A Guide to the Narcissus Flower Meanings & Uses

A Guide to the Narcissus Flower: Meanings & Uses

Narcissus flowers are known for their beauty and captivating fragrances, making them popular in gift-giving and floral arrangements. 

These stunning blooms, also commonly referred to as daffodils, hold rich meanings and history that make them a perfect choice for a wide range of occasions. 

Whether you’re planning to gift a bouquet of narcissus flowers or looking to add them to your home and garden, this article will provide you with everything you need to know about these blooms.

How did the narcissus flower get its name?

How did the narcissus flower get its name

The name of the narcissus originates from the Latin term “narcissus,” which is rooted in the Greek word “narkissos.” This Greek term is associated with “narke,” which means “numbness,” and it reflects the plant’s sedative effect.

The common name “daffodil” comes from “Affodell,” which is a variant of “Asphodel,” a well-known genus of garden plants.

What are the botanical origins of the narcissus flower?

What are the botanical origins of the narcissus flower

Narcissus is a genus that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family, and it predominantly consists of perennial plants. 

These plants are native to the meadows and woodlands across southern Europe and North Africa.

This genus has various common names, including daffodil and jonquil. 

Narcissus plants have eye-catching flowers that feature six petal-like tepals topped with a corona that can take the form of a cup or trumpet. 

The flowers typically have white and yellow colors, although some varieties can also have shades of orange or pink, with tepals and corona either having uniform coloring or contrasting colors.

Do narcissus flowers require a lot of maintenance?

Narcissus flowers thrive with minimal care, which makes them a perfect choice for those with busy lifestyles. However, a little attention to watering and proper soil can go a long way in ensuring their longevity.

Do narcissus flowers need shade or sun?

Narcissus plants require at least 6 hours of full sun each day. They can still thrive with some partial shade, but they will only produce green leaves, not flowers.

When do narcissus flowers bloom?

The majority of narcissus species are dormant from summer until late winter and bloom in the spring. However, there are a few that bloom during the autumn season.

What kind of soil do narcissus flowers prefer?

Narcissus flowers thrive best in loose, fertile, and well-draining soil. Look for slightly acidic soil, with a pH level ranging between 6.0 and 7.0.

When is the best time to plant narcissus flower seeds?

Narcissus flowers are usually grown from bulbs. The best time to plant them is in the fall before the ground freezes, which will allow the bulbs to establish their roots before winter.

What do narcissus flowers mean?

What do narcissus flowers mean

The narcissus flower symbolizes rebirth and new beginnings. Its also associated with creativity, inspiration, vitality, awareness, inner reflection, and forgiveness. 

This bloom is also the official birth flower of December.

What do the colors of narcissus flowers mean?



White narcissus flowers symbolize purity, innocence, new beginnings, sincerity, and authenticity.

Recommended use: These flowers are perfect for bridal bouquets as well as for events like christenings, adoptions, and any joyful occasion that welcomes children into loving families. 

Narcissus plants are also ideal as presents for loved ones who are going on new chapters in life.

Orange and Peach

Orange and Peach

Some varieties have orange or peach-colored centers. 

Orange narcissus blooms represent vitality, health, courage, and artistic inspiration. It also serves as a reminder to stay courageous, bold, and optimistic in life.

Peach-colored narcissus flowers symbolize a caring and affectionate love. 

Recommended use: These vibrant orange and gentle peach narcissus flowers can bring a comforting touch to gardens or serve as thoughtful gifts for recovering loved ones.



Yellow narcissus flowers represent hope, optimism, joy, friendship, and good fortune. 

Recommended use: Their vibrant, sunny color evokes feelings of happiness and prosperity, which makes them an ideal choice for gardens or spaces where you want to create a more cheerful atmosphere. 

Gifting yellow narcissus flowers to someone can be a thoughtful gesture to uplift their spirits and bring them good luck.



Pink narcissus blooms symbolize femininity and love. These flowers also represent grace and gentleness. 

Recommended use: Pink narcissus flowers make thoughtful gifts for expressing forgiveness and reconciliation.

What did narcissus flowers symbolize in various historical periods?

