The Gardeners Dictionary - 1741
Philip Miller

LILIO-NARCISSUS; Lily-daffodil.

The Characters are;

It hath a coated, bulbous Root; the Flower is shaped like a Lily, consisting of six Leaves, and is covered with a membranaceous Sheath like the Narcissus; the Fruit succeeds the Flower in the same Form of the Narcissus; is oblong or roundish, and divided into three Cells, which are filled with roundish Seeds.

The Species are;

1. Lilio-Narcissus; Indicus, saturato colore purpurascens. Mor. Hist. The Lily-daffodil, of a deep purple-colour.

2. Lilio-Narcissus; Indicus, flore albo, exterius rubente. Tourn. Indian Lily-daffodil, with a white Flower, which is reddish on the Outside. [Atamasco]

3. Lilio-Narcissus; polyanthos, flore incarnato, fundo ex luteo albescente. Sloan. Cat. Many-flowered Lily-daffodil, with a Carnation Flower, having a whitish-yellow Bottom, commonly called in the West Indies, Red Lily. [Amaryllis Belladonna Linn.]

4. Lilio-Narcissus; Japonicus, rutilo flore. Mor. Hist. The Japan Lily-daffodil, commonly called the Guernsey Lily. [Nerine sarniensis]

5. Lilio-Narcissus; folio latissimo, floribus niveis inodoris. Tourn. Lily-daffodil with a very broad Leaf, and snowy Flowers without Scent.

6. Lilio-Narcissus; Indicus, Narcissus liliflorus aureas, striis argenteis pictus, floribus amplis cernuis gemellis, caule magno, cepa fistuloso. Pluk. Phy. Indian Lily-daffodil with ample gold-coloured Flowers spotted with silver, and a large hollow Stalk. [Amaryllis striata Lamarck]

7. Lilio-Narcissus; Indicus, flore incarnato, lineis albis striato odorato. Indian Lily-daffodil, with a Carnation-flower striped with white Lines, and of a sweet Scent; commonly called The Bella donna Lily. [Cape Belladonna]

8. Lilio-Narcissus; luteus autumnalis minor, Tourn. The lesser yellow Autumnal Lily-daffodil, commonly called The Autumnal Narcissus.


The first of these Plants is very rare at present in England; but in Italy it is very common, especially about Florence, where they bring large Bunches of the Flowers into the Market, and sell them for Flower-Pots, by the name of Narcissus Bella-donna; and is probably one of the first Sorts of this Flower which was brought into Europe. This Plant thrives so well in Italy, as to need no other Culture than the common Lily, and although it does not flower until August, yet it commonly produces good Seeds in that Country, from which they propagate them in great Plenty; but with us they require to be planted in Pots filled with light fresh Earth, and in Winter they must be sheltered to prevent their Leaves being destroyed by Frost, which, if it does not quite kill their Roots, will so weaken them, as that they will not recover Strength to flower in several Years after, though you should attend them with ever so much Care. This Plant produces its Flowers in September, and the Green Leaves come up soon after, and abide all the Winter and Spring until May, at which time they decay, soon after which the Roots should be transplanted; for if they are permitted to stand till July, they will have sent forth new Fibres, when it will greatly injure the Roots, if they are disturbed.
The second Sort is less common in England than the first; this seldom produces more than one Flower upon each Stalk, which is smaller than those of the former; but nearly of the same Figure; this is also cultivated as the former, and flowers about the same Season.
The third Sort is very common in the Barbadoes, St. Christophers, and the other warm Islands of the West Indies; but at present is very rare in England: This Sort is much tenderer than either of the former, and will require to be kept in a Hot-bed of Tanners Bark, in order to produce Flowers. The Roots of this Plant may be very easily brought from the West-Indies, if they are taken up immediately after their Leaves decay, and sent over in a Box dry; for if they are planted in Tubs of Earth, they generally rot in their Passage, by receiving too great Quantities of Water.
The fourth Sort is supposed to come originally from Japan, but has been many Years cultivated in the Gardens of Guernsey and Jersey, in both which Places they seem to thrive as well as if it was their native Country; and from those Islands their Roots are sent annually to the Curious in most Parts of England, and are commonly called Guernsey Lilies; the Roots of this Plant are generally brought over in July and August; but the sooner they are taken out of the Ground after their Leaves decay, they are the better: for although the Roots which are taken up when their Flower-stems begin to appear, will flower, yet their Flowers will not be so large, nor will their Roots be near so good after, as those which were removed before they had sent out fresh Fibres.

