, often called
, are a genus (Chrysanthemum
about 30 species of perennial
in the family
, native to Asia
and northeastern Europe
The genus once included many more species, but was split several
decades ago into several genera; the naming of the genera has been
contentious, but a ruling of the International Code
of Botanical Nomenclature
in 1999 resulted in the defining
species of the genus being changed to Chrysanthemum
, thereby restoring the economically important
florist's chrysanthemum to the genus Chrysanthemum
species had been, during the period between the splitting of the
genus and the ICBN ruling, commonly treated under the genus name
The other species previously treated in the narrow view of the
are now transferred to the genus
. The other genera split
off from Chrysanthemum
, and Tanacetum
The species of Chrysanthemum
are herbaceous perennial
growing to 50–150 cm tall, with deeply lobed leaves
and large flowerheads, white, yellow or pink in the wild
species are used as food plants by the
of some Lepidoptera
species — see list of
Lepidoptera that feed on chrysanthemums
Today’s flowers are not as bright or large as ‘show’
Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in
China as a flowering herb as far back
as the 15th century BC. An ancient Chinese city (Xiaolan Town of Zhongshan City) was named Ju-Xian, meaning "chrysanthemum
Historical painting of Chrysanthemums from the New International
The plant is particularly significant during the
Double Ninth Festival
was introduced into Japan probably in
the 8th century AD, and the Emperor
adopted the flower as his official seal.
There is a
"Festival of Happiness" in Japan that celebrates the flower.
The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century. Linnaeus
named it from the Greek
colour of the original flowers), and -anthemon
Modern chrysanthemums are much more showy than their wild
relatives. The flowers
occur in various
forms, and can be daisy-like, decorative, pompons or buttons. This
genus contains many hybrids
thousands of cultivars
horticultural purposes. In addition to the traditional yellow,
other colors are available, such as white, purple, and red. The
most important hybrid is Chrysanthemum × morifolium
C. × grandiflorum
), derived primarily from C.
but also involving other species.
Chrysanthemums are broken into two basic groups, Garden Hardy and
Exhibition. Garden hardy mums are new perennials capable of being
wintered over in the ground in most northern latitudes. Exhibition
varieties are not usually as sturdy. Garden hardies are defined by
their ability to produce an abundance of small blooms with little
if any mechanical assistance (ie. staking) and withstanding wind
and rain. Exhibition varieties on the other hand require staking,
over-wintering in a relatively dry cool environment, sometimes with
the addition of night lights.
The Exhibition varieties can be used to create many amazing plant
forms; Large disbudded blooms, spray forms, as well as many
artistically trained forms, such as: Thousand Bloom, Standard
(trees), Fans, Hanging Baskets, Topiary, Bonsai, and
are divided into 13 different
bloom forms by the US National Chrysanthemum Society, Inc., which
is in keeping with the international classification system. The
bloom forms are defined by the way in which the ray and disk
florets are arranged.
Chrysanthemum blooms are composed of many individual flowers
(florets), each one capable of producing a seed. The disk florets
are in the center of the bloom head, and the ray florets are on the
perimeter. The ray florets are considered imperfect flowers, as
they only possess the female productive organs, while the disk
florets are considered perfect flowers as they possess both male
and female reproductive organs.
An Irregular Incurve chrysanthemum, or
in Japanese, meaning "big chrysanthemum".
The size of this flower is around 20cm (about 8 inches).
These are the giants of the
chrysanthemum world. Quite often disbudded to create a single giant
bloom (ogiku), the disk florets are completely concealed, while the
ray florets curve inwardly to conceal the disk and also hang down
to create a 'skirt'.
The disk florets are concealed and the ray
florets reflex outwards to create a mop like appearance.
Similar to the irregular
incurves, only usually smaller blooms, with nearly perfect globular
form. Disk florets are completely concealed. They used to be called
Similar to reflex blooms without the
mop like appearance. Disk florets are completely concealed, ray
florets usually don't radiate at more than a 90 degree angle to the
These blooms are in-between
the Irregular and Regular incurves in both size and form. They
usually have broader florets and a more loosely composed bloom.
Again, the disk florets are completely concealed.
*Note the spelling, it is not pompom. The
blooms are fully double, of small size, and almost completely
globular in form.
These blooms have completely
exposed disk florets, with between 1 and 7 rows of ray florets,
usually radiating at not more than a 90 degree angle to the
The disk florets are prominently
featured, quite often raised and overshadowing the ray
A red chrysanthemum
The disk florets are visible and the long
tubular ray florets are spatulate.
