Narcissus 'Thalia'

Narcissus ‘Thalia’

Daffodils are another harbinger of spring flower; and as a symbol of hope and rebirth, the flowers are often used in Easter arrangements, but they’ve been used much longer than the Christian religious celebration. Archeologists have found Daffodils in ancient Egypt’s tombs and funerary wreaths. Is it any wonder so much lore surrounds these flowers?

The botanical name ‘Narcissus’ shows another symbol of the flower: unrequited love. In Greek myth, Narcissus was the vain young man who spurned the Nymph Echo; then while taking a drink from a pool of water, he saw himself and fell in love with his reflection – a lover who could never return his love.

Certainly many daffodils could represent the image of vain, self-indulgent youth, especially those with the look-at-me yellow flowers, or even those with more subtle colorings and shapes. Yet, if ever there were a Narcissus that represents the mythical young man of Greek lore, I would choose the daffodil ‘Thalia.’ The beautiful, pristine white flowers arch downward as if seeking their reflection and, according to Allan M. Armitage, are along with other daffodils in the triandus class, “Often called the angel’s tears daffodil” (Herbaceous Perennial Plants. Varsity Press, Athens, Georgia.1989. Page 421). Thalia’s scent is certainly heavenly, and the scent is noticeable from far down the garden path, no need to get your nose in the middle of these flowers. They are vigorous bulbs, increasing each year and making an ever more impressive display, and they are very hardy.

Another piece of lore claims that receiving a single daffodil brings bad luck. I received luck. While recovering in the hospital many years ago from a nearly fatal automobile accident, a co-worker brought me a 5# tin can filled with at least fifty bright yellow daffodils. For a depressed patient, her gift gave a piece of spring, sunshine to brighten a hospital room, and certainly hope for recovery. I did, and think of her with every daffodil I see.
yellow dafs