Narcissus Flower Meaning, Symbolism, and Uses You Should Know

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Since there are so many beautiful flowers out there, have you ever thought about a flower that is quoted as a narcissist? Lo and behold the narcissus flower! If you already know about the tale of Narcissus, then this flower shouldn’t come as a surprise!

But don’t be too hasty to judge that this flower is all about vanity. In fact, there is a whole lot more in-depth meaning and symbolism behind the narcissus that make it stand out in a crowd. It’s a perfect addition to your floral garden.

A white and pink narcissus symbolizes being sympathetic and sweet. Meanwhile, a yellow narcissus symbolizes self-love. Lastly, an orange narcissus represents ambition.

History of the Narcissus Plant

The history of the Narcissus bulbs began in the 12th century. These flowers were defined as perennial plants with fragrant flowers bearing six petals and flat leaves. They are considered poisonous bulbs that bloom from early spring to late winter that need good sunlight and well drained soil.

The surprising thing about the narcissus bulb is that they were once primarily cultivated as emetics and cathartics thousands of years ago. The dormant bulbs were considered as an egoist’s flower and flower food according to early Victorians.

The narcissus blooms belong to the genus Narcissus of the Amaryllidaceae family or Amaryllis family. There are about 40 species of this Narcissus genus wherein the daffodil is also its family member.

The genus name Narcissus comes from the Greek word narkissos or narce meaning to numb. Quite odd for a Greek name but this actually refers to the poison within the bulb! And the floral common name? You could guess this! It is named after the famous Greek narcissistic man himself who is none other than Narcissus! 

The narcissist flower, narcissus, is also called by another name – Goose leek because it resembles an actual goose’s beak. Narcissus flowers are also known as Lent lilies because they bloom during early April. 

Although it can commonly be mistaken for common daffodils or the daffodil bulbs, the two are still quite different. These fragrant yet toxic blossoms are native to most regions of the European continent and western Mediterranean. Additionally, narcissus is also mainly located in the Iberian peninsula.

Daffodils are undoubtedly one variety of narcissus and the most famous one! In fact, there are flower varieties and other species of the flower out there.  The Daffodil (N. pseudonarcissus) is among the garden floral favorites along with Jonquil (N. jonquilla), the Poet’s Narcissus (N. poeticus), and the Tazetta Narcissus (N. tazetta). There are new hybrids too!

yellow narcissus

Symbolism of Narcissus Blossoms

To get it out there first, Narcissus blossoms are collectively called Narcissi or you guessed it – Narcissuses. The most obvious symbolism of the narcissus is being narcissistic. In short, narcissus flowers symbolize being too engrossed in one’s self.

Meanwhile, in the Victorian language of flowers, the narcissus flower symbolism is not quite as vain as you would think. It is dubbed as the first flowers of spring symbolizing spring rebirth and new beginnings.

These spring flowers stand for in-depth self-care such as moments of self-contemplation, foundations of self-sufficiency, and extreme inversion when the need arises. In short, it is not only about being vain – it is also about learning to love yourself for who and what you are.

A narcissus flower was also known as the December birth flower – or more likely, the daffodil is. Aside from being the birth month flower of December, it is also known as the national flower of Wales – for the Prince of Wales, Prince Charles. 

There is a common belief too about the symbolism of narcissus. It’s a great flower to give for future March birthdays but this can mean happiness, future misfortune, narcissism.

Meaning of Narcissus Flowers

There are quite a few distinct meanings for the narcissus flower. The language of flowers regards the narcissus with a deeper meaning of narcissism, egotism, and selfishness. All very self-centered because of the story behind the fame of these floras. 

In the Victorian language of flowers, the floral meanings overlap. The narcissus meaning can refer to an unrequited love – the love not meant to be between Narcissus and the servant nymph Echo. 

It can also mean renewal, good luck, or new life.

What does a White Narcissus Flower Mean?

Paperwhite narcissus flowers hold the meaning of being sympathetic. These white flowers mean that one should not only be sympathetic when expressing sentiments. In fact, a paperwhite narcissus also means one has an attractive personality.

What does a Pink Narcissus Blossom Symbolize?

