The Daffodil, Narcissus sp.


The Daffodil is predominantly a spring flowering perennial plant in the Amaryllis family. A super-common, and much-loved garden plant, Daffodils have beautiful bright flowers with six petal-like tepals with a central cup, or trumpet known as a corona. The flowers are generally white and yellow, but do come in a vast array of colours. All Narcissus species contain the alkaloid poison lycorine, a mildly toxic compound that can cause a range of effects, from abdominal pains and nausea, to vomiting, and diarrhea. In very large quantities, it can also result in cardiac symptoms and even death. The toxin is mostly found in the bulb, but is also in the leaves.

Possible Confusion & How to Stay Safe

When in bloom, you are very unlikely to confuse daffodils with anything else, but when young and before flowering, the long, thin leaves look remarkably similar to those of the edible Wild Leeks - Three-Cornered and Few-Flowered Leek. The easiest way to avoid confusion is smell - Wild Leeks have a very strong aroma of onions when crushed and this is wholly absent from the daffodil. Another easy way to prevent misidentification is to only harvest wild leeks when they are in flower, as the small white, bell-like flowers look nothing at all like the large yellow trumpets of the Daffodil.

The leaves of the Wild Leeks are very similar in form and colour to those of the Daffodil, but have a strong onion aroma when crushed.

Wild Leek flowers are also very different from those of the Daffodil.