The pretty, little and fragrant yellow flower that blooms in March or April and resembles a daffodil is a jonquil. Its formal name is Narcissus jonquil, a species of the larger narcissus family. Small daffodil-shaped blossoms bloom in groups of two to six on slender stems that are approximately 16 inches tall. The fragrance of jonquil is stronger than any other narcissus species, making it a favorite of springtime gardeners.
The jonquil is native to Spain and Portugal, and Roman soldiers may have originally introduced the plant to England during the Crusades. The word jonquil is from from the Spanish word "jonquillo," which is a type of rush plant. The jonquil has leaves that resemble rush plants with a round shape and a groove running down the upper surface. The foliage is much darker green than that of a daffodil or narcissus.
Often mistakenly referred to as a narcissus or daffodil because of the similarity in flower shape and color, jonquils are a very specific type of the genus Narcissus. A true jonquil flower is tiny in comparison to the daffodil or narcissus, with a round-shaped, reed-like leaf which differs from the flat-shaped leaf of all other Narcissus species. The jonquil bloom is the most fragrant of all narcissus species with a truly delightful scent.
The jonquil flower is particularly important to those born in the third month of the year because jonquil is the March birth flower. As the birth flower it represents domestic happiness and friendship. Separate from its birth month meaning, the jonquil has an additional symbolism and meaning when included in an arrangement or bouquet. According to EasyFlowers.com, jonquil flowers mean "Love Me," "Affection Returned," desire, sympathy, or desire for affection returned, should you wish to send a symbolic message through a floral arrangement.
The jonquil flower is often associated with the coming of Spring. Large jonquil themed festivals are held both in the spring when the plant is in bloom and in the fall for bulb planting. These jonquil themed festivals are primarily in the southeastern and southern regions of the United States where jonquil plants thrive.
Jonquil flowers are commonly given to a person born in the month of March, but also are used as an expression of feeling for other applications. Romantically, sending jonquil flowers tells someone you return their feelings and desire.