The Greeks associated the narcissus to the vanity of youth. According to the myth, Narcissus drowned after watching his reflection in the water, and right there sprang the flower that bears his name. Its name derives from the Greek narkao, numbing, for its intoxicating aroma.
Like the laurel, myrtle or lavender, narcissus was another of the many familiar plants known and cultivated by the Greco-Roman classics that continued to be popular in al-Andalus, where botanical studies were prompted to find and remember the possible medicinal, hygienic and therapeutic properties of the plants. Thus, the people from al-Andalus used the narcissus oil for massages with these purposes, to relax the nervous system and for some conditions caused by a cold.
The Calendar of Córdoba indicates that early white narcissus bloomed in Córdoba in the month of December. This manuscript also called Book of the division of time, was written in 961 for the caliph al-Hakam II where various agricultural work that had to be done in every season and time of the year was described for a proper exploitation of natural resources. The compendium of astronomical, agricultural and meteorological knowledge in this work is a good example of how classical science survived in al-Andalus. The text, which was written in Latin and Arabic by a Christian to a Muslim caliph, is also an example of the richness of cooperation between different cultures.