I'm sure you can tell that this was written for work... just sayin.
Anyone familiar with Greek mythology might recall the story of Narcissus who stumbled upon a pool of water and then became so obsessed with his own reflection that he knelt in front of it until he died. As mythology tells, a flower sprang from this spot which bears the name of Narcissus and botanical Latin has come to recognize. The other derivation is that the plant is named after its narcotic properties literally translating to “I grow numb” in Greek.
The common name Daffodil is derived from a "Affodell", referring to the genus Asphodelus (other beautiful plants connected with sites of death in Greek mythology). The dutch article “de” was added to the name when the bulb was introduced to Northern Europe and other variants such as "daffadown Dilly", "daffadown dilly", and "daffydowndilly" have appeared since the 16th century. You might also hear it called by the name Jonquil, in the south, as most of the heat tolerant cultivars stem from the species Narcissus jonquilla.
Daffodil’s are symbolic in many cultures. In the United States they’re a symbol of rebirth and spring. In Germany the Daffodil is connotated with Easter as it is commonly called Osterglocke, or Easter bell. China has a story of a poor man who held a golden cup shaped flower and he received many cups of gold for it. Being able to force a Daffodil to bloom during the Chinese New Year is considered to be a symbol of upcoming wealth.
New York City has its own Daffodil history. The Daffodil Project was founded in 2001 to memorialize the attacks of September 11th. The Parks Department and NY4P teams up with volunteers every fall to plant daffodils in public spaces to celebrate their blooming as symbols of perseverance and restoration. As of 2008, 1.5 million bulbs had been donated to this project after Hans van Waardenburg (B&K Bulbs) made his initial donation. The Daffodil Project continues to plant daffodils every autumn with the help of volunteers throughout the five boughs.
Most varieties of Narcissus are very accommodating to novice gardeners. There are over 50 registered species and over 13,000 registered hybrids at the present. If you’re tired of seeing the classic bright yellow, look for more modern hybrids in green, orange, white, and pink. Flowers can be large or small, single to multi-petaled, tall or short, fragrant or unscented. No matter what your tastes are in flowers, there is probably a Narcissus for you. They’ll even come back year after year.