Having a deep desire and sweetness is symbolized by pink narcissus. Don’t mistake this deep desire for vanity though because it is a desire for the good things in life! It also symbolizes a platonic love.

What does a Yellow Narcissus Floret Indicate?

When wanting to indicate self-esteem and self-admiration, yellow narcissus flowers will do just that trick! Go get one of these if you want to showcase your self-love! In fact, this yellow flower also means good luck.

What does an Orange Narcissus Bloom Represent?

Orange narcissus flowers represent pure ambition and strict formality. Something not so closely in line with being narcissistic!

white narcissus

What is the Cultural Significance of a Narcissus Flower?

For traditional Chinese culture, this flower was not at all dubbed as vain or selfish. In fact, the Chinese called it the water fairy because of their traditional cultivation practice. The Narcissi were grown from the bulbs in jars filled with water and are forced to bloom each new year. 

According to the custom, its bloom every New Year’s day or Chinese New Year indicates good fortune for the whole year around. 

Historic chicken farmers also believed in the negative vibes these flowers gave off. Farmers wouldn’t allow these into their homes or land believing that it brought about bad luck for the chickens! They said that either the hens would stop laying eggs or that the eggs themselves wouldn’t hatch! Sheesh!

What is the Biblical Meaning of a Narcissus Blossom?

Narcissi blooms depict meanings of selfishness and self-love as seen in some scriptures of the Holy Bible. As humans during the time of Christ, these flowers indicated their coldness and indifference. 

According to the Christian faith, these flowers were depicted in some scenes of the Annunciation or of the eternal paradise. This scene shows the triumph of God’s divine love, sacrifice, eternal life amidst the dark days shrouded by death, selfishness, and sin. 

The narcissus is also known as the Lent lily because it blooms during the time of Ash Wednesday. In the bible, it was also said that the rose of Sharon referenced the narcissus with a daffodil flower.

What is the Spiritual Influence of a Narcissus Floret?

Spiritually, the Narcissi influences the process of rebirth, healing, and self-acceptance. It protects vital spiritual energies which will attract and create a more peaceful living environment. The essence it contains helps in the balance and purification of the created surrounding energy. 

During the process of creating this environment, these will guide the process of peaceful transition and distance it from all things that will disrupt the balance. 

What are the Folktales Associated with a Narcissus Bloom?

You have probably heard that the origin of the narcissistic personality comes from the legendary Greek man Narcissus, but have you heard about how that story goes? The Greek mythology going around about Narcissus revolves around a story of selfishness and conceit. 

The Greek myth tells about Narcissus who was a beautiful young man and the son of the river god Cephissus and the mountain nymph Liriope. In fact, it was said he had a twin sister who was as equally beautiful as him and who he loved dearly! The nymph Echo was so entranced by his beauty that she devoted her love to him only to be stricken with heartache. 

Upon his twin sister’s death, Narcissus fell in love staring at his own reflection – admiring not only his beauty but also his dead sister’s. Many saw this as the mirror of his own selfishness and lack of sympathy causing his own demise. Shortly after, he drowned to his death in the river and the narcissus flower bloomed.

It was said that the goddess Nemesis was the god responsible for Narcissus becoming entranced with his own reflection.

What does a Narcissus Floral Tattoo Symbolize?

Choosing the narcissus tattoo is both brave and daring given the symbolism and meaning attached with the flower itself. At a first glance, some would think it symbolizes the narcissistic tendencies and indifference of the person but it doesn’t! For the brave and daring, this embodies their self-love and acceptance.

Uses of Narcissus Plants

Popularly, the narcissus flowers are a garden favorite not because of their meaning and symbolism, but because of their floral beauty. It is adored as a garden flowering plant or cut fresh flower in bouquet and vase arrangements. It has an amazing vase life too!

It can be combined with other flowers and gifted during special occasions for loved ones. But beware that the bulbs of these are poisonous but with a few medicinal applications from earlier timers. In France, these blossoms were traditionally used as a remedy to treat epilepsy. It was also discovered to be too overpowering and caused severe headaches and nausea. 

Traditionally, tea was also made from its root and intaken to hasten menstrual flow. Essential oils were also extracted from this. This infusion combined with myrrh was also said to strengthen the eyes for better sight. A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.

See more: Daffodil flower meaning

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