Tuesday, April 19, 2011

ABC Wednesday - N for Narcissus

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This is a collage from last spring, showing several different kinds of Narcissus that I found growing in my neighbourhood.

In Sweden we associate the yellow ones with Easter, calling them “Easter lilies”; while we usually refer to the white ones with yellow in the middle as “Pentecost lilies”. In English I would spontaneously have called the yellow one in the middle daffodil, and the white ones narcissus. Noticing last year how many varieties there really were though, I realized that it’s not quite as simple as that… (If anyone has opinions, please share!)

There are two derivations of the name Narcissus. One is that of a young man in Greek mythology who became so obsessed with his own reflection in a pool that he fell into the water and drowned. The Narcissus plant first sprang from where he died.

The other derivation is that the plant is named after its narcotic properties (ναρκάω narkao, "to grow numb" in Greek). All Narcissus varieties are poisonous.

The name Daffodil is derived from an earlier "Affodell", a variant of Asphodel. In Greek legend the asphodel is one of the most famous plants connected with the dead and the underworld.

Anyway, this year our ‘Easter lily’, the yellow daffodil or narcissus, is springing into bloom just in time for Easter around here, even in the parks and gardens; thanks to the last few days of warm and sunny weather. The photos below is from today.

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Happy Easter!

Monica

ABC Wednesday / Letter N 

12 comments:

  1. Ah, vain flower. I have trouble keeping them straight.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  2. I'd call ALL of them Narcissus AND daffodils. I think Narcissus is the botanical name and daffodil the common name. (I could be wrong about that, though.)

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  3. Stunning photographs! Ours are starting to fade now, but soon we'll have the tulips! :D

    Leslie
    abcw team

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  4. I had a few of the white with yellow middle bloom a week or two ago, but they are over now. I have a few red tulips now.

    Thanks for your visit to my ABC Wednesday today.

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  5. Such lovely flowers, beautiful colors and terrific captures for the N Day, Monica! I love them! We have a lot of them blooming right now, too, and it's so wonderful to all the colors! Have a great week and Happy Easter!

    Sylvia
    ABC Team

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  6. Your area has a really nice variety!! Confusing matters even more, we also call them jonquils. I knew about the Greek myth, but not the drug part!!

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  7. I always called the all-yellow ones Daffodils and the rest Narcissus although they are all, as you say, Narcissus. I love Daffodils and have lots in my garden in Scotland. However I rarely see Daffodils because they are a spring flower and they have finished blooming in both Scotland and New Zealand by the time I arrive.

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  8. What a gorgeous splash of colour! Ours are still only a few inches out of the ground.
    Jane x

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  9. Beautiful flowers. And so neat to see the different varieties all in your neighbouhood. I must look more closely when ours finally push through the earth.

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  10. happy Easter Monica, these are so pretty. we call these flowers jonquils in the south of the USA, the north calls them daffodils. many names and all beautiful.

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