What did narcissus flowers symbolize in various historical periods
Historical PeriodSignificance and Symbolism
Ancient GreeceThe name of the narcissus flower is associated with the Greek myth of Narcissus, a young man born to a nymph and a river god.

Known for his extraordinary beauty, Narcissus became obsessed with his own reflection in a forest pool.

His fixation on his image led him to gaze so deeply that he tragically fell into the water and drowned.

Flowers sprouted around the pool where he drowned, and these were then called narcissus flowers.

Ancient EgyptIn ancient Egypt, narcissus bulbs were buried with mummies of loved ones and noble people so they could take the flowers into the afterlife.
Victorian EraDuring the Victorian era, these flowers were seen as a symbol of excessive ego and vanity.

What are the cultural associations of narcissus flowers?

What are the cultural associations of narcissus flowers
CountrySignificance and Symbolism
United StatesNarcissus flowers are popular in the United States and are associated with the Easter holiday.
WalesDaffodils are the national flower Wales and are frequently featured on royal emblems with the English Tudor rose, the Scottish thistle, and the Irish shamrock.

According to Welsh folklore, whoever spots the first narcissus flower bloom in spring will receive blessings of wealth and good fortune for the upcoming year.

ChinaSince narcissus flowers bloom around the time of the Chinese New Year, they are considered symbols of luck and prosperity in China.

Chinese traditions often involve gifting narcissus flowers for the New Year and decorating homes and workplaces with them.

EnglandIn England, it’s believed that the fragrance of narcissus flowers can attract fairies. They’re also believed to have healing powers.
IranIn Iran, Narcissus flowers are associated with the Persian New Year, where they symbolize rebirth and renewal and are used to decorate homes.

What are the spiritual or religious meanings of narcissus flowers?

What are the spiritual or religious meanings of narcissus flowers

In Christianity, the narcissus flower is associated with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The appearance of narcissus blooms during the Easter season is seen as a representation of hope and renewal.

What are the uses of narcissus flowers?

What are the uses of narcissus flowers

Narcissus flowers are beautiful and fragrant but are toxic. These flowers must not be eaten but have uses in medicine, gardening, and landscaping.

Can narcissus flowers be used for medicinal purposes?

Can narcissus flowers be used for medicinal purposes

Daffodils have been traditionally used as a remedy for conditions such as cough, colds, and asthma. 

A piece of cloth with a daffodil bulb spread has also been used to treat issues like burns, wounds, strains, and joint pain.

How can narcissus flowers be used in gardening and landscaping?

How can narcissus flowers be used in gardening and landscaping

Narcissus flowers have an enchanting beauty and versatile nature that makes them an excellent addition to various gardening and landscaping projects. Here’s how they can be effectively used to enhance outdoor spaces:

  1. Eye-catching Borders: Narcissus flowers can be planted along the edges of garden beds or pathways to create striking borders. 

Their vibrant colors, especially the classic yellow and white varieties, instantly draw attention and add a touch of elegance to the garden’s overall appearance. 

These natural borders provide a stunning contrast against green foliage and serve as a visual delight throughout the blooming season.

  1. Flower Beds: Creating dedicated flower beds with narcissus varieties is a fantastic way to infuse your garden with a burst of springtime charm. 

Their delightful fragrance and colorful blossoms can be arranged in various patterns to suit your garden’s aesthetics. 

From mass plantings of a single variety to intricate mixed displays, narcissus flowers can transform your flower beds into vibrant tapestries of nature.

  1. Container Gardens: For those with limited space or looking to add a touch of beauty to patios, balconies, or small outdoor areas, narcissus flowers are an ideal choice for container gardening. 

They thrive and bloom beautifully when planted in pots, planters, or window boxes. 

Container gardening with narcissus allows you to move and rearrange these captivating blooms as needed to bring the joy of spring to any outdoor setting.

  1. Rock Gardens: Narcissus flowers can be a charming addition to rock gardens, where their delicate blossoms have a lovely contrast to the rugged and natural look of rocks and stones. 

Their low-growing nature also allows them to blend harmoniously with the rocky landscape.

  1. Fragrance Zones: Designate specific areas of your garden as “fragrance zones” by planting narcissus varieties with the most captivating scents. 

These areas can become spaces where you can relax and enjoy the sweet, lingering fragrance of these flowers.