1. Homepage
  2. »
  3. Blog
  4. »
  5. Guide
  6. »
  7. Flora & fauna
  8. »
  9. Jonquils – A flowery beauty with secrets

Jonquils – A flowery beauty with secrets

Jonquils – A flowery beauty with secrets

The Essentials

What is the difference between jonquils and daffodils?

The main difference is in their fragrance and appearance – jonquils have a sweet and intense fragrance with several smaller flowers per stem, while daffodils have a larger, single, trumpet-shaped flower and do not have the same strong fragrance. Read more!

Where do jonquils grow the best?

Jonquils grow best in well-drained soil with plenty of sunlight, ideally around 6 hours of direct sunlight a day, and they appreciate some protection from strong winds and harsh weather conditions. Click here for more useful information!

Where does the name ‘jonquil’ originate from?

The name ‘Jonquil’ comes from the Spanish word ‘jonquillo’, meaning ‘rush’ or ‘reed’, a reference to the slender, cylindrical leaves and stems that characterize the plant. Find out more about the history and meaning of this plant here!

Prepare for a journey into the realm of nature’s delicate wonders. Amidst vibrant gardens and under the embrace of the sun, an enchanting flower known as ‘Jonquils’ beckons with its unique allure. As we delve into the world of these flowers, you’ll discover a symphony of fragrance, colour and history that promises to captivate your senses and arouse your curiosity. So let’s enter the world of jonquils, where beauty and intrigue intertwine in a fragrant tapestry of nature’s artistry.

Distinguishing jonquils from daffodils

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, was an avid gardener and had a fondness for jonquils.

Welcome, garden lovers and curious minds! Today we’re going to embark on a journey to discover the subtle but fascinating differences between two popular spring flowers: jonquils and daffodils. These charming flowers are often used interchangeably, but each has unique characteristics that make them stand out. Let’s delve into the world of these flowers and explore their differences, historical titbits, growing tips and more.

Getting to know jonquils and daffodils

At first glance, jonquils and daffodils both belong to the genus Narcissus, a group of flowering plants known for their bright appearance and enchanting scents. However, they are distinct members of this family, each with their own characteristics that set them apart.

Jonquils: A fragrant delight

Characteristics: Jonquils (Narcissus jonquilla) are known for their exquisite fragrance and delicate, delicate flowers. Their flowers typically have several blooms per stem, creating a visually appealing cluster. Jonquils have slender leaves and stems that are often cylindrical in shape.

Distinctive characteristics: One of the main characteristics that distinguishes jonquils from daffodils is their scent. The aroma of jonquils is often described as sweet and intense, filling the air with a seductive scent that can easily captivate any garden enthusiast. In addition, their smaller and more numerous flowers give them a distinctive appearance compared to the larger, single flowers of daffodils.

Daffodils: A splash of spring colour

Characteristics: Daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus) are known for their striking and vibrant presence. These flowers typically have a single flower per stem with a central trumpet-shaped corona surrounded by petals. Daffodils often have wider leaves and sturdier stems than jonquils.

Distinctive features: The trumpet-shaped corona of daffodils is a key feature that sets them apart. This trumpet, often in a contrasting colour to the surrounding petals, gives daffodils their iconic appearance. They may lack the intense fragrance of jonquils, but daffodils make up for it with a wide range of colours and a bold visual impact.

Additional information: Daffodils have a rich history dating back to Ancient Greece, where they were associated with the story of Narcissus. According to Greek mythology, Narcissus was a beautiful young man who was cursed to fall in love with someone he couldn’t have and thus fell for his own reflection and was transformed into the flower that bears his name after he had died.

Growing tips and safety precautions


  • Planting: Jonquils thrive in well-drained soil and prefer full to partial sun.
  • Spacing: Plant bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart and 4 to 6 inches deep.
  • Watering: Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season, but avoid stagnant moisture.
  • Safety: Although jonquils are not highly toxic, it’s wise to handle them with care and avoid ingesting any part of the plant.


  • Planting: Daffodils prefer well-drained soil and can tolerate a range of light conditions from full sun to partial shade.
  • Spacing: Plant bulbs about 4-6 inches apart and 6-8 inches deep.
  • Watering: Similar to jonquils, keep the soil moist without excessive watering.
  • Safety: Daffodils contain toxic compounds that can be harmful if ingested. Keep them out of the reach of children and pets.

Additional information: In the language of flowers, jonquils symbolize ‘desire’, while daffodils represent ‘new beginnings’. Both jonquils and daffodils have been admired by artists and poets throughout history, inspiring countless works of art and literature.

Thriving Jonquils: Growing Nature’s Fragrant Gems

In some cultures, jonquils are a symbol of joy and good fortune. They make a lovely addition to wedding bouquets.

