You may have heard of both of these blooms, but is there a true difference between a jonquil vs daffodil? Often named interchangeably, daffodils and jonquils do have some differences between them, but what might those be? And in what ways are jonquils and daffodils similar to one another?
In this article, we will compare and contrast jonquils with daffodils so that you can finally understand what makes them unique from one another. We will go over what they look like physically as well as what plant family they belong to. Finally, we will address which flower grows best in what region, and go over how you can best care for them. Let’s get started!
Comparing Jonquil vs Daffodil
|Scientific Classification||Narcissus jonquilla||Narcissus|
|Description||Bright and cheery flowers in a variety of colors, including yellow, white, and orange. Trumpet-shaped center surrounded by six large petals. Averages 6 to 12 inches tall, and can produce more than one flower per hollow stem. Leaves are multiple and dark green, with a rounded appearance||Showy flowers in a variety of colors, particularly yellow and white. Distinct trumpet shape in the center of six large petals is common across all varieties. Reaches an average of 1-2 feet tall, while some varieties reach 3 feet. Leaves are minimal and light green, with a flat, long shape that grows upright. Stem is hollow and sprouts one flower per stem, typically|
|Uses||Popular in many gardens as ornamentation, given their beautiful blooms and lovely fragrance||Popular in gardens, particularly as a deer repellant. Also used medicinally and for essential oils, given its light scent|
|Origin and Growing Preferences||Native to the Mediterranean; grows best in full sun to partial shade, with a preference for warmer climates||Native to Europe; grows best in full sun to partial shade, and thrives well in colder climates|
|Special Features and Fun Facts||The most common narcissus variety used in essential oil production!||An ancient flower, written about in ancient Greek myths as well as Shakespeare plays!|
Key Differences Between Jonquil vs Daffodil
There are a few distinct differences between jonquils and daffodils. For example, all jonquils are daffodils, but not all daffodils are jonquils. In addition, most jonquils sprout more than one bloom per stem, while daffodils only grow one flower per stem. Jonquils have more leaves compared to the average daffodil variety.
Let’s go over all of these differences in more detail now.
Jonquil vs Daffodil: Classification
Knowing the difference between the scientific classification of a jonquil versus a daffodil is easy enough when you realize that all jonquils are technically daffodils, but not all daffodils are jonquils. Both are members of the amaryllis family and the narcissus genus, but daffodils are the colloquial name for all narcissus plants, while jonquils are one specific variety of narcissus.
Jonquil vs Daffodil: Description
It’s unlikely that you will be able to tell the difference between a jonquil and a daffodil upon first glance, given that they are basically identical to one another. Both of these plants grow with distinct flowers, which have six large petals surrounding a central trumpet. Daffodils and jonquils come in a variety of colors, including yellow, white, orange, and pink. But what separates these two plants from one another physically?
One of the main differences between these two narcissus varieties is that jonquils sprout more than one flower per stem, while daffodils only have one flower per stem. In addition, jonquils have darker green leaves and more of them compared to the average daffodil, which typically has two to four leaves per plant. However, these are only subtle distinctions between the two, and most people refer to daffodils and jonquils as the same names, interchangeably.
Jonquil vs Daffodil: Uses
Daffodils and jonquils are often used interchangeably, given their similarities in uses and appearance. It is important to note that jonquils grow better in warmer climates, while daffodils grow better in colder climates. However, both are popular in the average household garden, particularly for deer control. Jonquils and daffodils are also used medicinally, and essential oils are frequently made from these fragrant blooms.
Jonquil vs Daffodil: Origin and How to Grow
Given that all jonquils are daffodils, they have similar origins and they also grow in a similar fashion. However, jonquils are native to the Mediterranean, particularly Spain, while daffodils are native to Europe. In addition, daffodils can tolerate the cold more than jonquils can, though both of these flowers grow best in full sunlight or partial shade. They are a fantastic addition to any garden, particularly if you enjoy the fact that these beautiful blooms traditionally herald the beginnings of spring!
Jonquil vs Daffodil: Special Features
Jonquils and daffodils are equally special, especially when you consider the fact that they are basically the same plant. Did you know that daffodils are a particularly ancient flower, often depicted in Greco-Roman myths as well as Shakespeare plays? The myth of Narcissus is of course reminiscent of daffodils, given their plant origins and scientific classifications.
For jonquils, this particular daffodil variety is the most common when it comes to essential oil manufacturing. This is likely because the average jonquil variety smells more potent and powerful compared to the average daffodil variety. However, all of these plants produce a pleasant scent that you are likely to enjoy in your own garden!
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