All About the Chrysanthemum

Spotting a bouquet of chrysanthemums can only mean one thing - fall is just around the corner. Nicknamed "The Queen of Fall Flowers," chrysanthemums bloom in dazzling jewel tones that offer a cozy and elegant feel. They are among the most popular flowers in the world and are renowned for their diversity, beauty, and significance in various cultures.

About the Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as early as the 15th century and are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. They belong to the family Asteraceae and the genus Chrysanthemum. These fresh fall flowers, with their vibrant blooms, are commonly called mums or chrysanths and adorn porches and homes all autumn long.

Chrysanthemum Name Meanings

The name chrysanthemum comes from the Greek word "chrysos," meaning gold, and "anthemon," meaning flower. "Gold flower" reflects the first depiction of chrysanthemums - simple golden-yellow blooms.

Popular Chrysanthemum Varieties

There are over 40 wild species of chrysanthemums and thousands of varieties. Here are 13 of our favourites.

Anemone Mum

Button Mum

Cushion Mum

Daisy Mum

Decorative Mum

Football Mum

Florist's Mum (Chrysanthemum Morifolium)

Garden Mum

Pompon Mum

Quill Mum

Spider Mum

Thistle Mum

Characteristics of Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are hardy late summer and early fall blooms and can be grown either as annuals or perennials, depending on the climate. They are relatively easy to care for and can thrive for several months in a garden, offering a variety of hues such as pink, purple, green, white, and the iconic autumn shades of golden yellow, orange, and red. Depending on the type, chrysanthemums can grow between one and three feet tall and blossom in a variety of shapes.

While most chrysanthemums are beloved for their vibrant large blossoms, each one is actually comprised of many tiny flowers. In the centre of a chrysanthemum, you will see a plethora of disc florets, and each petal creates a ray of florets.

Fun Facts About the Chrysanthemum

  • The chrysanthemum is the November birth flower.
  • In Japan, the chrysanthemum is associated with the autumn moon, is the national flower, and is found in the Imperial Seal of Japan.
  • Japan's "Festival of Happiness" corresponds with National Chrysanthemum Day.
  • Alabama's state flower and the official flower of Chicago are both the chrysanthemum.
  • Chrysanthemum tea is a popular beverage made from dried chrysanthemum leaves in China and Japan. It's known to have a light and refreshing taste and is believed to boost the immune system and support digestion.
  • In China, chrysanthemums are one of the "Four Gentlemen" that signify the change of seasons, along with plum blossoms, orchids, and bamboo.
  • Buddhist monks believe chrysanthemums offer brightness, liveliness, and Yang energy.
  • In the United States, chrysanthemums are nicknamed "The Queen of Fall Flowers" as they signify the arrival of the autumn season.

Chrysanthemum Symbolism

The meaning and symbolism behind chrysanthemums stem from a rich history and vary between cultures.
Regardless of differences, these flowers are beloved and honoured all around the globe.

United States

Friendship, joy, optimism, happiness, and well-being

Europe

Death, grief, and mourning

Japan

Perfection, a symbol of the sun, rejuvenation, and longevity

China

Nobility, good fortune, luck, and longevity

Chrysanthemum Occasions

There is no better time to display chrysanthemums in your home or on your porch than the autumn season - they aren't called "The Queen of Fall Flowers" for nothing. In addition to home decor, chrysanthemums are perfect for celebrating birthdays - especially November birthdays - baby showers, weddings, and anniversaries. In fact, chrysanthemums are the 13th wedding anniversary flower.

As a symbol of friendship, positivity, joy, and well-being in the United States, chrysanthemums are a top choice for sending to friends "just because" or as a get-well gift. In European cultures, chrysanthemums are a common flower for funerals and gravesites. White chrysanthemums are particularly appropriate sympathy and bereavement flowers, as their diverse symbolism and warm appearance bring comfort, grace, honour, and love during difficult times.