Chrysanthemum - Chrysanthemum
The name chrysanthemum comes from the Greek ‘krus-anthemon’ which means ‘gold flower’. Chrysanthemums have been known since 5000bc as a small yellow form but nowadays they are available in many different colours. This flower was first cultivated in China as a flowering herb which was believed to have the power of life. It was first introduced into the Western world during the 17th century and has grown to become one of our most popular cut flowers available all year round.
Chrysanthemums have been intensely bred for centuries, resulting in a number of cut flower forms – there are over a thousand different varieties in all shapes and sizes. The most common chrysanthemums are sprays with several flowers per stem, which come in every colour except for blue (for special occasions they can be dyed blue). Spray chrysanthemums are tremendously popular cut flowers, due to their bright colours and long vase life. The other main type of chrysanthemum are called bloom chrysanthemums, which consist of one large flower per stem. Instead of letting the plant produce side shoots which would also bear flowers, all these shoots are removed to leave only one central stem and this means all the energy of the plant is directed into this one bud which grows to a huge size. Some have tight petalled blooms with all the petals curling upwards, some curve and twist and some have loose petals which look like spiders legs (commonly called spider chrysanthemums). Some varieties have no scent and others have a strong, musky perfume.
In the language of flowers the chrysanthemum is a symbol of cheerfulness and any coloured chrysanthemum means ‘You’re a wonderful friend’, making them a great gift for someone special or just to brighten someone’s day. The different colours have more specific meanings attached to them. White chrysanthemums are associated with truth, wealth and optimism. As with many red coloured flowers, red chrysanthemums can also be sent to say, ‘I love you’ and also symbolise a wonderful friendship. Yellow chrysanthemums mean you have a secret admirer, making them a great idea for something different to send someone unsuspecting on Valentine’s Day!
Did you know...
Feng shui believers think that the chrysanthemum brings laughter and happiness into your home.
It is the national flower of Japan and the Japanese put a single chrysanthemum petal in the bottom of a wine glass to sustain a long and healthy life. The Japanese have a ‘Festival of Happiness’ each year in celebration of the chrysanthemum.
In Italy and Malta chrysanthemums are not very popular as they are associated with funerals and death.
Chrysanthemums used to be the favourite flower of the nobility in China and common people were not allowed to grow them. The Chinese have also used them in their cuisine for years – chrysanthemum petals are eaten in salads to increase longevity and chrysanthemum tea is served as a cure for headaches and depression!
Koreans boil chrysanthemum roots to make tea which they believe cure vertigo!
The chrysanthemum is the birth flower of November.
Chrysanthemums are a symbolic birthday present for November.
Symbolic flower for a 13th wedding anniversary.