daffodils, and others call them all jonquils. The common names by which these blooms are known are often regional, so although what you call them may depend on where you live, it may not be correct. While most people know these flowers as either daffodils or jonquils, there are others that call them narcissus, a name which is technically accurate since both varieties fall within that family of plants.

Before we get to the differences between these two plants, let’s talk about the similarities. Both daffodils and jonquils grow from bulbs and make beautiful additions to flower beds. The greens of these blooms are among the first to emerge from the ground, along with tulips and hyacinths, offering a reminder of warmer days ahead. These plants are exceptionally hardy and tolerant of cold temperatures and should be planted in the fall if you want to enjoy spring blooms. Although it can be difficult to tell them apart, jonquils and daffodils are not the same flowers, and each has its own distinct features.

Differences between daffodils and jonquils

a collection of narcissus flowers


The bright blooms of daffodils are most commonly found in regions that experience a cold winter, including USDA hardiness zones 8 and colder. The most common varieties of these blooms have a trumpet-shaped center encircled by six petals that taper to a slim tip. While the basic structure of daffodils is similar, they come in different colors, such as orange, yellow, white, and pink. Some varieties of daffodils may have a light scent, although they are not known for their fragrance.

It is difficult to determine from a distance if a flower is a jonquil, but the region in which it is growing and a few other features offer distinct differences. Jonquils are often found in warm regions south of zone 8, but there is certainly some overlap in the areas where both daffodils and jonquils grow. Jonquils also come in shades of yellow and orange, with a center cup surrounded by petals. One distinguishing feature of jonquils is that they can have up to five flowers per stem, whereas daffodils only have one. Another difference between these two beautiful flowers is that jonquils are much more fragrant than daffodils. Since this family of narcissus blooms is low maintenance and easy to grow, you cannot go wrong with either option; just make sure you get the right variety for your region.

✿ Read More About Flowers.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.