Chrysanthemums, also called Mums, consist of 30 individual species of flower. They are herbaceous perennial plants that originated in parts of Europe and Asia. The species Chrysanthemum indicum is considered the 'defining species' within the genus.
These flowers grow to heights ranging from 50 - 150 cm. Chrysanthemums have large heads of flowers (making them a favorite for display) and deeply lobed leaves.
Used in China as an herb as far back as 1400 BC, they were brought to Japan around 800 AD, and used as the governments official seal. There is a city in China whose names translates to 'Chrysanthemum City'; the actual name is Ju-Xian. Chrysanthemums were then introduced to Europe in the 1700's.
Modern Uses of Chrysanthemums
The Chrysanthemum is one of the most widely cultivated flowers. The genus has only 30 species, but it has been developed into many hybrids, and again into cultivars ranging into the thousands.
Modern Chrysanthemum flowers come in various forms; pompons, buttons or very daisy like in shape. The one's you see for sale in flower shops are much more showy than wild species. The most common color of Chrysanthemums is yellow, but they are also seen in red, white, pink and purple.
There are two basic identifiable groups of Chrysanthemums; Exhibition and Garden Hardy.
- Exhibition types are usually not as sturdy, or hardy,
as Garden hardy types. This type of mum requires staking,
and may require night lights and over wintering.
- Garden hardy Chrysanthemums are perennials that can withstand staying in the ground over winter in colder climates. They can also handle rain and windy conditions, and do not require much aid.
Exhibition types are the mums you see in flower shops. Their varied flower forms are used to create many wonderful bouquets and arrangements. Some different types include Hanging Baskets, Thousand Bloom, Topiary and Bonsai.
A bloom is defined by the arrangement of the flowers' disk florets and rays. Many flowers occur with different sizes and shapes of their blooms. Chrysanthemums are no exception. The US National Chrysanthemum Society, Inc. divides and identifies 13 different blooms for Chrysanthemums. All the different types of blooms are consistent with the international classification system.
- Brush & Thistle
- Intermediate Incurve
- Irregular Incurve
- Regular Incurve