Chrysanthemums, with their diverse shapes and hues, bring cheer to gardens and bouquets alike. But these blooms hold more significance than just their aesthetic appeal. In different cultures and regions, the chrysanthemum symbolizes various emotions and ideas, varying with the flower’s color.
Discover the rich history and symbolism of chrysanthemums, starting from Ancient China to the present day. Learn the significance behind each color and pick the perfect flower for any occasion. Additionally, uncover the special qualities of these plants and their unique uses.
Origin of Chrysanthemums
The chrysanthemum, known for its vibrant and diverse array of blooms, has come a long way since its origins in East Asia. With its roots tracing back to China, this flower was first mentioned by the philosopher Confucius in his works thousands of years ago, describing it as a simple golden blossom.
As time passed, the Chinese began to cultivate the chrysanthemum and it became a cherished flower in the country. In the fourth century, Buddhist Monks carried the plants to Japan where they gained immense popularity and even became a symbol of the royal family and part of the Emperor’s crest.
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Eventually, the chrysanthemum made its way to the Western World. Despite its widespread popularity today, it wasn’t until 1798 that the flower made its appearance in the United States.
Today, with thousands of different varieties available, the chrysanthemum has come a long way from its simple beginnings as a golden flower in China.
Chrysanthemum Meanings Around the World
The significance of Chrysanthemum can vary greatly depending on the location. It is important to consider the cultural background and location of the recipient when sending these flowers, as a symbol of happiness in one place may hold a completely different meaning in another. To ensure that your message is accurately conveyed, be mindful of these cultural differences.
Mother’s Day, also known as Mum’s Day, is celebrated on an abundance of chrysanthemums in Australia as they are recognized as the official flower of this special occasion.
In Western Europe, including Belgium, France, and Austria, chrysanthemums hold a somber significance as they symbolize death and mourning. They are widely used in funerals and memorials.
Buddhist monks hold the belief that chrysanthemums hold a strong Yang energy which brings brightness and vitality to homes.
In Chinese culture, chrysanthemums are associated with long life and good fortune, making them popular at events like baby showers and birthday parties. The “Four Gentlemen,” chrysanthemum, plum blossom, orchid, and bamboo, have been depicted in Chinese art for over a thousand years and represent the changing seasons. The city of Chu-Hsien, meaning chrysanthemum city, and Beijing and Kaifeng also recognize chrysanthemum as their official flower.
Unlike in other parts of Europe, chrysanthemums are not related to death in Great Britain. Instead, they are considered symbols of happiness and longevity.
Japan has a deep appreciation for chrysanthemums, linking them with perfection due to the perfect order in which the petals open. The flower also symbolizes the sun and is celebrated on National Chrysanthemum Day, corresponding with the Festival of Happiness. However, white chrysanthemums hold a more somber connotation and are typically used for funerals and graves.
In the United States, chrysanthemums represent friendship, happiness, and well-being. They are widely used during the autumn season and are a popular fall flower.
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During the Victorian Era, chrysanthemums were viewed as symbols of good luck and friendship. People often gave mums as gifts to their friends and family.
The Colors and Symbolism
The symbolism of a chrysanthemum flower is heavily influenced by its color. Here’s a closer look at the meaning behind different hues:
White chrysanthemum meaning
In some regions, such as Western Europe and Japan, white chrysanthemums symbolize mourning and sadness. However, in other areas, they represent innocence, purity, honesty, and loyalty.
Also read: What do White Flowers Mean?
Red chrysanthemum meaning
Like many red flowers, red chrysanthemums symbolize love and passion. Consider giving red mums for an anniversary or Valentine’s Day.
Also Read: What do Red Flowers Mean?
Pink chrysanthemum meaning
Pink chrysanthemums are associated with friendship and affection. In Japan, they symbolize the Imperial family.
Also read: What do Pink Flowers Mean?
Orange chrysanthemum meaning
Orange chrysanthemums embody the meanings of both red and yellow flowers – happiness, excitement, and positivity.
Also Read: What do Orange Flowers Mean?
Yellow chrysanthemum meaning
Yellow chrysanthemums signify happiness, joy, and celebration, making them a great gift for someone who needs a little pick-me-up.
Also Read: What do Yellow Flowers Mean?
Violet chrysanthemum meaning
While violet chrysanthemums may be hard to come by, they represent thoughtfulness and care.
Green chrysanthemum meaning
Green chrysanthemums symbolize rebirth, good health, and longevity, making them a unique choice for a gift.
Interesting and Unique Characteristics of the Chrysanthemum Flower
Chrysanthemums are not just rich in meaning, but also captivating in their unique features.
Multiple Blooms in One
Contrary to popular belief, a chrysanthemum bloom is not just a single flower, but a bunch of tiny flowers. The center of the bloom comprises disc florets, while the “petals” are ray florets, making each bloom capable of producing hundreds of seeds.
Also Read: November Birth Flower: The Chrysanthemum
The notion that all mums are alike is a misconception. There are thousands of chrysanthemum cultivars, each differing in size and style. Professional growers classify these cultivars into 13 categories, including single blooms, pompons, spider mums, and cushion mums.
A Descriptive Name
The genus of the chrysanthemum holds a straightforward meaning. The name originates from the Greek words “chrysos” meaning gold and “antehmos” meaning flower. This name was suitable for the original chrysanthemum, which was golden in color.
Chrysanthemum Plant Uses
Apart from their aesthetic appeal in floral arrangements and gardens, chrysanthemums possess a multitude of other uses.
Purifying the Air
NASA’s Clean Air Study unveiled that chrysanthemums are highly effective in eliminating benzene from the air. Some speculate that this attribute also enables mums to combat other indoor air pollution sources.
The chrysanthemum flower contains pyrethrum, a naturally occurring substance that is comprised of six pyrethrins. This substance is frequently used as an organic insecticide by farmers and gardeners.
Chrysanthemum has long been utilized in Chinese traditional medicine, with different parts of the plant being utilized for different purposes. Historical records indicate that chrysanthemums were used to alleviate chest pain, reduce fever, and combat inflammation and high blood pressure. The roots were even boiled to treat headaches.
Recent studies have confirmed the presence of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds within chrysanthemum, although further research is needed to fully understand the extent of its health benefits. Despite this, chrysanthemum continues to be utilized as a natural remedy.
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How do I care for my chrysanthemum plant?
Chrysanthemums prefer well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade. They should be watered regularly and fertilized every two weeks with a balanced fertilizer. It’s also important to remove spent blooms to encourage the plant to produce new flowers.
How long does a chrysanthemum plant last?
Chrysanthemum plants typically bloom in the fall and can last for several weeks to a few months, depending on the variety. If you take proper care of your chrysanthemum, it can come back year after year.
Can I have chrysanthemums delivered through a flower delivery service in the US?
Yes, you can have chrysanthemums delivered to your home with a flower delivery service like SnapBlooms. SnapBlooms offers a variety of chrysanthemum arrangements and bouquets that can be delivered right to your door.