Greetings, fellow gardeners! Let’s delve into the world of jonquils and uncover the secrets of creating an oasis where these fragrant flowers can thrive. With your curiosity as our guide, we’ll explore the ideal conditions, historical significance, growing tips and more to help you create the most enchanting jonquil garden.

The perfect habitat: Where jonquils thrive

Jonquils, with their delicate beauty and captivating fragrance, thrive in conditions that mimic their natural habitat. Here’s what you need to know to create the perfect environment for these lovely flowers.

  1. Sun-kissed splendour: Jonquils are sun-lovers. They thrive when they receive plenty of sunlight and usually need at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. Plant them in a location that offers a balance of sunlight and some shade during the hottest parts of the day.
  2. Well-drained soil: One of the most important factors in growing healthy jonquils is providing well-drained soil. These plants don’t like waterlogged conditions, so choose a spot where the soil drains well and doesn’t retain excess moisture.
  3. Protection from harsh elements: Although jonquils are hardy plants, they appreciate some protection from strong winds and severe weather. Planting them near a natural windbreak, such as a fence or other sturdy plants, can help shield them from the harshest elements.

Additional information: Throughout history, jonquils have often been associated with affection, desire and rebirth. Their bright yellow hues symbolize joy and optimism, making them a treasured gift for loved ones. Jonquils are native to the Mediterranean region, where they’ve been admired for centuries. Their cultivation and popularity spread to various parts of the world, making them a popular addition to gardens worldwide.

Growing tips and safety precautions

  1. Planting time: For best results, plant Jonquil bulbs in autumn, ideally a few weeks before the first frost. This gives them time to establish their root systems before winter sets in.
  2. Planting depth and spacing: Plant Jonquil bulbs about 6 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. This spacing allows each bulb to receive adequate nutrients and prevents overcrowding.
  3. Topdressing: Incorporate a balanced flower bulb food into the soil before planting. A light top dressing can also be applied in the spring when the foliage emerges to encourage healthy growth.

Advice: Although jonquils are not considered to be highly toxic, it’s important to handle them with care. Some people may experience skin irritation on contact. As a precaution, wear gloves when handling jonquils, especially if you have sensitive skin. If ingested, these plants may cause a mild upset stomach.

Bestseller No. 1
Alex and Ani (March Bangle of The Month) Jonquil Flower EWB, Shiny Silver, One Size
Alex and Ani (March Bangle of The Month) Jonquil Flower EWB, Shiny Silver, One Size
Enliven your heart, radiate vibrant energy.; Package Weight: 0.023 kilograms; Package Dimensions: 2.286 L x 15.24 H x 12.446 W (centimeters)
$25.00 Amazon Prime

The origin of the name ‘Jonquil’

Today we’ll take a fragrant journey back in time to discover the fascinating origins of the name ‘jonquil’. As we explore the etymology, historical significance and cultural connections, you’ll gain a deeper understanding of the rich tapestry that weaves this enchanting word into the world of flora.

Etymology: Uncovering the roots

The name ‘Jonquil’ has a history as colourful as the flowers it represents. Derived from the Spanish word ‘jonquillo’, meaning ‘rush’ or ‘reed’, it captures the essence of the slender, cylindrical leaves and stems that define the jonquil plant. The Spanish word can be traced back to the Latin word ‘juncus’, which also means ‘rush’ or ‘reed’.

Historical significance: A fragrant heritage

  1. Mediterranean beginnings: The jonquil’s journey begins in the Mediterranean, where it has been cultivated and admired for centuries. Its delicate appearance and captivating fragrance made it a favourite of garden lovers and poets alike.
  2. Symbolism and meaning: Jonquils have often been associated with positive feelings throughout history. In the language of flowers, they symbolize ‘desire’, representing an unspoken longing or yearning. This symbolism has found its way into various cultural traditions and literary works.

Cultural connections: Jonquils around the world

  • Spain and Europe: The name ‘jonquil’ itself comes from the Spanish language, reflecting the flower’s presence and influence in the European region. Jonquils have been cherished throughout Spain and other parts of Europe, capturing hearts with their alluring fragrance.
  • Southern United States: In the southern United States, jonquils have cultural significance and are often associated with spring and renewal. They have become a cherished part of the region’s botanical landscape, blooming in gardens and landscapes to herald the arrival of warmer days.

The allure of jonquils

Jonquils, with their delicate flowers and captivating fragrance, are nature’s embodiment of desire and beauty. From their historical significance to their cultural symbolism, these flowers have woven themselves into the fabric of human appreciation of the natural world. Whether gracing Mediterranean gardens or adorning landscapes in various corners of the globe, jonquils continue to enchant hearts and senses with their timeless charm.