Classification And Phylogeny

Where does the Narcissus pseudonarcissus species fit in?

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Liliopsida
Order: Liliales
Narcissus pseudonarcissus

In English, Narcissus pseudonarcissus means wild daffodil. The word "narcissus" stems from the Greek word "narkao," meaning narcotic or to be numb. "Pseudonarcissus" continues with the Latin root word "pseudo," meaning "seeming to be" and "narcissus" again, referring to a narcotic or numb sensation. All in all, Narcissus pseudonarcissus translates from ancient Greek and Latin to mean "narcotic seeming-to-be narcotic." Ancient Greeks believed that the scent of narcissus flowers was evil and capable of inflicting headaches, disorientation, loss of mental stability, and as a final result, death. Luckily, smelling daffodils really does not have any adverse effects, no more than sniffing any other flowering plant.

The daffodil received its common name in an interesting manner. Many people believe that "daffodil" is a derivative of the words "daffodily" and "affodily," which refer to the asphodel plant, since daffodils were considered identical to asphodels. These associations are mentioned in texts by the ancient Greeks. In England and the surrounding islands, there are many names for the daffodil, including "cowslip," "Easter lily," "lenty cups," and "yellow maidens." The names for this plant vary by region, but "wild daffodil" is the most common name used.

Domain: Eukarya
    Daffodils are classified into the domain Eukarya for several reasons. All members of Eukarya have membrane-bound organelles, and only eukaryotic cells. Inside these cells, eukaryotic organisms have multiple linear chromosomes. Most species of eukaryotes are multicellular, and experience sexual reproduction. In daffodils, a major distinction that identifies it as a member of domain Eukarya is that its cell walls are made up of cellulose, unlike bacteria, which have peptidoglycan in their cell walls. Other organisms are included in domain Eukarya as well, including examples such as the damselfly or the faucet snail. To learn how Narcissus pseudonarcissus depends on other eukaryotic organisms, visit the interactions page.

Kingdom: Plantae
        The kingdom Plantae is known for characterizing organisms that all share the common traits seen in plants across the world. For example, all organisms in this kingdom, daffodils included, are known to be multicellular, eukaryotic, and autotrophic. Autotrophs are organisms that produce their own food, instead of relying on outside sources for nutrition. Daffodils are also sorted into this kingdom because they contain chloroplasts, which utilize chlorophyll to go through the process of photosynthesis. Lots of other organisms depend on photosynthesis, such as peppermint or tobacco.

Phylum: Magnoliophyta
    Organisms found in the phylum Magniolophyta are commonly referred to as flowering plants. It is simple to imagine why daffodils are identified as part of this distinct phylum... They have flowers! Members of this phylum are also known scientifically as angiosperms, meaning that they have unique reproduction in which their fruits protects their seeds, and flowers permit the transfer of pollen between organisms. In daffodils, the flowers are a bright and cheerful yellow color. Other organisms that fall into this category include the pomegranate or the common blue violet.

Class: Liliopsida
    The class Liliopsida is also known as the monocotyledon class. What this means is that organisms in this class are all seed plants. These plants give rise to a specific kind of embryo, one that has a single cotyledon. A cotyledon is one of the first leaves developed by the plant, which serves as food for the embryo as it grows. Another specific trait describing all members of this class is that the leaves of the plant have parallel veins. Some other examples of class Liliopsida members are the moth orchid or flat-leafed vanilla.

Order: Liliales
    Organisms that belong to the class Liliales share several distinct characteristics, which are all demonstrated by Narcissus pseudonarcissus. These flowering monocots all grow from bulbs or corms, which are specific underground stems. In these bulbs, they can store food during the winter. Most examples of organisms in this class exhibit leaves with linear, longitudinal veins. All of these plants are perennial, and the daffodil is too. Other organisms in this order include the tulip and the North American wildflower trillium.

Family: Amaryllidaceae
    This family is recognized for its strap-shaped leaves, which all grow near the base of the stem, as can be viewed in the species Narcissus pseudonarcissus. The petals of the organisms in the family Amaryllidaceae are displayed in multiples of three, with three sepals behind them. Daffodils also follow this pattern of petal organization. Other common plants in the family Amaryllidaceae are the amaryllis and the spider lily.

Genus: Narcissus
The genus Narcissus is the genus to which all daffodil species belong, including jonquils as well as the daffodils considered to be common today. These organisms all are resilient plants, and flower in the springtime after a designated cold period. All Narcissus plants grow from a brown, sphere-shaped bulb, and have leafless stems as they mature. Each flower has a cup-shaped structure in the center, called a corona. Narcissus pseudonarcissus is known for its prominent, beautiful corona. Some other common species of Narcissus plants are the jonquil and the angel's tears plant.

Species: Narcissus pseudonarcissus
    This certain species of daffodil is identified by its pale yellow flowers, and a bright trumpeted corona in the center. Narcissus pseudonarcissus is known for its origin in western Europe, and its ability to flourish in a variety of habitats. Its leaves are a distinctive grey-green color.

The following diagram is a phylogenetic tree based on morphological features of Narcissus pseudonarcissus. It demonstrates where the wild daffodil fits into each category of classification from domain to order. By following this phylogeny, you can easily distinguish which domain, supergroup, kingdom, phylum, class, and order the wild daffodil belongs to. Its closest relatives in this phylogeny are the other orders of class Monocotyledones. Other species belonging to class Monocotyledones (also called Liliopsida) include saffron, wild rice, and the saw palmetto.


The next diagram demonstrates the further phylogeny of Narcissus pseudonarcissus, down to the species level. This phylogenetic tree is also based on the overall morphology of the plant. It begins with the order Liliales, which is what the final classification category was for the previous diagram. This diagram shows that some of the daffodil's closest relatives are Narcissus tazetta, Narcissus poeticus, and Narcissus jonquila, also known as the jonquil. There are over 50 individual species belonging to the genus Narcissus, therefore I was not able to acknowledge all of them in the diagram below.

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~ Learn about the fascinating habitat of the wild daffodil. ~