Houseplant for the month of February 2016: Pot narcissi are a fabulous harbinger of spring which can give great pleasure if the plant is cared for properly.
Pot narcissi are available in a wide range of colours and flower shapes. Most cultivars are yellow and white, but there are also orange, cream, salmon and many bi-coloured narcissi. Some cultivars have a beautiful fragrance.
They have many uses, both indoors and outdoors. Flowering narcissus bulbs incorporated in wreathes, table decorations and spring arrangements are perfect for giving customers the ultimate spring feeling on wintry days. Loose bulbs can still flower in the arrangements, even without potting soil.
If the temperature does not drop too far below freezing, pot narcissi can also be used outdoors in plant bowls and containers in conjunction with other spring products such as Primula and Salix.
In the wild narcissi grow in meadows, woods and rocky places. The original distribution area covers the whole of Western Europe. Cultivated pot narcissi come mainly from the Netherlands.
The story behind the Narcissus
The Narcissus derives its name from a beautiful youth in Greek mythology. Narcissus had no interest in the nymph Echo, who adored him. Instead of flirting, he preferred to go hunting. Echo asked the God of vengeance, Nemesis, to punish him for his rejection. When Narcissus went to drink from a clear stream after some strenuous activity, he saw his own magnificent reflection and was so impressed by it that he continued to gaze at himself in the water lovingly for days. In the end exhaustion caused him to fall into the water and he drowned. A flower sprung up on the spot which had the same beauty as the youth, with its head hanging slightly. Narcissism - excessive love of oneself - is derived from this. Source: FCH