Narcissus (Narcissus longispathus)

Narcissus longispathus flower
Loading more images and videos...

Narcissus fact file

Narcissus description

GenusNarcissus (1)

Commonly known as daffodils, the characteristic trumpet- or funnel-shaped flowers of the Narcissus genus are often considered as heralds of spring (2), and Narcissus longispathus is no exception. A perennial species, Narcissus longispathus produces a large, single flower, which has a distinctive pale greenish-yellow perianth. This  consists of three petals and three sepals, and a bright yellow corona (3) (4).  

Like other members of the Narcissus genus, Narcissus longispathus emerges from a bulb, an underground storage organ from which the roots and shoots develop. The linear, strap-like, stalkless leaves of Narcissus longispathus develop from the base of the plant, and the flower is borne on a long, leafless flower stalk known as a scape (3) (5). The ovary of the plant is usually concealed underground, but during fruiting the scape elongates, pushing the developing capsule to the surface (5).  


Narcissus biology

The bulbs of Narcissus longispathus begin to sprout leaves and floral scapes in late February. Each individual bulb produces one scape, which bears a single, distinctive, bright yellow flower that blooms between March and late April to early May. The flower lasts for around 17 days (3) (4) (8).

The flowers of Narcissus longispathus are ‘self-compatible’, meaning that the flowers may be pollinated using pollen from the same flower, or from another flower on the same plant. More frequently, however, Narcissus longispathus is pollinated by small, solitary bees, such as Andrena bicolour, which inadvertently transfer pollen between different plants as they forage (4) (6) (8).

Narcissus longispathus develops fruits between April and May, which are usually shed by early June. The seeds are buoyant and have a thick coating, which means that while most seeds fall directly to the ground beneath the parent plant, some seeds may be dispersed by water (4). The flowers and fruits of Narcissus longispathus are often eaten by the caterpillar larvae of Trigonophora flammea, and by beetles such as Tropinota squalida (8).


Narcissus range

Narcissus longispathus is endemic to Andalusia in the south-eastern Iberian Peninsula, Spain. It is has a wide but fragmented distribution in the mountain ranges of Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas (1) (3) (4), as well as in the Castril, Mágina and Jaén Mountains (1) (3).


Narcissus habitat

A mountain inhabitant (6), Narcissus longispathus occurs in scattered populations in wet meadows and grasslands, along the margins of creeks and streams, in watersheds and river valleys, and close to lakes, ponds and other sources of permanent water (1) (3) (6).

This species is typically found in association with Scirpus holoschoenus, Holcus mollis, Piptatherum veriaean, and Eleocharis nigricans (1). It usually occurs at elevations of 1,000 to 1,500 metres (7).


Narcissus status

Narcissus longispathus is classified as Endangered (EN) on the IUCN Red List (1).

IUCN Red List species status – Endangered


Narcissus threats

Changes in the water regime are one of the biggest threats to Narcissus longispathus, either through natural causes such as drought, or through artificial modification including the construction of dams and roads. Some subpopulations of Narcissus longispathus are vulnerable to trampling and grazing by herbivores, while wild populations are also targeted by collectors (1) (3).


Narcissus conservation

Narcissus longispathus is present in several National Parks, including the Parque Natural de Sierras de Cazorla, Segura y Las Villas, and the Parque Natural Sierra de Mágina (1) (3).

Seeds from some of this species’ populations are stored in the Vegetal Andaluz gene bank and at the Botanical Garden of Torre del Vinagre (1). The Botanical GardenofCórdobaalso holds material in their ex-situ gene bank and is researching ways to improve methods of propagating the species (3).

Further recommendations for conservation of Narcissus longispathus include increasing the number of seeds and plants that are held ex-situ, to expand the genetic variability of the resources (3).

There is also a recovery plan in place for Narcissus longispathus (1)


Find out more

Find out more about Narcissus longispathus:

Find out more about plant conservation:



This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:



The cup-shaped or trumpet-shaped outgrowth at the centre of a daffodil or narcissus flower.
A species or taxonomic group that is only found in one particular country or geographic area.
Measures to conserve a species that occur outside of the natural range of the species. For example, in zoos or botanical gardens.
Genetic variation
The variety of genes within a particular species, population or breed causing differences in morphology, physiology and behaviour.
A category used in taxonomy, which is below ‘family’ and above ‘species’. A genus tends to contain species that have characteristics in common. The genus forms the first part of a ‘binomial’ Latin species name; the second part is the specific name.
Stage in an animal’s lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
In plants, known as the gynoecium, the female reproductive organs of a flower.
A plant that normally lives for more than two seasons. After an initial period, the plant produces flowers once a year.
The outer envelope of a flower, typically comprising of an inner whorl (calyx) of sepals or floral leaves, and an inner whorl (corolla) of petals.
The transfer of pollen grains from the stamen (male part of a flower) to the stigma (female part of a flower) of a flowering plant. This usually leads to fertilisation, the development of seeds and, eventually, a new plant.
In plants, a leafless flower stalk.
A floral leaf (collectively comprising the calyx of the flower) that forms the protective outer layer of a flower bud.


  1. IUCN Red List (May, 2011)
  2. The Daffodil Society (May, 2011)
  3. Herrera, C.M. et al. 1999. Narcissus longispathus Pugsey. In: Blanca, G. et al. (Eds.) Libro Rojo de la Flora Silvestre Amenazada de Andalucía. Tomo I: Especies en Peligro de Extinción. Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Junta de Andalucía, Sevilla. Available at:
  4. Medrano, M. and Herrera, C.M. (2008) Geographical structuring of genetic diversity across the whole distribution range of Narcissus longispathus, a habitat-specialist, Mediterranean narrow endemic. Annals of Botany, 102: 183-194.
  5. Heywood, V.H. (1978) Flowering Plants of the World. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  6. Barrett, S.C.H., Cole, W.W. and Herrera, C.M. (2004) Mating patterns and genetic diversity in the wild daffodil Narcissus longispathus (Amaryllidaceae). Heredity, 92: 459-465.
  7. Herrera, C.M. (1995) Floral biology, microclimate and pollination by ecothermic bees in an early-blooming herb. Ecology, 76(1): 218-228.
  8. Doñana Biological Station - Natural history and research on Narcissus longispathus (May, 2011)

Image credit

Narcissus longispathus flower  
Narcissus longispathus flower

© Carlos M. Herrera

Carlos M. Herrera
Estacion Biologica de Donana, CSIC
Avenida Americo Vespucio s/n
Isla de La Cartuja
Fax: +34 (954) 62 11 25


Link to this photo

Arkive species - Narcissus (Narcissus longispathus) Embed this Arkive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to Arkive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about



MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite Arkive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

This species is featured in:

This species is affected by global climate change and has been profiled with the support of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. To learn more visit our climate change pages.

This species is featured in:

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!


Back To Top