Back to Greek and Roman Mythology
The flower the Greeks called the narcissus
is a beautiful purple and silver. How it came to be involves the nymph Echo
and the mortal Narcissus
. Narcissus was a handsome man who wooed all the girls, but he never even noticed them. Echo was a nymph
who was punished by Juno
. It seems Jupiter had been fooling around with some nymphs and Juno decided to punish one. Saddly, Echo was the one who felt Juno's rage. The Queen of the Gods stripped Echo of the ability to speak, making it so that the nymph could only repeat what was spoken to her.
Now Echo loved Narcissus dearly, but how could she get him to notice her if she couldn't speak? She tried to converse with him by echoing what he said, but Narcissus left in anger. Echo fumed and prayed that Narcissus would be cursed with vanity. Sure enough, Nemesis carried out Echo's curse and when Narcissus saw his reflection in a nearby lake and fell in love with his reflection. So that's why all the girls loved me! he thought, and, angry with himself for blowing off the girls (including Echo), he killed himself. When Echo saw him dying, all he could say was "farewell", which Echo repeated sadly. The nymphs decided to give Narcissus a proper burial, but when they came to get his body they found it was gone, replaced by a patch of lovely flowers which they named for him.