December’s Birth Flower: Narcissus & Holly
What is a Birth Flower?
Think of birth flowers as an umbrella term for each month of the year; similar to the Horoscope, they represent emotions, feelings, and meaning behind the astrological months. They also make the dreaded task of shopping for gifts a whole lot easier as each month is a different flower. For example, the Narcissus and the Holly are the chosen flowers for December.
What are the Narcissus & Holly flowers?
A tale as dramatic as the Greek novels, Narcissus is derived from the God who rejected the advancements and proposals of marriages and eventually fell in love with his reflection. Did you know the word narcissist comes from this God? Luckily this tale doesn't end as sadly; the Narcissus flower signifies a rebirth. And best of all? It will leave you guessing for more since it can bloom anywhere from Winter to Spring, meaning you have to be giving it attention and watching over it constantly.
Holly makes us smile. Picture the perfect Christmas setting; it almost certainly includes the family and loved ones congregating around a holly accent. While it's technically not a flower – according to horticulturists – it's known as Christ's thorn for Christians because of its pointy leaves; the berries are a metaphor for the death of Christ because of the red color.
Fun facts about the Narcissus and Holly December flowers
- The narcissus flowers are not dull, since you don't know when they'll bloom, many people think of them as a game.
- Narcissus are native to the Iberian Peninsula
- Most narcissuses are yellow or white
- Technically, the holly 'flower' is a plant with berries, not a flower
- The European holly is the one most commonly associated with Christmas
- Hollies are toxic to animals and are deadly
Winter might have only begun, but 2021 is quickly coming to a close and what better way to finish out the year than sharing a few fun facts about December’s two birth flowers: the Narcissus and the Holly. While the two couldn’t be more diverse, one being a delicate (bulb) blossom and the other a wintery evergreen, both of these iconic winter plants.
A popular plant for the cold winter months, it's no surprise that December shares this birth flower with the holly plant. Although this plant has relatively unnoticeable flowers, it would be more fitting to refer to it as December’s birth berry! Even though its most visibly seen and highlighted throughout the winter months, real holly plants will bloom small scented flowers during the spring which often attract great pollinators like bees and butterflies.
As the last birth flower of the year, Holly is packed with symbolism; in Christianity it was once believed that the berries were white until they were stained red by Christ’s blood on the cross and its spiky leaves like a thorny crown on his head.
Some say that holly symbolizes protection and defense while others associate it with a sense of optimism and happiness - all of which are great things to have at the end and beginning - of a new year and making it a great gift to give those born in the month of December.
From the genus Narcissus (which also includes the daffodil!), the paperwhite Narcissus is one of the most popular winter blooms, making it only fitting to be December’s birth flower and associated with good wishes, hope, and wealth - all the things one wishes for end-of-year cheer and celebration! They also represent sweetness, purity and simplicity, all delicately showcased throughout its paper-thin flowers.
Recognizable for their trumpet-like shape, this delicate blossom has a sweet scent when in bloom. Usually seen in two colors (yellow and white), several new hybrids have been scientifically created. But should you decide to plant this flower in a garden, proceed with caution for although it might look sweet, the narcissus is extremely toxic and can cause surrounding flora to wilt and die - giving it a more symbolic view.
Many legends and lore follow this easily recognizable flower, for even its name hails from ancient Greece; son of a Greek god and goddess, Narcissus was a handsome man who left women broken hearted with unrequited love. In punishment, he was cursed to look upon his reflection on a lake for eternity, causing him to fall deeply in love with himself and to die along the riverbank and to remain forever a flower. And while this connotation leaves a negative impression on this winter bloom, the Narcissus is often depicted as a sign of modesty, respect, and even faithfulness, evident throughout art and literature.
Please note all imagery featured is purely inspiration and not a product of Nearly Natural.