Narcissus Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Narcissus Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

There’s a lot of debate about whether or not a narcissus and a daffodil are the same flower. One thing that’s not debated; this vibrant flower translates into a beautiful tattoo rich in varied symbolism and meaning. 

A narcissus has six soft, delicate petals with a circular center, and is one of the most recognized flowers around the world. What many may not know is all of the meaning derived from these flowers, which has been inspiring people to incorporate them into their tattoos for a very long time. 


What Is The History Of Narcissus Tattoos?

The narcissus flower, also known as the daffodil, got its name from the Greek myth of Narcissus. Narcissus was a handsome god who would often reject anyone who would fall for him, as he believed he was better than everyone else. In order to punish Narcissus after a rejection that left goddess Echo distraught, the god Nemesis summoned Narcissus to a stream to face his reflection. 

Narcissus was compelled by the way he looked, so much so that he couldn’t look away from what he saw staring back at him in the stream’s water. He fell in love with himself, and ended up drowning in the water after becoming so fatigued from constantly staring at himself. Around the stream he drowned in, daffodils began to bloom, thus associating them with his name. 

The narcissus isn’t often associated with the type of negative emotion or personality that Narcissus possessed, but given how far back in history the flower is seen to go, it can be speculated that these flowers have been the subject of tattoos for as far back as flowers were immortalized in the art form. 


What Do Narcissus Flowers Symbolize?

The narcissus flower is an early bloomer in spring, often beginning to blossom before many other flowers at the change of seasons.

Therefore, the flower is often signaled as a symbol for new beginnings, or a rebirth or transformation of some sort. They are also considered the birth flower for those born in March. 

The narcissus is also regarded by many cultures as a symbol for hope and happiness. In China, for example, it’s believed that if you found one blooming in your garden on New Year’s Day, it’s a sign that you’ll experience prosperity for the year to come. 

That said, the narcissus used to be regarded as an omen or a symbol that misfortune was going to come. This was especially true if someone was presented with a single flower, rather than a bouquet. While the superstition about gifting a single flower still exists, the ominous symbolism has been long forgotten. 


What Do Narcissus Tattoos Mean?

A tattoo featuring these flowers could mean a host of positive attributes associated with the people the flower is meant to represent.

A narcissus can capture a creative spirit, or it can capture someone who is looking for a source of inspiration to manifest hope for the future. 

A narcissus can also mean the person wants to inspire a spirit of optimism in their life, or that there was an event in their life that reignited their need to remain optimistic. It’s possible the person has been through something in their life that gave them a new sense of purpose. 

A narcissus tattoo, given that the flowers are so commonly associated with new life, can be a representation of a child. It can also represent someone who was born in the month of March. 

The daffodil has also been adopted by the Canadian Cancer Society as a symbol, given the inspiring message the flower can communicate. Thus, one might get a narcissus tattoo to commemorate their battle, or the battle of a loved one. 


Where Do Narcissus Tattoos Usually Go?

One common placement for narcissus tattoos is on the arm, though where it’s placed on the arm might vary. A smaller, daintier narcissus tattoo can often be seen on the inside of the forearm around the wrist or slightly higher up. A larger, more pronounced flower may also be featured on the inside of the forearm, or can be found on the shoulder or top of the arm. 

Larger clusters of narcissus flowers or a bouquet of flowers featuring this flower may appear elsewhere, such as on the lower leg. However, the most common placement remains somewhere on the arm. 


Characteristics And Styles Of Narcissus Tattoos 

The most recognized narcissus flower is a yellow one, though they do blossom in other colors. However, when it comes to tattoos, if they are colored, they are most often yellow. The detail within the petals of these flowers, upon close inspection, can also be reflected beautifully with black and gray shading. 

With recent trends in tattooing leaning more towards minimalist tattoos that are smaller and more delicate, more simplistic depictions of narcissus flowers are being seen. This could include flowers created through linework, black and white outlines of the flower, or colored flowers with no black outline. 

It’s common to see narcissus tattoos as a single flower, sometimes with leaves surrounding it, or the stem and leaves attached. Other tattoos will show other smaller narcissus surrounding them, as if they are still waiting to blossom. These tattoos might also feature other wildflowers in the mix. 

These flowers are very detailed, and a skilled tattoo artist can capture the essence of the flower through showing the dimensions of this flower. The flower doesn’t lay flat, and the center tends to jut out from the petals, which can be communicated nicely in a tattoo. 



Tattoos always have individualistic meaning to those who get them, whether or not that meaning is loosely based on cultural or social symbolism. With narcissus flowers, what they represent has evolved over time, so these flowers in tattoos can mean a host of meaningful things. 

The narcissus can be a deeply personal tattoo, or it can be a flower tattoo that you simply find beautiful. Regardless of what it might mean to you, the colorful, striking flower makes for an incredible piece of body art that you’ll cherish forever.


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