Root bulbous (in all European genera). Leaves radical.; Perianth petal-like, with 6 segments. Stamens 6, the anthers turned inwards. Ovary 3-celled, inferior or adherent to the perianth-tube. Fruit a capsule with several seeds, and 3-valved.

A large family, widely distributed over the globe, but chiefly in dry, sunny countries.

Narcissus L

Flowers solitary, or several together, terminal. Perianth with a distinct tube above the ovary, and 6 usually spreading segments, with a cup-shaped or tubular white or coloured crown at their base, round the orifice of the tube.

A well-defined genus of few real species, chiefly South European or Caucasian.

Narcissus Pseudo-Narcissus L. Daffodil

Bulb rather large. Leaves usually 2 or 3, about a foot long when fully grown and 1/2 inch wide, bluish green. Stem rather taller with a single, large, yellow flower. Perianth-tube about an inch long, wider at the top, the segments ovate or oblong, paler yellow. Crown slightly 6-lobed or wavy at the margin.

Meadows, orchards, and pastures, especially in the mountains and sub-Alps, and extending to 6000 feet, as at Saas Fee. March to June, according to situation.


Most of temperate and Southern Europe. British.

Narcissus Poeticus L. Poet's Narcissus

Flowers large, usually solitary, white, with yellow crown and red crenulated border, very fragrant.

Meadows and orchards, often abundant though local, and occasionally, as at Mt. Cenis and Saas Fee, reaching 6000 feet. It usually flowers in April and May, but later in the higher altitudes.

According to Keller and Schinz, it is only sub-spontaneous in Switzerland! In the Eastern Pyrenees it reaches 5000 feet.


Central and Southern Europe.

A beautiful reproduction of a photograph showing how this Narcissus grows in fields at Chateau d'Oex appears in the Journ. of the Royal Hort. Soc. (1911), Part 1, illustrating a paper by Monsieur Correvon on Alpine Gardens.

Narcissus Angustifolius Curtis

This is perhaps only an Alpine variety of the last, with narrower leaves, and rather smaller flowers with narrower divisions.

It is found in meadows of the Swiss Alps, sub-Alps, and Jura, and descends to the plain.

Narcissus Biflorus Curtis

Flowers usually in pairs, cream-coloured, sweet-scented. Perianth-tube slender, about an inch long, segments rather shorter, oval; crown very short, concave or broadly cup-shaped, slightly crenate, yellow.

Meadows in Southern and Western Europe, Italy, Tyrol. April, May.

Introduced into England. In Switzerland it is probably native about Bex, Locarno, Bellinzona, and several places in Valais.

Narcissus Incomparabilis Miller

Leaves almost flat. Perianth segments pale yellow, twice as long as the lobed corona.

In Switzerland found only near Lugano and at one or two places in Valais. It is native in Provence, Italy, and Spain.

Galanthus L. Galanthus Nivalis L. Snowdrop

The snowdrop is found occasionally in Swiss meadows, orchards, and thickets, and flowers in February and March; but it barely reaches the sub-alpine regions.


Central and Southern Europe, extending eastward to the Caucasus and northward to Central Germany. In Britain probably not indigenous.

Leucojum L

Like Galanthus, but scape 1-6 flowered. Petals larger. Leaves more numerous and broader.

Leucojum Vernum L. Spring Snowflake

Stem 8-18 inches high, springing from a rather large bulb and bearing a handsome, white, usually solitary blossom, drooping and scented. Style broadly club-shaped. The 'petals' usually have a greenish yellow spot at the top, as do those of the Summer Snow-flake. Corolla campanulate, with free divisions.

Damp meadows and woods in the mountains and lower Alps. Widely spread in Switzerland, flowering in February and March, and sold in the market at Geneva, etc.


Central Europe.