We commonly know the chrysanthemum by its shortened name, mum. Mums are a staple fall flower, coming in various colors such as purple, rust, yellow, and white. Chrysanthemums have an ancient history and rich significance to different cultures; below, you can learn more about the November birth month flower, the chrysanthemum.
The History of the Chrysanthemum
Chrysanthemums are part of the daisy family, Asteraceae. Their original color was golden, and while golden mums exist today, you can find them in a wide array of beautiful colors.
Mums are native to Asia and figure prominently in ancient Chinese culture. In fact, you can find depictions of them as far back as the 15th century B.C. The ancient Chinese used mums as a medicinal plant for headaches and high blood pressure as well as an ingredient for tea and salad. Chrysanthemums spread to different parts of Europe beginning in the 17th century A.D.
Chrysanthemum Flower Meanings
The chrysanthemum flower has different meanings in different countries. In China, the mum is one of the four flowers known as “the Four Gentlemen,” which depict the seasons. The mum represents autumn. It also symbolizes good fortune and long life.
In Japan, this flower represents perfection, as its petals open up perfectly. It is also a sign of youth or the sun. However, white typically represents death in Asia, so white chrysanthemums symbolize death.
In Europe and the United States, mums were symbols of friendship, good feelings, and good luck. No matter the color, they represent a positive future or feeling. Only in some European countries does the white color symbolize grief as opposed to purity.
You can grow mums as perennials if you allow the roots to establish themselves within six weeks without suffering from strong heat or frost. Plant them in early spring in full sun, and you will have full blooms every fall.
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