Narcissus of Arkansas
The genus Narcissus
, in the Liliaceae/Amaryllidaceae family, is native predominantly to Europe, with a few species in Asia and northern Africa. The genus is comprised of about 25–30 species and hybrid taxa, but hundreds of horticultural varieties and forms exist. The bulbs are poisonous, containing the phenanthridine alkaloids narcissine and lycorine, at least one glycoside, and needle–shaped raphide crystals, which are comprised of calcium oxylate. In the United States, several species, hybrids, and cultivars of Narcissus are cultivated, and some have become naturalized in the flora. Eleven taxa are spontaneous, naturalized, or at least readily persistent from cultivation in Arkansas (see below). Additionally, Narcissus bulbocodium
(petticoat daffodil), is occasionally cultivated in Arkansas, and is apparently naturalized in adjacent Louisiana. Finally, Narcissus triandrus
(angel’s tears) is sometimes cultivated in Arkansas, and could be encountered persisting from cultivation.
Of the 11 Narcissus
taxa that are regularly to occasionally encountered in the Arkansas flora, five taxa:
1. Narcissus jonquilla
2. Narcissus poeticus
(poet’s narcissus; pheasant’s eye);
3. Narcissus pseudonarcissus
(trumpet narcissus; daffodil);
4. Narcissus papyraceus
(paper–white narcissus, though some botanists consider N. papyraceus
to be conspecific with N. tazetta
5. Narcissus tazetta
(polyanthus narcissus) are considered distinct species.
Whereas, six other Narcissus
taxa of hybrid origin (the identity of Arkansas material of N. Xtenuior
6. Narcissus Xincomparabilis
(nonsuch narcissus; peerless narcissus), hybrid between N. pseudonarcissus
and N. poeticus
7. Narcissus Xintermedius
(star jonquil), hybrid between N. jonquilla
and N. tazetta
8. Narcissus Xmedioluteus
(N. biflorus) (twin sisters), hybrid between N. poeticus
and N. tazetta
9. Narcissus Xodorus
(campernelle jonquil), hybrid between N. pseudonarcissus
and N. jonquilla
10. Narcissus Xtenuior
(N. Xgracilis) (slender narcissus), possible hybrid between N. jonquilla
and N. poeticus
11. Narcissus sp.
(hybrid of uncertain origin), are intersectional hybrids from combinations of species 1–5. These hybrids are sterile, but because of extensive cultivation are often as widespread in and outside of cultivation as their progenitor species.
Establishment in the Arkansas flora is through sexual and asexual reproduction (asexual reproduction only with the intersectional hybrids), and probably additionally through one or more of the following ways: 1. abandonment and subsequent deterioration of old home sites (provides the illusion of spontaneity and/or naturalization in that area), 2. movement of bulbs to different areas by erosion, animals, or garden/farm equipment, and 3. transplantation by people. Each of these factors, along with extensive cultivation, probably contributes to the extremely widespread distribution of Narcissus species in Arkansas and much of the United States. Narcissus
, along with many other plants in the Liliaceae/Amaryllidaceae, are morphologically similar to the closely related Iridaceae (iris family). This similarity sometimes causes problems with family identification for individual plants, but by using a few key characters of the flower and vegetative plant body, the family identity of a plant in question can, for the most part, easily be determined (see Iridaceae for details).
List of Taxa
Scientific Name:Narcissus bulbocodium L.
Common Name: petticoat daffodil
Scientific Name: Narcissus Xincomparabilis Mill.
Common Name: peerless daffodil; nonesuch daffodil
Scientific Name: Narcissus Xintermedius Loisel.
Common Name: star jonquil
Scientific Name: Narcissus jonquilla L.
Common Name: jonquil
Scientific Name: Narcissus Xmedioluteus Mill. (N. biflorus Curt.)
Common Name: primrose peerless narcissus; twin sisters
Scientific Name: Narcissus Xodorus L.
Common Name: Campernelle jonquil
Scientific Name: Narcissus papyraceus Ker-Gawl.
Common Name: paper-white narcissus
Scientific Name: Narcissus poeticus L.
Common Name: pheasant's eye; poet's narcissus
Scientific Name: Narcissus pseudonarcissus L.
Common Name: daffodil; trumpet narcissus
Scientific Name: Narcissus tazetta L.
Common Name: polyanthus narcissus
Scientific Name: Narcissus Xtenuior Curt. (N. Xgracilis Sab.)
Common Name: slender narcissus
Scientific Name: Narcissus triandrus L.
Common Name: angel's tears
Scientific Name: Narcissus sp.
Common name: narcissus
Narcissus species key
representative herbarium specimens
basic Narcissus morphology
Non-native Woody Plants of Arkansas
Brett E. Serviss, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Henderson State University
Arkadelphia, AR 71999-0001
Phone: (870) 230-5158
Last updated: 16 November 2011
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