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.