Narcissus papyraceus

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Narcissus papyraceus 'Paperwhite' 02.JPG
Paperwhite, Narcissus papyraceus
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Amaryllidaceae
Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
Genus: Narcissus
N. papyraceus
Binomial name
Narcissus papyraceus
Narcissus papyraceus distrib.jpg
Distribution in Spain and Portugal

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]



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

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