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Narcissus meaning

The narcissus between myth and history

The narcissus flower owes its name to the myth narrated by the poet Ovid, who tells the story of a beautiful young man, named Narcissus, unable to love others who, seeing his image reflected in the water of a river, falls madly in love with himself but, given the impossibility of kissing, he decides to stab himself with a sword. From the blood shed for this impossible love, according to legend, the flower that bears his name was born. We find attestations of the importance of the narcissus in ancient times in Roman culture, where it was a symbol of the afterlife and was used to pay homage to the dead, in the Celtic one, where the Druids considered it a symbol of purity and attributed the power to absorb thoughts. negative and in Hebrew, it must be associated with female beauty and fertility.

The spread and structure of the narcissus


The narcissus is a variety native to Europe, North Africa and Asia, today widespread all over the world for its ease of cultivation, as it adapts to any arable land and to the most different climates. This flower is a bulbous species, which generates isolated flowers generally of white or yellow color, with possible shades tending to pink; it has linear and elongated leaves, light green in color. The leaves and bulbs contain a poisonous substance called narcissin, which if ingested accidentally could cause allergic and gastric disorders and, if not eliminated in time with appropriate treatment, death. The narcissus has a characteristic heady odor and is therefore widely used in the field of perfumery, to produce both feminine and masculine essences.


In Western culture the narcissus is associated with an excessively vain attitude, with an extreme self-esteem and admiration of oneself. It therefore lends itself to being given to women with a strong personality, but also to established and accomplished men, to celebrate economic and work successes. In China, however, this wonderful flower is a symbol of prosperity and is a wish for luck for the future, as it indicates one’s inner potential and the ability to express it in the most productive way to obtain fame and prestige. This symbolism has also been taken up in Wales, where on March 1, the feast of St. David, the narcissus is pinned to the jacket to wish a happy year, while in Maine, in the United States, it is seen on the contrary as an omen of bad luck and bad luck.

Narcissus meaning: Other meanings and uses of the narcissus


Being in oriental culture a symbol of happiness, prosperity and good health and recalling the medieval custom of using the narcissus in the creation of love potions, this flower is widely used in the decoration of wedding halls or on the occasion of other celebrations, for the its elegance and refinement, making it pleasant but not too showy. It is also a flower particularly suitable to be given to a sick or convalescent friend to wish a speedy recovery and instill positivity and joy, thanks to the bright yellow color. Finally, the narcissus lends itself to fun and colorful home decorations, such as centerpieces or flower vases; in fact, it is possible to grow it easily at home with a few simple precautions, due to its great ability to adapt.

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