Narcissus Pocket Journal

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Model: PJ-124
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Narcissus, commonly called daffodils, are one of the most beloved harbingers of spring and, not surprisingly, the flower of March birthdays. Native to the Western Mediterranean which includes Portugal, Spain, Southern France, and Northern Morocco, they spread across Europe along trade routes throughout the Middle East to China and Japan and eventually to America.

Narcissus is the Latin or botanical name for all daffodils. It comes from the Greek narke—the same root as narcotic. All daffodils contain poisonous compounds—probably why the deer and squirrels leave them alone! However, narcissus have been used medicinally for centuries. Hippocrates prescribed narcissus oil against uterine tumors. In traditional Japanese medicine (Kampo) wounds were treated with narcissus root and wheat flour. Today, narcissus bulbs are used to produce the chemical galantamine which is used in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Narcissus have an ancient and rich past, beloved for their delicate beauty and fragrance. Even the Prophet Muhommad mentioned the value of narcissus in his writings:

“He that has two cakes of bread, let him sell one of them for some flowers of the Narcissus, for bread is food for the body, but Narcissus is food of the soul.”

artwork by Kathy Schlough, text by Anne Trawick

Tags: botanicals,