The disk florets are completely concealed,
and the ray florets are tube like.
The disk florets are completely concealed,
and the ray florets are tube like with hooked or barbed ends,
hanging loosely around the stem.
Brush & Thistle:
The disk florets may be
visible. The ray florets are often tube like, and project all
around the flower head, or project parallel to the stem.
These blooms defy classification as they
possess the attributes of more than one of the other twelve bloom
Chrysanthemum leaves resemble its close cousin, the mugwort weed —
so much so that mugwort is sometimes called wild chrysanthemum —
making them not always the first choice for professional
Dried chrysanthemum flowers
Yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers are boiled to make a sweet
drink in some parts of Asia. The resulting beverage is known simply
as "chrysanthemum tea
: júhuā chá, in Chinese
). Chrysanthemum tea has many
medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza
. In Korea, a rice wine
chrysanthemum flowers is called gukhwaju
photo 1 photo 2
Chrysanthemum leaves are steamed or boiled and used as greens,
especially in Chinese cuisine. Other uses include using the petals
of chrysanthemum to mix with a thick snake meat soup (蛇羹) in order
to enhance the aroma.
) is economically important as a natural
source of insecticide
. The flowers are
pulverized, and the active components called pyrethrins
, contained in the seed cases, are
extracted and sold in the form of an oleoresin
. This is applied as a suspension in
water or oil, or as a powder. Pyrethrins attack the nervous systems
of all insects
, and inhibit female mosquitoes
from biting. When not present in amounts
fatal to insects, they still appear to have an insect repellent
effect. They are harmful
, but are far less toxic to mammals
synthetic insecticides, except in consumer airborne backyard
applications. They are non-persistent, being biodegradable
and also breaking down
easily on exposure to
light. They are considered to be amongst the safest insecticides
for use around food
are synthetic insecticides based on
natural pyrethrum, e.g., permethrin
Chrysanthemum plants have been shown to reduce indoor air pollution
by the NASA Clean Air
Extracts of Chrysanthemum plants (stem and flower) have been shown
to have a wide variety of potential medicinal properties, including
, antibacterial and
Cultural significance and symbolism
countries of Europe (e.g., France, Italy, Poland, Croatia), white
chrysanthemums are symbolic of death and are
only used for funerals or on graves - similarly, in China, Japan
and Korea, white
chrysanthemums are symbolic of lamentation and/or grief.
some other countries, it represents honesty. In the United States, the flower is usually regarded as positive and
A Ming Dynasty Chinese red lacquerware
dish with carved design of chrysanthemums and dragons
- The Chrysanthemum Throne is
the name given to the position of Japanese emperor.
- Chrysanthemum crest (菊花紋章, kikukamonshō or kikkamonshō) is a
general term for a mon of chrysanthemum
blossom design; there are more than 150 different patterns. The
Imperial Seal of Japan is a
particularly notable one; it is used by members of the Japanese
Imperial family. There are also a number of formerly state-endowed
shrines (官国弊社, kankokuheisha) which have adopted a chrysanthemum
- The Supreme Order of the
Chrysanthemum: a Japanese honor awarded by the emperor.
- In Japan the chrysanthemum is also a metaphor for homosexuality
in poems, as the tightly gathered petals are supposed to represent
- The chrysanthemum is one of the "Four
Gentlemen" ( ) of China (the
others being the plum blossom, the
orchid, and bamboo).
The chrysanthemum is said to have been favored by Tao Qian, an influential Chinese poet, and is
symbolic of nobleness. It is also one of the 4 symbolic seasonal
- The chrysanthemum is the flower of the American musician
fraternity Phi Mu Alpha
- The white chrysanthemum is the flower of Triangle Fraternity, a
society of engineers, architects, and scientists.
- Chrysanthemums were recognized as the
official flower of the city of Chicago in
- The term "chrysanthemum" is also used to refer to a certain
type of firework shell that produces a
pattern of trailing sparks similar to a chrysanthemum flower.
- The chrysanthemum is also the flower of November.
Chrysanthemum Festival is held each year in Tongxiang, near Hangzhou, China.
- The "golden flower" referred to in the 2006 movie Curse of the Golden Flower is a
- Chrysanthemums are common visual hallucinations induced by the psychoactive
- The Rock band Everclear has a song
named after the flower.
city of Nihonmatsu, Japan hosts the
"Nihonmatsu Chrysanthemum Dolls Exhibition" every autumn in
historical ruin of Kasumigajo
- the chrysanthemums are the topic in hundreds of poems of
Image:Chrysanthemum Bunch Closeup 3264px.jpgImage:Maroon