All About Narcissus

By Sarah Whiton

Just like birthstones, each month has a birth flower as well! December's flower is Narcissus, or Paperwhites. While it seems that opinions about their fragrance are highly polarized, there are lots of other things to love about this bloom. My favorite is that you can watch them grow and bloom during the darkest days of the year!

Narcissus are a variety of Daffodil and are originally native to the Mediterranean region. In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a hunter known for his beauty. As the story goes, he rejected all romantic advances and fell in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. He remained by the pool until his death. The flowers that bloomed by the waterside now bear his namesake, Narcissus.

Today, they are typically associated with hope, joy and the holiday season rather than with self-admiration. In England, paperwhites usually are popular around lent, and in China they are considered lucky if blooming around the lunar new year.

You can grow paperwhites indoors from fall to early spring, and they require no dirt. Place bulbs, sprout side up into a container with rocks, glass beads or gravel leaving the sprouting end poking out. Just keep enough water in your container so that it touches the bottoms of the bulbs.

As a blooming arrangement you can watch grow during winter days, paperwhite bulbs are a great gift during the month of December!