Glossary of Flowers: N


Narcissus poeticus, commonly called the poet’s narcissus, is derived from the family of Amaryllidaceae. In fact, it is any bulbous plant belonging to the genus Narcissus, of this family, having showy yellow or white flowers with a cup-shaped corona. The white flower symbolises selfishness, possibly due to the legend associated with this flower. According to a Greek myth, Narcissus was a beautiful youth who refused all offers of love, including that of Echo and who, ultimately fell in love with his own image reflected in a well, and pined away until he was changed into a flower that bears his name. The yellow-coloured narcissus, commonly known as daffodil, expresses deep unrequited love, a passionate cry of ‘You are the only one’. According to some flower-critics, daffodils are a sign of respect and formality. In the Romantic imagination, daffodils have often found centre-space, is the famous lines of Wordsworth express:

“ I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.”

From the legend of this flower ‘narcissus’, the state known as narcissistic or self-centred has come into prominence.