Flowers carry great symbolic meaning according to Greek mythology. Each flower has a specific meaning and story behind it portraying different emotions.
Due to the fleeting life cycle of flowers, they have often been linked with youthful, innocent beauty and natural life cycles, hence being related to weddings and christenings. As well as being beautiful when they bloom, flowers also wilt, giving them the symbolic meaning of youthful death. This is why flowers are also traditionally used at funerals as a way of representing the life and death of a person.
The lily flower suggests fertility, creation and chastity with reference to virgin saints and Greek goddesses. The poppy signifies dreams, sleep and hypnosis relating to the opium extracted from the poppy.
The word narcissist derives from a narcissus flower, also known as the daffodil. In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a beautifully hansom young man who was pined over by many women. His arrogance and lack of respect for his loved ones angered the Gods, who made him fall in love with his reflection. Narcissus was so encapsulated by his reflection in a nearby lake, he drowned. And in that spot, a narcissus/ daffodil sprouted from the ground.
It’s interesting how an ancient myth can have such a knock on effect on meanings and symbols today. These symbolic references are still used as we relate flowers to significant and appropriate events.