Exotic Sea Daffodil


Lilio N. Indicus pumilinet Autumnalis flore Rubello

Le Jardin du très Chrestien Henry IV (1608)
Pierre Vallet


Narcissus marinus exoticus

Hortus Floridus (1615)
Crispijn van de Passe

Narcissus marinus exoticus

A Garden of Pleasant Flowers (1629)
John Parkinson

Narcissus pumilus Indicus polyanthos

Canadensium plantarum (1635)
Jacques Philippe Cornut

Moninckx Atlas

Lilionarcissus Africanus laticaulis humilis, Hort. Amst.

Campi Elysii Liber Secundus (1701)
Olof Rudbeck father & son

Amaryllis spatha multiflora,
corollis aequalibus, foliis acuminatis

Eden (1757)
John Hill

A Garden of Pleasant Flowers (1629), John Parkinson:

3. Narcissus Marinus Exoticus. The strange Sea Daffodill

This strange Sea Daffodill, hath five or six large and long leaves of a pale greene colour, from among which riseth up a strong and bigge stalke, bearing at the toppe, out of a thinne hose or skinne, many very large flowers, made up of six long and pointed leaves apeece, of a blewish purple, with a large round open cup in the middle, of a sadder color than the leaves: the roote is very great, yet like unto other great Daffodils, the outer skins whereof are of a darke browne colour.


Canadensium plantarum (1635) Jacques Philippe Cornut:

Scape not more than a palm tall, flowers the size and shape of Colchicum pratensis, light or deep red, triangular pedicels, minium (ceruleis) colored anthers.


The Garden Book (1659), Sir Thomas Hanmer:

Cornutus describes two other Indians thus. The first is a Dwarfe kind, with many red flowers upon one flat stalke, of the shape and bignes of the Meadow Colchicum, consisting of six leaves apiece, and six chives with blew tips. The flower is extreame sweet as well as beautifull. The Roote is great and fleshy, the greene leaves are eight or nine, a palme long, and an inch broad. They grow winding upon the ground, and come forth of the ground together with the naked flower stalke, which the other Indian kinds doe not. This is in flower Ante Arcturum, and passes away in eight dayes in ye Northerne countreys without seed. This must needs bee the same with the Figure in Parkinson which hee describeth not, but onely calleth it the Narcissus marinus exoticus, a strange sea daffodill, and soe leaveth it.

Besides all the abovementioned Narcissi there is a sort called PANCRATIUM, which is the Sea Daffodill, one of which hath White Flowers and is sometimes called in Latine Hemerocallis Valentina Clusy, and the other hath Red Flowers and is called PANCRATIUM MAIUS HISPANICUM. They both flower in Autumne, and have very greate rootes and broad leaves.


Thesaurus Zeylanicus (1737), Johannes Burman:

LILIO-NARCISSUS Africanus, humilis, longissimis foliis, Polyanthos, saturato colore purpurascens.

LILIO-NARCISSUS Africanus, humilis, platycaulis, flore purpurascente, odorato.


Species Plantarum (1753), Linnaeus:

7. AMARYLLIS (longifolia) spatha multiflora, corollis campanulatis aequalibus, scapo compresso longitudine umbellae. Roy. lugdb. 36.
Lilium africanum humile, longissimis foliis, polyanthos saturato colore purpurascens. Herm. parad. 195. t. 195.
Habitat in Aethiopia.


Eden: A Compleat Body of Gardening (1757), John Hill:

There is scarce a Flower the Gardener raises superior to this; whether we consider the Number, Size, Colouring, or Fragrance of the Bloom, but taking all together, very few can be said to equal it. It has been described by some of the Writers in Botany of considerable standing; and has been many Years esteem'd in Holland one of the greatest Acquisitions from that Quarter of the World whence we have named it; but in England it is less known than so elegant and noble a Plant deserves; notwithstanding there is no great Difficulty in the Culture.

Cornutus refer'd it to the Narcissus Kind, as the Writers of his Time did many of the Species of this elegant Genus: he calls it Narcissus major indicus serotinus. Commeline calls it, Lilio narcissus Africanus platicaulos humilis flore purpurascente odorato: low flat-stalk'd Lillio Narcissus of Africa, with sweet scented purple Flowers.

The Characters of the bulbous Plants were never ascertain'd till Linnaeus gave them with Precision: his Genus Amaryllis comprehends this Plant; and as he has not named it, we may properly call it after his Manner, Amaryllis spatha multiflora, corollis aequalibus, foliis acuminatis: many flower'd Amaryllis, with regular Flowers, and sharp pointed Leaves. This will distinguish it from all the other known Species of Amaryllis, and particularly from the oriental Kind, with which, so long ago as in Commeline's Time, it was usually confounded; and from which it does not seem yet to be well distinguish'd by the Generality of Authors, though perfectly different in the Shape of the Leaves, and regular Flowers.

The Root is large, roundish, and of a dusky yellow Colour: from its Base run many very thick white Fibres.

The Leaves are numerous, and they lie scatter'd irregularly upon the Ground: they are very long, moderately broad, of a pale green, and sharp pointed, and they are mark'd with large longitudinal Fibres.

The Stalk is very thick, eight Inches high, flatted, firm, and of a pale green, often stain'd with red.

There are no Leaves, nor Rudiments of Leaves on this, but at its Top a membranaceous Scabbard, which contains the Flowers. These are numerous, very large, and extreamly beautiful: they rise in a kind of conic Head, twenty or more in number, and separate to some distance as they open. Their Colour in the Bud is a pale crimson, stain'd in different Places with purple; but as they open, they grow deeper, and when full blown, they are universally of a stong and fine purple. Their Scent is in the highest degree fragrant, and toward Evening especially it is over-powering.

Each Flower is composed of six Petals, of a lanceolated Form, equal in Size, and opening regularly every Way, and there is no Cup to them beside the general Scabbard.

In the Centre stand six Filaments crown'd with oblong, incumbent Buttons.

The Rudiment of the Fruit is oblong and furrow'd;


Gardeners Dictionary (1759), Philip Miller:

7. AMARYLLIS spathâ multiflorâ, corollis campanulatis aequalibus, scapo compresso longitudini umbellae. Flor. Leyd. 36. Lily Daffodil with many Flowers in one Cover; the Petals equal, and the Cover compressed the Length of the Umbel. This is the Lilium Africanum humile longissimis foliis polyanthos saturato colore purpurascens. Par. Bat. 195.

7&9 The seventh and ninth sorts are more hardy, and may be treated in the same manner as the Jacobæa Lily; these will increase pretty fast by Offsets, when they are properly managed... The seventh Sort usually flowers in Winter, if the Pots are placed in a moderate Stove; and as at that Season there are few Flowers in the open Air, these are more valuable on that Account.

I received Roots of both these Sorts from the Cape of Good Hope, which have succeeded in the Chelsea garden. The seventh sort produces a great Number of Flowers in each Umbel, which are of a deep purple Colour, but the Stalk which supports them, rarely rises more than three Inches high; these Flowers appear in December. The Roots of this Sort are very large, and the Leaves are very long, but narrow.


This may be Brunsvigia falcata of Curtis's Botanical Magazine, t. 1443, now called Cybistetes longifolia [formerly Ammocharis falcata.] It has been suggested as a parent of some of the so-called Amarygias.