Monday, March 17, 2008

Daffodil, Narcissus /Påskelilje

Narcissus pseudonarcissus

Daffodils that come before the swallow dares
And take the winds of march with beauty
William Shakespeare

The Danish name Paaskelilje refers directly to Easter, and it is impossible to imagine a Danish Easter without bundles of those pretty yellow flowers as a decoration in the house together with the Easter eggs and all the other traditional Easter decorations.

The name Narcissus is mostly connected to the legend about the youth in Greek mythology who became so obsessed by his own reflection that he kneeled and gazed into a pool of water until he fell into the water and drowned. The legend says further that the Narcissus plant first sprang from where he died.

Narcissus is the botanic name and there are many variations. The common English name Daffodil is sometimes used for all varieties. The Narcissus was listed as a medicinal herb in 'De Medicina' by the physician Aulus Cornelius Celsus, who said that 'it was powerful to disperse whatever has collected in any part of the body'.

photo 120308: grethe bachmann

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