Chrysanthemums Fact File

Chrysanthemums Fact File

The word ‘Chrysanthemum’ comes from the Greek ‘Chrys’, which means ‘golden’ – that was the colour of the original wild flowers that originated in Asia and north-eastern Europe. The original flower was ‘less showy’ than the ones we see today at florists, gardens and shows because it has been cultivated to enhance the flower’s bloom and vary the colour. Chrysanthemums can now be found in exotic, quill, spoon, cascade, spider, reflex, brush and thistle, pompon, incurve, anemone, daisy-like, decorative, single, semi and double form blooms. These flowers bloom in yellow, reds, whites and purples, from mid-summer through to late fall (depending on the species).

Orange Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are commonly known as ‘mums’ or ‘Chrysanths’, and have a long life expectancy of more than two years – if they are well looked after that is! They grow between 50 to 150cm tall, creating a pretty carpet of colour and shape in your garden.

The Chrysanthemum Cinerariaefolium are known as ornamentals because of their showy flower heads and the usefulness as a natural insecticide that is biodegradable. This insecticide attacks the nervous systems of all insects and is less harmful to mammals and birds than most modern insecticides – however, it’s toxic to fish. Even the planting of this species amongst a crop can repel insects.



Chrysanthemum Coronarium are commonly known as Chrysanthemum greens, edible Chrysanthemum, garland Chrysanthemum or in Chinese as Tong Hao. This petals, leaves, stems and roots of this species are widely used in cuisine as a flavouring for soups, stews, hot pots and casseroles. The leaves can be steamed or boiled and used as greens, and the flower itself is widely used to flavour tea (which as well as a sweet drink was thought to cure influenza).

The Chrysanthemum Segetum, better known as Corn Marigolds or Corn Daisies, was thought of as a common weed in 13th century Scotland. There was even a law passed by the king to stop the spread – if you were caught having the plant on your land you were fined a sheep! More recently though, the Marigold was the emblem of Mary Queen of Scots.

Pink Chrysanthemums

Pink Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums are thought to have been cultivated as early as 1500 BC by the Chinese. They felt that it held great significance; they are mentioned repeatedly in poems as a symbol of nobleness, and the Emperor even adopted the flower as his official seal in the 8th century. Other qualities of the Chrysanthemum include cleansing – if you drank its wine or wore and decorated your household with the flower, it would protect you from danger, dispel bad omens and cure illnesses. Today, it has actually been scientifically proven that extracts of the Chrysanthemum have a variety of potential medicinal properties including anti-HIV-1, antibacterial and antimycoti.

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This entry was postedon Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 at 8:17 pmand is filed under Chrysanthemums, Fact Files.You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

14 Responses to “Chrysanthemums Fact File”

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