When these Roots come over they should be planted in Pots filled with fresh light sandy Earth, mixed with a little very rotten Dung, and placed in a warm Situation, observing now and then to refresh the Earth with Water; but by no means let them have too much Wet, which would rot their Roots, especially before they come up: About the Middle of August, such of the Roots as are strong enough to flower, will begin to shew the Bud of their Flower-stem (which is commonly of a red Colour); therefore you should remove these Pots into a Situation where they may have the full Benefit of the Sun, and may be sheltered from strong Winds; but by no means plant them too near a Wall, nor under Glasses, which would draw them up weak, and render them less beautiful: At this Season they should be gently refreshed with Water, if the Weather be warm and dry; but if it should prove very wet, they should be screened from it. When the Flowers begin to open, the Pots should be removed under Shelter, to prevent the Flowers from being injured by too much Wet; but they must not be kept too close, nor placed in a Situation too warm, which would occasion their Colour to be less lively, and hasten their Decay. The Flowers of this Plant will continue in Beauty (if rightly managed) a full Month, and though they have no Scent, yet for the Richness of their Color, they are justly esteemed in the first Rank of the Flowery Race. After the flowers are decayed, the green Leaves will begin to shoot forth in Length; and if sheltered from severe Cold, will continue growing all the Winter; but they must have as much free Air as possible in mild Weather, and be covered only in great Rains or Frosts; for which Purpose a common Hot-bed Frame is the properest Shelter for them; under which if they are placed, the Glasses may be taken off constantly every Day in dry open Weather, which will encourage the Leaves to grow strong and broad; whereas when they are placed in a Green-house, or not exposed to the open Air, they will grow long and slender, and have a pale, weak Aspect, whereby the Roots will become weak, so that it seldom happens that they produce Flowers under such Management. These Roots should be transplanted every other Year toward the latter End of June, or the Beginning of July, and planted into fresh Earth, but they should not be oftener removed, for that would retard their Flowering. The Off-sets should also be taken off, and planted into separate Pots, which in three Years time will produce Flowers; so that after Persons are once stocked with these Roots, they may increase them, so as to have a Supply of blowing Roots, without being at the Trouble or Expence of sending to Guernsey every Year for fresh Roots; and the Roots preserved here, will flower stronger than those which are usually brought from thence; for the Inhabitants of those Islands are not very curious in cultivating these Roots: their usual Method is to plant them at a great Distance in a Bed of common Earth, where they let them remain for many Years, in which time they produce such a Number of Off-sets, that many times one single Cluster has contained above a hundred Roots; by which means those which grow on the Inside, are so much compressed by the outer Roots, that they are perfectly flatted, and from the Number of Roots they are all rendered weak, and so unfit to produce such large Stems of Flowers, as those which have grown single and are of a spherical Figure. But when a Person has got a large Number of these Roots, it will be troublesome to preserve them in Pots; therefore you should prepare a Bed of the following Earth, in some well-sheltered Part of the Garden, viz. Take a Third-part of fresh Virgin-earth from a Pasture-ground, which is light, then put near an equal Part of Sea-sand, to which you should add rotten Dung, and sifted Lime-rubbish, of each an equal Quantity: with this Earth (when well mixed and incorporated) you should make your Bed about a Foot thick, raising it four or five Inches above the Surface of the Ground, if the Situation be dry; but if the Ground be wet, you should raise it eight or nine Inches higher. In this Bed, about the Beginning of July, (as was before directed) you should plant the Roots about six Inches asunder each way; and in the Winter, when the Frost begins, you should either cover the Bed with a Frame, or arch it over, and cover it with Mats and Straw, to prevent their Leaves from being pinched with Cold; but in the Summer the Covering may be entirely removed, and the Bed kept constantly clear from Weeds, observing to stir the Surface of the Earth now-and-then; and every Year when the Leaves are decayed, you should sift a little fresh Earth over the Beds, to encourage the Roots. In this Bed the Roots may remain until they are strong enough to produce Flowers, when they may be taken up, and planted into Pots, as was before directed, or suffered to remain in the same Bed to flower.

