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December spotlight: the narcissus

by webdev

December 17, 2010

As the official flower for the month of December, the narcissus comes with its own rich mythological history and a graceful quality that can only belong to the final, glittering month of the year.

According to, narcissus is actually an umbrella term for any flower in the daffodil family, which means they encompass the cheerful yellow variety typically associated with spring as well as the more delicate, paper-white variety that better symbolizes the winter months.

Though they were originally cultivated by the Romans, their namesake owes to the mythological Greek Narcissus, who was so transfixed by his own reflection that the gods decided to change him into a flower so that he could go on living there forever without dying of starvation. Other versions say that entranced, he fell into the water and drowned, and from then on the gods would leave narcissus petals in his memory.

Contrary to popular belief, however, the word itself has less to do with vanity and more to do with "numbness," reports The bulbs actually contain toxins that lend the plant narcotic properties.

Narcissus is also considered a symbol of love or beauty, according to They carry the double meaning of vanity, however, Chinese symbolism delegates the blooms to success and hard work. The website suggests these blossoms could make an "excellent gift to someone who is changing careers or pursuing their dreams."

Making them doubly appropriate for the month of December is their Feng Shui association. It is generally believed that if narcissus are forced to bloom at the start of the New Year, they will bring good luck for the 12 months to come, according to

Narcissus flowers make ideal indoor plants, according to the website. However, they must initially be kept separate from other flowers, since their toxic sap can be deadly to other blooms. If you do want to add them to a flower arrangement, soak them individually for at least 12 hours first, and take care not to cut their stems after that. There's also special flower food designed to let flower lovers mix narcissus with other plants. Not necessarily the best addition to a varied flower bouquet, narcissus still look great in bunches, and will make a joyful addition to any room.

This article is brought to you by Teleflora - a leader in the flower delivery service for over 75 years. Teleflora helps its customers buy flowers online and specializes in bringing the freshest available flowers for a variety of holidays and occasions - all hand-delivered in keepsake vases by the best local florists.

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