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The daffodil is a plant of the genus Narcissus.
The genus Narcissus belongs to the flower family of Amaryllis. Daffodils are known around the world by various names like Narcissus and Jonquils and they have a flower that is trumpet-like in appearance.
There are more than 50 known species of this flower. The flowers of daffodils or narcissus are native to Europe and northern Africa, from where they spread to the Mediterranean and far East, across China and the Middle East as well. Daffodils are predominantly known for being yellow narcissus, but they also come in a variety of colors like white, orange, pink, and even a rare variety of deep purple. Due to their diversity and expansive growth, daffodils usually grow in the wild but are also cultivated on a large scale for many purposes and can be planted in your garden as well.
Daffodils have been growing for several centuries across Europe, the Middle East, and the Far East in countries like China for almost 10 centuries now. Due to their expanse of growth over a vast geographical area, there is a lot of diversity seen among the plant varieties of daffodil in terms of color, shape, and smell of the flower.
Apart from its multiple practical uses, this flower has various references in culture and tradition and has been a source of inspiration for many poets and writers. In this article, we will take a look at some of the cultural references of the narcissus or daffodil flower, and its meaning and symbolism. Is daffodil symbolism a myth or a legend? Does a daffodil symbolize love? Read on to know more about this amazing flower before getting a daffodil-meaning tattoo.
After you have read all about daffodil symbolism, why not also read about daisy symbolism and dandelion symbolism?
Due to the daffodil flower’s long existence, it has several cultural and symbolic references, in both the social and literary world.
The Greek term for daffodil, which is Narcissus, is said to be derived from Narcissus, a river god of greek mythology. There is a story of him being obsessed with his looks so much so that he watched his reflection all day in the water, which eventually lead to his death as he was trying to catch his reflection and fell into the water. Another version of the story states that he was turned into a daffodil for his vanity.
Daffodils are known to be the first flowers that bloom after winter and are said to mark the arrival of spring. Spring lasts between March and June. Spring is when the water begins to flow and flowers begin to bloom. Hence, daffodils are known as the symbol of new beginnings, hope, forgiveness, joy, and overcoming obstacles in life. These plants are also often associated with the Christian celebration of Easter and daffodils are traditionally given as a gift across much of Europe during this time as they are seen as a symbol of resurrection.
Furthermore, the daffodil flower or narcissus is also the symbol for the American Cancer Association, as the daffodil is seen as a symbol of hope for these suffering from cancer and for their families and friends. Every year, the American Cancer Association sponsors daffodil days events, where the families of the cancer patients are sent daffodils as a symbol of hope for a cure. Narcissus also symbolizes the 10th wedding anniversary and is presented in bouquets at such events.
Daffodils are also named as the national flower of Wales, and the flower blooms around the holiday of St. David’s day which is a day to celebrate St David, the patron saint of Wales. It is also believed by some people in Wales that whoever spots a daffodil flower blooming first, may be blessed with gold as it blooms.
Daffodil flowers are usually seen in the spring season, and they are known for being the first plants to bloom after the winter season. Hence, they often symbolize new beginnings and hope for a better future in many cultural references. A daffodil flower tattoo could, therefore, mean rebirth and new beginnings for the person who is getting it, as well as the rebirth of hope.
In Chinese culture, the daffodil flower blooms on the first day of the Chinese New Year. It is believed to bring good luck and good fortune in the new year. Many people who believe in these symbolic qualities of the narcissus flower opt to get a small daffodil tattoo as a good luck symbol. Daffodils and narcissus are also said to symbolize trust, inspiration, creativity, forgiveness, and joy.
The daffodil flower has bulbs that generally stay dormant during the winter to bloom in the spring, waiting for the perfect weather. When the bulbs finally sprout from the garden, they have vivid color and the flower looks like a trumpet. For many people throughout life, there may come circumstances that test our patience and resilience. The tattoo of a daffodil or narcissus flower, to some, symbolizes resilience and strength to overcome such obstacles in life and pass these hurdles with flying colors, as bright as the daffodil.
In the USA, daffodils are considered the birth flower for the people who are born in March. So, if someone has a daffodil tattoo, they may have been born in March and have the tattoo as a symbol for their birth month, holding a deep meaning for them.
The possibility of the daffodil meaning unrequited love goes back to an early time in history. This may be a reason that couples in love like to share daffodil posts early in their relationship or go one step further and get orange-colored daffodil tattoos.
Since ancient times, there have been several references made to daffodils being used as a medicine against disease. Since then, narcissus extract has been used in making medicines that are used to combat several bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
The alkaloids of the narcissus plants are known to repel rodents which is why it is used in several horticulture practices to keep away the rodents. One of the alkaloids, called galantamine, is extracted from narcissus and is used for making medication as a therapy against Alzheimer’s disease.
Apart from this, yellow daffodils are popular for their unique and sweet scent and are cultivated expansively for producing perfumes and scents. This scent comes from the essential oils of the daffodil plant. Apart from horticulture, daffodils are famous in floriculture as well. The daffodil flower can be found in every flower shop and is cultivated vastly in floriculture to make bouquets, garlands, and other decorations.
In present times, these botanical flowers, also called lent lilies are used at many places like weddings to express deep feelings of love and vitality and can be a very pretty sight when there are instruments like trumpets playing in the background.
The name of the daffodil flower, which is also known as narcissus, is said to have derived from the Greek river god Narcissus who was known for his beauty. It has been said that Narcissus was so obsessed with his own face that he spent his days looking at his own reflection in the lake water.
Once, he tried to chase and catch his own reflection, which led to his death as he fell and drowned in the water. Some myths claim that he was instead turned into a daffodil by an angel called Nemesis. Hence why it is believed that daffodils or narcissus flowers grow around the bank of the lake where they are reflected upon the water and their beauty can be seen in the water.
The term daffodil is said to have originated from the Latin word daffodils, which meant the narcissus or daffodil flower. Later, the flower spread its roots around various parts of Europe. It is believed that the Dutch, who were prime cultivators of a flower named it de affodil, are responsible for the evolution into the modern-day English name for the narcissus flower, daffodil.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for daffodil symbolism then why not take a look at Holland lop lifespan, or hummingbird heart rate.
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