Daffodils Jonquils and Buttercups

daffodils, jonquils, and buttercups

Daffodils, Jonquils, and Buttercups…..let me just say right off the bat, that these images and not from my yard or friends’ and neighbors’ yards. They are just pretty pictures from Canva)))

Buttercups – One of the First Signs of Spring

Whatever you call them, these bulbs burst into color around the first of March. I call them buttercups. I grew up calling them buttercups.

Vibrant green slender leaves would start appearing all over the front yard, back yard, around the garden’s edge, and the barn. Shortly after the greens made their appearance, golden yellow flowers came next. I never knew where they came from, I don’t remember my mom planting them, they were just there. Every time I start seeing them pop up around the neighborhood I always wish I had planted some last fall!


This post aimed to review the differences in daffodils, jonquils, and buttercups. Well, that led to researching more information than you or I would want on a Thursday afternoon. It was much deeper than I expected! But cutting to the chase….here’s the gist of it.

Daffodils * Jonquils * Buttercups


  • Yellow or white flowers with a trumpet-shaped center.
  • Daffodils belong to the Narcissus genus.
  • They often bloom in early spring.


  • Fragrant flowers with multiple small blooms per stem.
  • Also part of the Narcissus genus, like daffodils.
  • Native to the Mediterranean region. (Who knew!)


  • Small, shiny yellow flowers with many petals.
  • Buttercups belong to the Ranunculus genus, not Narcissus. (New to me!)
  • Found in various regions worldwide, not just Europe.

So for my purposes, the flowers I’ve been calling Buttercups are probably daffodils. I’m still going to call them buttercups.)))

yellow daffodils

Paperwhites – Daffodil’s and Jonquil’s Stinky Cousin

Paperwhites are pretty! Many times you see arrangements of them with just their bulbs sitting among rocks in a shallow dish with a little water.

I can’t help but remember a time when I was working nights as a critical care nurse in the intensive care unit. Always a stressful place of course, so it was nice anytime a family recognized the efforts of the nurses and staff by bringing goodies like cookies or flowers.

On one occasion someone brought in a beautiful bouquet of paperwhites and the day shift staff proudly set them on the ledge above the nurse’s desk.

paperwhites a form of narcissus

That night as we began our charting, we were greeted with the most awful smell. Immediately we started searching out where the odor was coming from. We went from room to room checking patients, linens, garbage – you name it. We did a thorough search. Then we realized it was the beautiful flowers! Needless to say, we had to get rid of them. I’m not sure I remember what we did with them, but we probably carried them to the waiting room and let someone else deal with them)))

Now I’m sure not all paperwhites have an offensive smell, and some may even like their heavy fragrance. This was just one experience, so don’t let it hold you back if want to plant some or pick up a bouquet……just smell it first)))

What about you? Are they daffodils, jonquils, or buttercups? Leave your answer in the comments!

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