The Roots of these Plants do not flower again the succeeding Year (as in many other Sorts of Bulbs); but if their Bulbs contain two Buds in their Center, as is often the Case, they very often flower twice within the Compass of three Years, after which the same individual Root does not flower again, but only the Off-sets from it.


The fifth Sort is at present very rare in England, and only to be found in some very curious Gardens; this is much tenderer than the last, and requires to be managed as was directed for the third Sort, with which Management it will thrive exceeding well, but you must observe never to water these Roots after their Leaves are decayed (which is from after Christmas) until they shoot out again in April, for Moisture at that Season, while they are in an unactive State, is very subject to rot them: This Plant produces its Flowers commonly in March, and the green Leaves appear soon after.
The sixth Sort is also tender, and requires to be kept in a warm Stove in Winter; but in the Summer-season it will bear to be exposed to the open Air, in warm, dry Weather; as the last, with this Difference only, viz. that it may be preserved without being plunged in Tanners Bark: This Plant produces its Flowers nearly about the same time with the last; but the Flowers of this are much more beautiful.
The seventh Sort was brought from Portugal, where they are in great Plenty, and is by the Inhabitants called Bella-donna; but this is a very different Plant from that which the Italians call by that name, the Flowers of this Kind being larger and paler coloured than those of the Italian Sort, and seldom have more than three or four upon one Stem, whereas the other has often ten or twelve. This Plant is propagated in the same manner as was directed for the Guernsey Lily (to which I refer the Reader, to avoid Repetition) the Flowers of this Plant are always produced about the same time as the Guernsey Lily, but are not near so beautiful.

These Plants do not increase very fast in our Climate, for which Reason a curious Person should be furnished with several Roots of each Kind from Abroad, in order to have some Flowers every Year, for they seldom blow two Years together (as was before observed) nor does the same Root Flower more than twice, which is commonly within three Years; so that where there are not six or eight Roots of each Sort, it can't be expected to have Flowers very often, notwithstanding no Art or Care be wanting in their Culture: for in their native Countries they are not constant Flowerers.


The eight Sort is a very hardy Plant, and increases very fast from Off-sets: The Season for transplanting these Roots, is any time from May to July, after which it will be too late to remove them, for they will begin to push out new Fibres by the Middle of that Month, if the Season be moist, and many times they Flower in August; so that if they are then transplanted it will spoil their Flowering: This Plant will grow in almost any Soil or Situation, but it will thrive best in a fresh, light, dry Soil, and in an open Situation, i. e. not under the Dripping of Trees, nor too near to Walls. It is commonly called by the Gardeners the Yellow Autumnal Narcissus, and is usually sold by them with Colchicums, &c. for Autumnal Ornaments to Gardens for which Purpose this is a very pretty Plant.
Volume 3

LILIO-NARCISSUS, Lily-Daffodil.
To this Article must be added;

1. Lilio-Narcissus; Jacobaeus latifolius Indicus, rubro flore. Mor. Hist. Broad-leaved Indian Lily-Daffodil, with a red Flower. [Sprekelia]

2. Lilio-Narcissus; Indicus maximus sphaericus, floribus plurimis rubris liliaceis. Mor. Hist. Greatest Indian Lily-Daffodil, with many lily-shaped spherical flowers.

3. Lilio-Narcissus; Indicus pumilus polyanthos. Mor. Hist. Dwarf Indian Lily-Daffodil, with many Flowers. [Pumilus]

4. Lilio-Narcissus; Zeylanicus latifolius, flore niveo externe linea purpurea striato. Mor. Hist. Broad-leaved Lily-Daffodil of Ceylon, with a snow-white Flower, striped with purple Lines on the Out-side. [Crinum zeylanicum/scabrum]

5. Lilio-Narcissus; Indicus pumilus monanthos albus. Mor. Hist. Dwarf Indian Lily-Daffodil, with one white Flower.

6. Lilio-Narcissus; luteus vernus. Inst R.H. Yellow spring Lily-Daffodil. [Lapiedra?]

7. Lilio-Narcissus; luteus autumnalis major. Inst R.H. Greater yellow autumnal Lily-Daffodil, commonly called Autumnal Narcissus. [Sternbergia lutea]

8. Lilio-Narcissus; luteus multiplex autumnalis. Inst R.H. Autumnal yellow Lily-Daffodil, with double Flowers.

9. Lilio-Narcissus; Boeticus luteus minor odoratissimus Inst R.H. Lesser yellow Lily-Daffodil of Boetica, with very sweet Flowers.


