Thalia: grace, muse, goddess

Depending on which Wikipedia entry you read, Thalia was a Greek goddess of comedy and idyllic poetry, one of the nine muses, and/or one of the three Graces responsible for rich banquets and festivity. The name ‘Thalia’ is Greek for abundance; perhaps Narcissus ‘Thalia’ was thus called because of the abundance of flowering heads on each stalk.


It is this feature that makes ‘Thalia’ especially wonderful for vases. You don’t have to cut many stems in order to create the impression of abundance, and even with a sizeable number of stems taken from the garden, those double heads mean that the losses won’t be too noticeable.


As the flower-heads open and mature in the vase, the colour fades from creamy white and that almost yellow centre towards pure white. The vase of ‘Thalia’ stands above the fireplace next to a print by the fantastic artist Natasha Newton, one of a pair that I recently bought and had framed, and that will eventually hang in my office.


As described in my previous post ‘Some Flowers’ Of My Own, ‘Thalia’ is one of my favourite flowers to photograph, for her delicate beauty. If you stand very close in a quiet room, the scent is deliciously old-fashioned.

In a vase on Monday is hosted by Cathy at Rambling in the Garden and I recommend a visit to her page to take a look at all the vases created by gardening bloggers across the world today.


32 thoughts on “Thalia: grace, muse, goddess

  1. Quite a lot of gardeners have posted about narcissus ‘Thalia’ and it is a lovely thing. I would like to plant it myself.

  2. I really enjoyed the description of it in your last post, Joanna, which encouraged me to have a closer look at mine. I need to add more for next year as they really are as beautiful as you suggest. Yours is a delightfully delicate little posy – thanks for sharing.

  3. Beautiful, and one of my favourites. So prettily presented on your mantelpiece too! I love the scent if I manage to catch a whiff outdoors.

  4. Thalia is lovely but may I mention Tresamble. It’s like Thalia’s sturdier cousin. Equally lovely but not so prone to damage by wind and rain.

  5. Thalia is one of my favourites too, such an elegant narcissus, how apt that she is one of the Three Graces, she certainly looks very graceful in your vase.

  6. A beautiful narcissus indeed Joanna and my all time favourite. I have often wondered where the name came from so thanks for the explanation 🙂

    1. Thank you Anna. ‘Thalia’ seems to be a popular favourite with so many people and for good reason. Also I find her so long-lasting in the garden … still going strong a good fortnight after I first posted these. I love knowing the origins of plant names. Wouldn’t it be a dream to have the opportunity to name a new plant or flower oneself …

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