Narcissus was the son of the river god Cephisus and the nymph Liriope. When Narcissus was born, Tiresias (a seer) was asked if the child would live a long life. Tiresias replied "If he never knows himself".

As a handsome youth he left a trail of broken hearts from rejected lovers of both sexes. Narcissus wanted nothing to do with falling in love from anyone and rebuffed all attempts at romance.

His cruelty to Echo was not the only instance. Finally, the nymphs offered a prayer that he might feel what it was to love and meet no return of affection.

"So may he himself love, and not gain the thing he loves"

Narcissus, upon finding an image of himself in a pool then fell in love with himself and, not being able to find consolation, he died of thirst at the pool, for if Narcissus had reached to take a drink, he would have shattered his own image into thousands of pieces.

It is said that Narcissus still keeps gazing on his image in the waters of the river Styx.

An alternate story claims that it is silly for a man to fall in love with his own reflection. Instead, it asserts that Narcissus had a twin sister who was exactly alike in appearance. When she died, he used to go to the spring, and knowing that it was his reflection that he saw. There he found some relief for his love, because the image reminded him of his sister.

The flower that Narcissus turned into later was used when Hades abducted Persephone as "a snare for the bloom-like girl". Persephone was attracted by the sweet scent of the narcissus, and gathered the flowers.

so, narcissus dies.
some nymphs wander by the stream where narcissus gazed at himself, crying for the loss of such a beauty.
they say to the stream, "You must be the most miserable of all, for you got to gaze at his lovely face more than anybody."
the stream responds:
"yes, i am the most miserable of all. however, i only miss him because i saw my own reflection in his eyes."

The narcissus flower, also known as Anemone narcissiflora, is part of the buttercup family, ( Ranunculaceae), is native to parts of Asia, The United States, and Europe. Known as Hakusan-ichige in Japanese, Bjerg-Anemone in Danish, and narcissanemon in Swedish. Not to be confused with any other type of narcissus flower.

To view the official taxonomical report for the Anemone narcissiflora see: Descendents of the narcissus flower include: Anemone narcissiflora Linnaeus, Anemone narcissiflora ssp. alaskana Hultén Alaskan anemone, Anemone narcissiflora ssp. interior Hultén, Anemone narcissiflora ssp. sibirica (L.) Hultén Sibirian anemone, Anemone narcissiflora ssp. villosissima (DC.) Hultén , Anemone narcissiflora ssp. zephyra (A. Nels.) Hultén zephyr anemone, Anemone narcissiflora var. monantha DC., Anemone narcissiflora var. villosissima DC., and Anemone narcissiflora var. zephyra (A. Nels.) Dutton & Keener . Flower breeders are specifically people who force flowers to hybrid and cross-pollinate until a new, genetically different verity is formed. These hybrids are different enough to warrant being called something else, but are usually not stable enough to become their own species, therefore they are labeled after their parents and usually the founder is noted in the binomial nomenclature.

Seeds for the Anemone narcissiflora are available commercially, sow the seeds in spring in full sun or partial shade. It seems to only be native to the mountainous areas of Alaska, Yukon, Colorado, and Wyoming, as well as areas of Europe and Asia, and doesn’t seem to grow well else where. The plant goes dormant in high heat, therefore growing best in colder climates.

Grows best in grassy, mountain slopes (var. alaskana), dry heaths (var. interior), snowbeds (var. sibirica), and meadows (var. villosissima), depending on verity. These flowers can grow between eight and twenty-four inches tall, and blooms in June. The narcissus has five to seven white petals, with numerous yellow sepals and palmate leaves which appear in basal tufts up to six inches in length, and divide into three to five segments. When looking for this daffodil, look in cooler mountainous areas.

  • Picture:
  • Thank you to LX for some of the research.

Nar*cis"sus (?), n.; pl. Narcissuses (#). [L. narcissus, and (personified) Narcissus, Gr. na`rkissos, Na`rkissos, fr. na`rkh torpor, in allusion to the narcotic properties of the flower. Cf. Narcotic.]

1. Bot.

A genus of endogenous bulbous plants with handsome flowers, having a cup-shaped crown within the six-lobed perianth, and comprising the daffodils and jonquils of several kinds.

2. Classical Myth.

A beautiful youth fabled to have been enamored of his own image as seen in a fountain, and to have been changed into the flower called Narcissus.


© Webster 1913.

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