The name of the plant is related to Greek Mythology and the Greek word ‘narcissus’ means ‘numbness’, as a reference to its narcotic nature.
According to Greek mythology, Narcissus was a young man from Boeotia who was known for his beauty. He was the son of the river Cephissus and nymph Liriope. One day in a pool, he saw his own reflection in the water and fell in love with it, not realizing it was an image. Unable to leave the beauty of his reflection, Narcissus lost his will to live. He stared at his reflection until he fell and drowned.
The genus Narcissus is mostly native to the Mediterranean region, but a few species are found through central Asia to China. It is also one of the most popular flowers in the world. There are about ten sections with approximately 50 species bout in Greece three (3) species can be found: 1) Narcissus poeticus 2) Narcissus serotinus and 3) Narcissus tazzeta.
Generally, the flowers are white or yellow, sometimes both or rarely green, consist of a perianth of three parts. Closest to the stem (proximal) is a floral tube above the ovary, then an outer ring composed of six tepals (undifferentiated sepals and petals), and a central disc to conical shaped corona. The flowers may hang down (pendent), or be erect. There are six pollen bearing stamens surrounding a central style. The ovary is inferior (below the floral parts) consisting of three chambers (trilocular). The fruit consists of a dry capsule that splits (dehisces) releasing numerous black seeds.
Narcissus tazzeta can be found in Nisyros and Kos as well. It is amongst the tallest of the narcissus, and can grow to a height of up to 50 cm.
They are bulbous perenial plants grown for their fresh coloured graceful scented flowers. This plant has thin, flat leaves up to 30cm long and 15mm wide.
Narcissus tazetta are bunch flowered (polyanthus) types of Narcissus and are most suitable species of this genus for use as indoor plants. Umbels have as many as 8 flowers, white with a yellow corona. The flowers have a cup (trumpet) shaped corona that are sometimes very much reduced in size and are backed by 6 petals.
The common name of the plant in Nisyros is Perdiko-loulouda (“perdiko” means partridge and “loulouda” means flowers-Narcissus) because these plants grow in the same places of the island where the Partridges usually live.
Photographies by Diakomihalis Haris