Difference between Jonquil and Daffodil

Key Difference: Jonquils and daffodils are members of the narcissus genus. Jonquils refer to a specific type of daffodil known as Narcissus jonquila. They are mostly identified by their dark green, tube-shaped leaves. Daffodils are hardy and easy perennials to grow in most areas in North America, except Southern Florida. They are mostly identified with their flat leaves.

There is a common confusion between the terms: Jonquil and Daffodil. The Jonquil and Daffodil are in the same genus Narcissus, but are from different families. Though they appear to be the same, the botanists have separated them due to some slight physical distinctiveness. They are mainly divided according to size, color, growth habit and other characteristics.

Merriam-Webster defines Jonquils as “a Mediterranean perennial bulbous herb (Narcissus jonquilla) of the amaryllis family with long linear leaves that is widely cultivated for its yellow or white fragrant short-tube clustered flowers.” The jonquil was derived from the Spanish junquillo, from the Latin “juncos”, meaning “rush”. It is the term mainly refers to a specific type of daffodil, known as Nacissus jonquilla. Their dark green, tube-shaped leaves are the easiest identification. Although it looks similar to daffodil, it has more than one bloom (blossom), sometime two blooms, or sometimes a cluster of blooms to the stem. The corolla and its length is the one of the identifying characteristic. It comes in white, yellow and peach; where jonquil only has yellow corolla, daffodils can come in any of the hues.

Oxford Dictionary defines daffodil as, “a bulbous European plant which typically bears bright yellow flowers with a long trumpet-shaped centre (corona).” The daffodil was derived from an earlier “affodell”, an alternative of Asphodel. They basically grow from a true bulb. However, most people use the word “daffodil” when referring to the large, trumpet-shaped flowers of the Narcassius pseudonarcissus. They are usually planted with ground covers rather than deep-rooted and tall-growing ones. Daffodils tend to compose the larger flowering varieties of Narcissus. The daffodil flower color varies from white through yellow to deep orange.

Comparison between Jonquil and Daffodil:

















Liliaceae or Amaryllidaceae








Trumpet of the flower

There are different colors of jonquils like creamy yellow, butter yellow and orange coronas.

Different colors of daffodils are white yellow, deep yellow and deep orange coronas.


Jonquils only have a yellow corolla.

Daffodils can come in any of the hues.


Jonquils are extremely fragrant.

Daffodils are less fragrant as compared to Jonquils.


Jonquils have rounded stems.

Daffodils have long and slender stems.

Height of the flower

They grow about 16 inches in height.

They range from ½ inch blooms on 2-inch stems to giant 5-inch blooms on 2-foot stems.


It has more than one bloom to the stem.

It has only one bloom to the stem.

Image Courtesy: commons.wikimedia.org, countryhartdesigns.blogspot.com

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