The first, second, third and fourth Sorts, are very tender Plants, and require to be placed in a warm Stove, otherwise they will not abide the Winter in this Climate; these are propagated by Off-sets from their roots, because they rarely produce good seeds in Europe. The best time to transplant the Roots, and to take the Off-sets from them, is in the Spring, before they put out new Leaves. These Roots should be planted in Pots filled with fresh light sandy Earth, and then plunged into a moderate Hot-bed of Tanners Bark, observing to refresh them gently in warm Weather; but they should not have too much Moisture, for that will rot the Roots, especially when they are newly transplanted, or at a Season when they are not in Action. The best Method to increase the Roots, and to have them flower strong and constantly, is to keep the Pots continually plunged in the Bark-bed in the Stove; for when they are placed on Benches in the Stove, the extreme Fibres of the Roots, which are at the Bottom and the Sides of the Pots, are never well nourished; wherefore do not flower so constantly or strongly as those which are plunged in the Bark: In hot Weather these Plants should have a large Share of fresh Air, by opening of the Glasses of the Stove; but in cold Weather they must be kept warm, otherwise the Roots will decay. These Plants do not flower regularly at any Season of the Year; for sometimes they will flower in the Spring; and at other times late in the Summer, or in Autumn; so that the time of transplanting of their Roots should be varied according to the time of their Flowering; for those which flower in the Spring, commonly drop their Leaves about August, when it is a proper time to transplant them; whereas those which flower in Autumn, will not drop their Leaves until the middle of Winter. Therefore these must not be removed until the middle or latter End of March; so that whenever their Leaves are decayed, and the Roots appear to be inactive, they may safely be transplanted, provided it be not in the middle of Winter. These Plants produce very beautiful Flowers, and are worthy of a Place in every good Stove, there being very few Exotic Plants, which make so fine an Appearance as these, when they are in Flower.
The fifth Sort is much more hardy than any of the former, but will not abide the Cold of our Winters in England, if planted in the open Air: so that this Sort should be treated in the same manner as hath been directed for the Guernsey and Belladonna Lilies, in the former Volumes of the Gardeners Dictionary. This sort is also propagated by Off-sets from the Roots, but it increases slower in this Country.
The sixth, seventh, eight and ninth Sorts, will thrive in the open Air in this Country; but the seventh Sort is the only common Kind in England: the others are preserved by some few People, who are curious in collecting uncommon Flowers. These are all propagated by Off-sets, for they seldom produce Seed in England. The best time to transplant the autumnal Kinds is in July, when their Leaves are intirely decayed; but their Roots should not be kept long out of the Ground; for they always begin to shoot out new Fibres in August, and in September they produce their Flowers; so that coming so late in the Season, they are the more esteemed; because there are not a very great Variety of more beautiful Flowers then in Perfection. These Plants are of humble Growth, and are proper to intermix with Colchicums, Autumnal Crocus's, and Cyclamens, in some of the Borders of the Flower-garden, where they will make a pretty Appearance for about a Month in the Autumn Season.

They will thrive in almost any Soil or Situation, provided it be not too wet; for too great Moisture in Winter, lying long near their Roots, will rot them, because at that Season they are in their greatest Vigour; for after the Flowers are past, their green Leaves continue growing most Part of the Winter; and as the Warmth comes on in the Spring, their Leaves decay.

The Sort which flowers in the Spring, should not be transplanted so soon as the others; for the Leaves of this do not decay till toward the middle of July, so that these Roots should be transplanted in August. This requires an East or South-East Border; for if they are planted too much in the Shade, they will not flower so well, as when they have a more open or warm Situation. The Roots of all these Sorts should remain untransplanted two or three Years; for if they are removed every Year, they will not flower near so strong, nor produce so great Increase, as when they remain undisturbed: but then the Surface of the Borders in which they are planted, should be cleaned from Weeds, and gently stirred, when the green Leaves are decayed, and a little fresh Earth spread over the Borders, which will greatly encourage the Roots, and cause them to flower strong.