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Narcissus papyraceus

Narcissus papyraceus (*)

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Monocots
Ordo: Asparagales

Familia: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamilia: Amaryllidoideae
Tribus: Narcisseae
Genus: Narcissus
Subgenus: N. subg. Hermione
Sectio: N. sect. Tazettae
Species: Narcissus papyraceus
Subspecies: N. p. subsp. panizzianus – N. p. subsp. papyraceus – N. p. subsp. polyanthos

Narcissus papyraceus Ker Gawl., Bot. Mag. 24: t. 947 (1806).

Hermione papyratia Haw., Suppl. Pl. Succ.: 143 (1819), nom. superfl.
Hermione papyracea (Ker Gawl.) Schult. & Schult.f. in J.J.Roemer & J.A.Schultes, Syst. Veg. 7: 1733 (1830).
Chione papyracea (Ker Gawl.) Salisb., Gen. Pl.: 100 (1866), nom. inval.
Narcissus tazetta var. papyraceus (Ker Gawl.) Baker, Gard. Chron. 1869: 1015 (1869).
Narcissus tazetta subsp. papyraceus (Ker Gawl.) Baker, Handb. Amaryll.: 8 (1888).
Narcissus linnaeanus subsp. papyraceus (Ker Gawl.) Rouy in Georges Rouy & J.Foucaud, Fl. France 13: 50 (1912).

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Europe
Regional: Southwestern Europe
Corse (introduced), France, Portugal, Spain.
Regional: Southeastern Europe
Greece, Italy, Sicilia, Yugoslavia.
Continental: Africa
Regional: Northern Africa
Algeria, Morocco.
Regional: Macaronesia
Azores (introduced).
Continental: Asia-Temperate
Regional: Western Asia
East Aegean Islands (introduced).
Continental: Northern America (all introduced)
Regional: Southwestern U.S.A.
Regional: South-Central U.S.A.
Regional: Southeastern U.S.A.
Alabama, Louisiana.

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Ker Gawler, J.B. 1806. Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed ... London 24: t. 947.


Govaerts, R. et al. 2019. Narcissus papyraceus in World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published online. Accessed: 2019 Dec 03. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2018. Narcissus papyraceus. Published online. Accessed: Aug. 05 2018.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Narcissus papyraceus in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 07-Oct-06.

Vernacular names
English: Paperwhite

Narcissus papyraceus (from papyrus and aceus; meaning paper-like[1]), one of a few species known as paperwhite, is a perennial bulbous plant native to the Mediterranean region, from Greece to Portugal plus Morocco and Algeria. The species is considered naturalized in the Azores, Corsica, Texas, California and Louisiana.[2] The white flowers are borne in bunches and are strongly fragrant. It is frequently grown as a house plant, often forced to flower at Christmas.

Paperwhites are part of the genus Narcissus which includes plants known as daffodils.


The stems are mid-green and grow upright. Mature height is usually 1–1.5 ft (30–45 cm), though this varies by variety. Several white flowers are borne at the top of each stem and are strongly scented.[3]

Many cultivars are available and are easy to force into bloom indoors. Unlike other Narcissus species, paperwhites do not require chilling to promote bloom. The bulbs begin to grow as soon as they are planted, with flowers appearing in 3–4 weeks.

Narcissus papyraceus thrives in moist, peat moss based potting mix. Plants can also be grown in containers of water. Cool temperatures between 50–65 °F (10–18 °C) and indirect light will help to prolong the bloom time.[4][5]

Narcissus papyraceus 'Paperwhite'

Paperwhite bulbs being induced to bloom indoors.


Dictionary of Botanical Epithets pamphylicus - papyrifer. Retrieved January 5, 2007.
Kew World Checklist of Selected Plant Families
Ker Gawler, John Bellenden. 1806. Botanical Magazine 24: pl. 947.
"Paperwhite Bulbs".
"Guide to Paperwhites".

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