A Garden of Pleasant Flowers
Paradisi in Sole Paradisus Terrestris (1629)

John Parkinson

Narcissus Persicus. The Persian Daffodill.

This Persian Daffodill differeth from all other kindes of Daffodils in his manner of growing, for it never hath leaves and flowers at one time together, wherein it is like unto a Colchicum, yet in roote and leafe it is a Daffodill. The roote is a little blackish on the outside, somewhat like the roote of the Autumne Daffodill, from which riseth up a naked foote stalke, bearing one pale yellow flower, breaking through a thinne skinne, which first enclosed it, composed of six leaves, the three outermost being a little larger than the rest, in the middle of the flower there are six small chives, and a longer pointell. The whole flower is of an unpleasant sent: After the flower is past, come up the leaves, sometimes before Winter, but most usually after the deepe of Winter is past with us, in the beginning of the yeare, which are broad, long, and of a pale greene colour, like the leaves of other Daffodils, but not greene as the Autumne Daffodill is, and besides they doe a little twine themselves, as some of the Pancratium, or bastard Sea Daffodils doe.

Narcissus Autumnalis major. The greater Autumne or Winter Daffodill.

The greater Autumn Daffodill riseth up with three or foure faire broad and short leaves at the first, but afterwards grow longer, of a very deepe or darke greene colour, in the middle of which riseth up a short, stiffe, round footstalke, bearing one faire yellow flower on the head thereof (inclosed at the first in a thinne skinne, or huske) and consisteth of six leaves as the former, with certaine chives in the middle, as all or most other Daffodils have, which passeth away without shew of any seed, or head for seed, although under the head there is a little greene know, which peradventure would beare seed, if our sharpe Winters did not hinder it. The roote is great and round, covered over with a blackish skinne or coate.

Narcissus Autumnalis minor. The lesser Autumne or Winter Daffodill.

Clusius setteth downe, that the manner of the flowring of this lesser Daffodill, is more like unto the Persian Daffodill, then unto the former greater Autumne kind, but I doe finde that it doth in the same sort, as the greater kinde, rise up with his leaves first, and the flowers a while after: the flower of this is lesser, and a little paler then the flower of the greater kinde, but consisting in like sort of six leaves, narrow and sharpe pointed; the greene leaves also are almost of as deepe a greene colour, as the greater kinde, but smaller and narrower, and a little hollow in the middle. The roote is also alike, but lesser, and covered with a blackish skinne as the former. This hath sometimes borne blacke round seede in three square heads.


5) Narcissus Persicus, The Persian Daffodill.
6) Narcissus Autumnalis minor, The lesser Winter Daffodill.
7) Narcissus Autumnalis maior, The greater Winter Daffodill.

Narcissus autumnalis minor albus. The little white Autumne Daffodill.

This little Autumne Daffodill riseth with his flowers first out of the ground, without any leaves at all. It springeth up with one or two stalkes about a finger long, every one bearing out of a small huske one small white flower, laid open abroad like unto the Starre white Daffodill, before spoken of: in the middle of the flower is a small yellow cup of a meane size, and after the flower is past, there commeth in the same place a small head, containing small, round, blacke seede, like unto the Autumne Hyacinth the leaves come up after the seede is ripe and gone, being small and narrow, not much bigger then the Autumne Hyacinth: the roote is small and blackish on the outside.


Narcissus Indicus flore rubro, dictus Iacobaeus
The Indian Daffodill with a red flower

This Indian Daffodill is so differing, both in forme, not having a cup, and in color, being red, from the whole Family of the Daffodills (except the next that foloweth, and the Autumne Daffodills) that some might justly question the fitnesse of his place here. But because as all the plants, whether bulbous or other, that come from the Indies, East or West (although they differ very notably, from those that grow in these parts of the world) must in a generall survey and muster be ranked everyone, as neere as the surveiours wit will direct him, under some other growing with us.

This Daffodill hath divers broad leaves, somewhat like unto the common or ordinary white Daffodill, of a grayish greene colour; from the sides whereof, as also from the middle of them, rise up sometimes two stalkes together, but most usually one after another (for very often but one stalk alone, which is of a faint reddish colour, about a foote high or more, at the toppe whereof, out of a deepe red skinne or huske, commeth forth one flower bending downwards, consisting of sixe long leaves without any cup in the middle, of an excellent red colour, tending to crimson; three of these leaves that turn upwards, are somewhat larger than those three that hand downewards, having sixe threads or chives in the middle, tipt with yellow pendants, and a three forked stile longer than the rest, and turning up the end thereof againe: the root is set forth by Aldinus, Cardinall Farnesius his Physitian, that at Rome it rose up with stalkes of flowers, before any leaves appeared.

The Place, Time, and Names


Narcissus Trapezunticus flore luteo praecocissimus
The early Daffodill of Trebizond

Because this Daffodill is so like in flower unto the former, although differing in colour, I thought it the fittest place to ioyne it the next thereunto. This early Daffodill hath three or foure short very greene leaves, so like unto the leaves of the Autumne Daffodill, that many may easily bee deceived in mistaking one for another, the difference consisting chiefly in this, that the leaves of this are not so broad or so long, nor rise up in Autumne: in the midst of these leaves riseth up a short green stalke, an handfull high, or not much higher usually, (I speake of it as it hath often flowred with mee, whether the cause be the coldness of the time wherein it flowreth, or the nature of the the plant, or of our climate, I am in some doubt; but I doe well remember, that the stalkes of some plants, that have flowred later with me then the first, have by the greater strength, and comfort of the Sunne, risen a good deale higher then the first) bearing at the top, out of a whitish thinne skinne striped with greene, one flower a little bending downewards, consisting of sixe leaves, laid open almost in the same manner with the former Indian Daffodill, whereof some doe a little turne up their points againe, of a faire pale yellow colour, having sixe white chives within it, tipt with yellow pendents, and a longer pointell: the roote is not very great, but blackish on the outside, so like unto the Autumne Daffodill, but that it is yellow under the first or outermost coate, that one may easily mistake one for another.


Parkinson incorrectly copied DeBry's plate of the Jacobeus for Narcissus Trapezunticus (=Narcissus vernus præcocior flavo flore Clusius). Robert Morison copied the same plate, but incorrectly identified it as Narcissus jacobæus, Clus. hist. The plate was apparently intended to represent the Lilionarcissus rubeus Indicus of Aldinus (1625), also known as Narcissus jacobeus, which was actually a Hippeastrum.
Single and double Atamusco lilies