The jonquil flower traditionally symbolizes desire, but in modern times it is typically used to show cheer or sympathy towards someone in a difficult situation. Jonquils are large, showy, fragrant flowers that are typically yellow, orange, white, or some combination of these colors.
Jonquil flowers are more commonly known as daffodils and narcissus. These flowers also symbolize rebirth and spring, as they are some of the first flowers to emerge in large numbers following the first spring thaws. In Welsh folklore, the person who spots the first jonquil of a new year is said to enjoy an entire year of wealth. The only spring flowers that emerge before jonquils are crocuses, which are much smaller and less showy.
In many parts of the world, jonquils first begin blooming in late February and early March. In England, this blooming period corresponds roughly with the Catholic festival of Lent, so jonquils are sometimes called "Lent Lilies." This name is purely colloquial, however, as jonquils are not lilies, nor are they closely related to lilies.
Jonquils are the traditional birth flower for babies born in March. Some consider it good luck to present a new mother and her March baby with a bouquet of jonquils. However, it is considered bad form to present a single jonquil, as doing so symbolizes bad luck, misfortune and death.