Narcissus tazetta, Bunchflower daffodil, Polyanthus narcissus,
Hebrew: נרקיס מצוי, Arabic: نرجس

"I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys."
Song of Songs 2:1

Scientific name:  Narcissus tazetta L.
Common name:  Bunchflower daffodil, Polyanthus narcissus
Hebrew name:   נרקיס מצוי
Arabic name:   نرجس
Plant Family:  Amaryllidaceae, נרקיסיים

Flowers in the Holy Land, Israel wildflowers

Life form:  Geophyte
Stems:  30-45 cm high
Leaves:  Rosette, entire
Inflorescence  Umbels of 3-15 flowers; spathe 30-50 mm, scarious; pedicels unequal
Flowers:  White, Yellow; hypanthial tube 12-18 mm; perianth-segments usually broadly ovate, white; corona about twice as wide as high, yellow or orange
Fruits / pods:  Loculicidal capsules
Flowering Period:   January, February, October, November, December
Habitat:  Batha, Phrygana, Humid habitats, Hard rock outcrops
Distribution:  Mediterranean Woodlands and Shrublands, Semi-steppe shrublands, Shrub-steppes, Montane vegetation of Mt. Hermon
Chorotype:   Mediterranean
Summer shedding:  Ephemeral

Narcissus tazetta, bunchflower daffodil, polyanthus narcissus, נרקיס מצוי


Derivation of the botanical name:
Narcissus, Νάρκισσος, Greek, narkissos, narke "numbness", because of the plant's sedative effect.
tazetta, small cup; common name for Narcissus meaning a small cup, from the form of the corona.
The common English name for all narcissus is Daffodil.
  • The standard author abbreviation L. is used to indicate Carl Linnaeus (1707 – 1778), a Swedish botanist, physician, and zoologist, the father of modern taxonomy.
  • According to Greek mythology, Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a stream. He stayed transfixed by the stream and the gods thought he would die of starvation so they changed him into the flower to stay there forever.
  • In another myth it is the narcissus that lured Pesephone to her fate into the underworld. To this day narcissus bow their heads in shame of their role in Hades' plan and in a sympathetic grief with Demeter.
  • Narcissi were given to Venus for their beauty and scent. She bathed in the flowers before entering and winning a beauty competition against Juno and Diana, judged by Paris.
  • Pliny describes it as Narce narcissum dictum, non a fabuloso puero, 'named Narcissus from Narce, not from the fabulous boy.'
  • In Greek it is called Drakakia (Tear Droplets) because the flowers of many species of narcissi droop mournfully, it was long thought to be an omen of death, but simultaneously, they can stand for wisdom (Solomon's bride, the personification of Wisdom), hope & joy.
  • Solomon's bride says that she is "the Rose of Sharon" (which is to say, she is a daffodil), she is naming herself Ha'bazlith or Bazlith (Bazluth), meaning "She is Pealing," or she has many layers (literally to the layers of an onion-like flower bulb).
    The children of Bazlith were among the Nethinim who returned with Zerubbabel (Nehemiah 7:54, Ezra 2:52).
  • Some have supposed the Narcissus tazetta , as the flower Solomon had in mind as Rose of Sharon.

    Havatzelet is not a rose; "The rose of Sharon" (Song of Songs 2:1-2) is a mistranslation.
    The Narcissus tazetta is believed to be the oldest cultivated narcissus, as it was known in ancient Egypt and Greece. Its native is unknown and it is spread throughout the Mediterranean region, as far eastwards as China.
    It is a bulbous perennial, with broad, strap-shaped, gray-green leaves. The fragrant blooms have white petals and yellow coronas. Multiple blossoms appear on leafless stems. It blooms in late autumn and winter.

    Bible resources:
    1. Isaiah 35:1-2
      "The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
      Like the narcissus (Havatzelet), it will burst into bloom; it will rejoice greatly and shout for joy."

    Narcissus tazetta, bunchflower daffodil, polyanthus narcissus, נרקיס מצוי


    Israel, Flowers, Travel, Nature