Last updated on May 21st, 2023 at 09:45 am

The jonquil flower is a popular spring flower with its bright yellow blooms and fragrant flowers. Because of their similarity in shape and color, many mistakenly refer to jonquils as a narcissus or daffodils. 

Jonquil flowers are smaller than narcissus or daffodils. They have a round-shaped, reed-like leaf different from all other narcissus species.

Narcissus jonquilla is also known as the rush daffodil or jonquil and is a member of the narcissus genus, which is a part of the Amaryllidaceae or amaryllis family. ‘Jonquil’ is a Spanish word that means ‘rush’ or Juncus—jonquil’s rushy-like foliage.

The jonquil flower has its roots in its discovery. Carl Linnaeus, a botanist, identified several narcissus species in 1753. The jonquil was one of them. The history of jonquils goes back even further. It was found in ancient Egyptian graves and is painted on the Pompeii walls. It is prominently featured in Greek mythology and many poems and writings of Ancient Greece. 

According to some historians, Roman soldiers might have brought these flowers to England during the Crusades. It has been there for hundreds of years.

What does the Jonquil flower symbolize?

Jonquil flower’s meaning and symbolism are pointed towards the most profound sentiments we can have. These flowers are linked to the Greek myth of Narcissus, who fell in love with his reflection. 

The tale of Narcissus is associated with the jonquil blooms. As this Greek myth reveals, young Narcissus was handsome and was aware of his beauty. The young man refused to accept the courtship of Echo, the nymph who longed for him. Eventually, she languished away until all left of her was an echo sound. 

In retribution, the goddess of revenge, Nemesis, leads Narcissus to a pool where he sees his reflection. His beauty was so captivating that he gazed at it for many days. He eventually got tired and fell into the water, drowning, leaving only flowers where he used to sit. This myth explains the connection between vanity and the jonquil flower. Some believe that the jonquil stems sag towards the ground is Narcissus staring into a pool.

Other meanings of these lovely blossoms are different across cultures. They can express imagination, inspiration, vibrancy, forgiveness, triumph, rejuvenation, and revitalization.

According to Chinese folklore, these flowers signify the beginning of a new year. They also represent renewal, vitality, and rebirth. The Welch considers these flowers a sign of good luck since anyone who sees the season’s first bloom will be successful.

In the Victorian era, the jonquil may mean various messages, from a plea for forgiveness to pining for affection.

The other significant jonquil flower meaning and symbolism include the myth of Persephone. The ancient Greeks believed the jonquil to be the flower of the dead. It is believed it grew in the underworld. It is also a symbol of sorrow. 

The Greek myth about Proserpina may have inspired these meanings. According to legend, Proserpina, a goddess, was collecting lilies, and Pluto, an underworld god, kidnapped her. 

She was carried away by the god and dropped the lilies she had picked, which turned into jonquils. Their blossoms are sagging down in despair for Proserpina.

In other parts of the world, like in the USA, people hold that jonquils won’t bloom if you point at them with your index finger.

Georgia O’Keefe’s paintings are prevalent in advertising and art, such as jonquils.

All in all, the jonquil flower symbolic meanings are:

  • desire
  • sympathy
  • a declaration of affection
  • a plea for love
  • friendship
  • domestic bliss

Meaning of the Jonquil flower colors

Yellow color

Baby Boomer, Baby Moon, Pipt, Quail, and Trevithian are all varieties that bloom in the yellow shade. They can also be mixed with lighter shades of white and oranges as they fade. These are the most popular color of jonquil. 

Jonquil flower meanings will only be complete if their vibrancy and playfulness are kept out of the list. A yellow jonquil is often associated with spring and rebirth. It blooms right after the cold winter months. Thus, it can also embody resilience, persistence, overcoming hindrances, and victory.

White color

Bell Song, Pueblo, and Sailboat are the variants that come with white petals. The trumpets are often tinged with yellow that gradually fades. 

As with many white flowers, white jonquils symbolize purity. Like many other species of white flowers, white jonquils can be used to symbolize purity and a desire for transformation.

Interesting facts about the Jonquil flowers

  • Jonquils are toxic to humans, dogs, cats, and livestock. Although deer and gopher-resistant, ingestion can cause stomach upset, convulsions, and cardiac arrhythmia. If your pets love to chew on grass and plants, Jonquils should not be grown in your garden.
  • Although jonquil’s toxic properties make it unsuitable for culinary use, some folk medicine traditions have used them for centuries. Hippocrates, a legendary Greek physician, recommended its oil for treating tumors. Pliny the Elder used the flowers topically.
  • Many cultures, from China to North Africa and Arabian Peninsula, have used flowers to treat cancer. Modern science supports this claim by proving that plant alkaloid extracts can slow down cancer cell growth.
  • It is also used to treat dysentery, constipation, antispasmodic, and emetic. It has been used as an aphrodisiac and to treat baldness.
  • Jonquils are mainly grown for ornamental purposes. They are one of the most fragrant members of the Narcissus family and are used in perfumery to produce aromatic oils. They are also used in floriculture.
  • Jonquil is the numerology number 8. This number is associated with practicality, power, and high-material goals. Saturn, the planet, symbolizes this. On the other hand, the negative attributes of the number 8 are cold and uncaring.

How to grow Jonquil flowers

Jonquil flowers can brighten any landscape design and are a sure sign that winter is done, and warmer weather is on its way. Unlike most other flowers, this plant is easy to care for but requires some preparation and patience.

  1. Plant the jonquils in well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter.
  2. Place the plant in a spot with full sun or partial shade to flower well.
  3. Water immediately after the bulbs have been planted.
  4. Apply a controlled-release organic fertilizer.

How to care for Jonquil flowers

  1. Continue watering three weeks after the flower blooms to ensure good production for next year.
  2. Deadhead any spent flowers to conserve the bulbs’ reserves for flowering next year. 
  3. Allow the leaves to grow for at least six weeks after flowering, and then die down naturally. 
  4. Do not twist, tie or cut the foliage. 

Best time to gift Jonquil flowers

The cheerful scent and bright blossoms of jonquil flowers make them an excellent gift for anyone looking to cheer up someone or celebrate achievements. These flowers are excellent gifts for any occasion where you wish someone luck and success or celebrate a milestone.

They are also perfect for baby gifts because of their associations with vitality and renewal. Jonquils are a great addition to birthday bouquets. These flowers are often given to someone born in March since they are birth flowers of March

They can also be used to express feelings for other purposes. Sending jonquil flowers to someone romantically means returning their love and feelings.


The striking blooms and fragrance of jonquil flowers make them so special. These beautiful flowers have been associated with vainness and self-absorption, like in the Greek myth of Narcissus. They symbolize creativity, inspiration, forgiveness, success, renewal, and rebirth. 

These flowers are easy to cultivate from bulbs, providing fragrance and color to the mid-spring garden.

If you want to know and learn more about flowers, we at PansyMaiden can help you. Check out our fun, easy-to-read, and informative flower-related content that you will surely enjoy!