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This time of year, chrysanthemums can be spotted on walkways, patios, and porches and in window boxes and yards. They are such cheerful flowers, and they look so gorgeous in the autumn light. I think the chrysanthemum is the perfect choice for November’s birth flower; don’t you? In celebration of the chrysanthemum, I dug up a few facts you may not know about these personable blooms.
A Chinese Flower
Chrysanthemums date back to 15th century China. The Chinese used these flowers to make herbal remedies to soothe headaches, cure infection, and decrease blood pressure. The Japanese admired the chrysanthemum, or “kiku,” as they called it, for its beauty. In fact, they incorporated it into the official seal of the Japanese emperor. Japan even has a National Chrysanthemum Day! This holiday falls on the ninth day of the ninth month. These flowers were introduced to Europe in the 17th century and given the name “chrysanthemum” by taxonomist Carl Linnaeus. The name combines the Greek words “chrysos” (gold) and “anthemon” (flower). The name seems to fit, doesn’t it?
Mums can be kept either indoors or outdoors. They can be planted in the garden or grown in large pots or other containers. Or, if you prefer, these blooms can look perfectly at home in a roomy window box. Depending on the variety, some chrysanthemums are more tolerant of the cold than others.
Caring for Mums
These hardy blooms require at least six hours of full sunlight and must be put in fertile soil to thrive. If you want to plant them in your garden, leave about ten inches between them so they have space to spread out. Mums need to be watered regularly. If you have potted mums, push your fingers about one inch into the soil: If the soil is dry, the plant needs water. If it rains less than an inch in a week, be sure to water the mums in your garden. I usually choose several pots of yellow mums to decorate my front entrance in the fall. But this year, I opted for purple mums. They are so lovely. My plants seem to show off different shades of purple as the light changes throughout the day!
Interesting Tidbits About Chrysanthemums
- Red chrysanthemums symbolize love, while white ones represent a wounded heart or purity.
- Do you know someone with a 13th wedding anniversary coming up? An arrangement of mums is the traditional gift for this celebration.
- Chicago’s official flower is the chrysanthemum.
- Drinking flavorful chrysanthemum tea can help you feel a bit better if you have a case of the flu or your stomach is upset due to eating spicy foods.
- There are different classes and types of mums, including the pom-pom, cushion, single, anemone, spider, spoon, quill, and decorative.
- Chrysanthemums are known as tropical flowers.
- In 1937, American author John Steinbeck wrote a popular short story entitled “The Chrysanthemums.”
I think chrysanthemums are one of the best parts of fall. They are colorful reminders that not all beautiful flowers bloom in the springtime!