Everything You Need to Know About Chrysanthemums

With their beautiful vibrant colours and textured flowers, it’s no wonder that chrysanthemums are one of the most well-loved blooms in the world.

The chrysanthemum flower (or ‘mum’ for short) doesn’t just make a striking addition to any bouquet, but has a vibrant history too. It was originally grown in China before making its way to countries including the UK and the United States.

We’d love to share some of our favourite facts about chrysanthemums with you. Read on to find out more about this lovely flower.

This flower has a very sparkly name

The chrysanthemum was originally cultivated in China many centuries ago, with people attempting to grow and shape different varieties of the flower. It was then introduced to the west, where it stunned botanists with its bright colours and range of shapes.

Chrysanthemums got their name in the 17th  century from the Greek words for ‘golden’ (‘crysos’) and ‘flower’ (‘anthemon’). This is because the original chrysanthemums were yellow in colour.

We think the name is very apt for this beautiful flower.

Chrysanthemums are the birth flower of November

If you’re lucky enough to be born in November, you share your birth month with this gorgeous flower. Chrysanthemums represent fun, generosity, and friendliness, meaning they’re a perfect match if you celebrate your birthday in November.

Chrysanthemums bloom up until early winter, so these flowers are definitely at their best during the eleventh month of the year!

This flower is a ‘true gentleman’

The chrysanthemum is one of the ‘Four Gentleman’ or ‘Four Nobles’ – four plants that are frequently found in traditional Chinese ink paintings.

The plum blossom, the orchid, the bamboo, and the chrysanthemum represent purity and perseverance, as well as the four seasons. The chrysanthemum flower denotes autumn and the harvest.

Chrysanthemums can make you feel better

Humans can eat chrysanthemums safely, and they have been used as medicine for thousands of years. In South East Asia, the stalks are popular boiled or lightly steamed, and traditionally have been used as a cure for headaches.

Chrysanthemums can be made into tea, which is full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is said to give you a boost when you’re feeling under the weather.

(Bear in mind that chrysanthemum flowers can be harmful to dogs and cats, so please keep your blooms away from Rex and Tiger!)

These flowers are excellent for clearing the air

A lovely bunch of chrysanthemum flowers not only make a room look nicer, but can also make a room feel nicer too.

A study by NASA showed that chrysanthemums are the best plants for clearing the air, removing indoor pollutants, and making homes feel a lot fresher.

There’s never been a better excuse to have a lovely bouquet of chrysanthemums in every room of the home!

Chrysanthemums are the flower of mourning in some countries

These blooms are well known for representing life and joy, but in some countries, they represent the opposite.

In European countries including France, Italy and Belgium, chrysanthemums symbolise death and are often seen on graves and in funeral bouquets. The exact reason behind this is unknown, but All Saint’s Day in France is celebrated on 1 November. It’s likely that as chrysanthemums are in bloom at this time, they are used to commemorate long-lost loved ones.

Chrysanthemums are also considered unlucky in Malta, where it’s seen as bad form to have them indoors.

Chicago is a massive fan of the chrysanthemum

All American states and some cities have an official flower. The chrysanthemum has been the official flower of the city of Chicago since 1966.

The official portrait of former President Barack Obama, painted in 2018, includes a background of colourful chrysanthemum flowers. This represented the time he spent working and teaching in the city.

Wherever you are in America, chrysanthemums are universally-adored blooms that are often referred to as ‘The Queen of Fall Flowers.’ This is due to the fact they bloom so late in the year.

Chrysanthemums are big in Japan

These flowers hold a very special place in the heart of Japanese society. When chrysanthemums were first introduced, the Imperial royal family was fascinated by them, to the point that it used the flower on its throne and official seal.

Even to this day, Japan holds a national chrysanthemum day on 9 September, and the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum is the highest honour a Japanese citizen can receive.

Bugs don’t like chrysanthemums

While this wonderful flower is adored by people all over the world, bugs aren’t so keen!

Chrysanthemums contain a compound called pyrethrum, which is commonly found in insect repellents. Savvy gardeners often plant clusters of chrysanthemums around flowers that they want to protect from pests.

Chrysanthemums are one of the longest-lasting cut flowers around

If you’re looking for a bouquet with a long vase life, chrysanthemums are the perfect choice. These flowers can last between 2 to 4 weeks, making them one of the hardiest blooms around.

You can extend the life of your chrysanthemums even further by regularly changing the water and following the flower care tips we include in every bouquet.

The colours of chrysanthemums have different meanings

In the Victorian era, flowers had their own individual meanings. This meant you could tell a loved one exactly what you thought of them with a carefully-chosen floral arrangement.

Chrysanthemums come in a rainbow of colours, which all mean different things. For example, a red chrysanthemum flower symbolises love and passion, a pink bloom represents friendship, and a white flower signifies loyalty.

Chrysanthemums can grow taller than you think

The tallest chrysanthemum in the world grew to a massive 4.34 metres (14’3”) – about the same height as a double-decker bus!

There are over 20,000 varieties of chrysanthemums

The wonderful thing we love about chrysanthemum is the variety. There are estimated to be over 20,000 varieties of the flower and nearly forty naturally-occurring species! These include the classic single bloom and quilled varieties, along with some more unusual looking flowers like anemone chrysanthemums and wispy spider chrysanthemums. We're big fans of adorable miniature pompom chrysanthemums!

Treat someone you love to a gorgeous bouquet of chrysanthemum flowers today – all with next-day delivery.

Use discount code FDGIFT20 for 20% off all full priced bouquets at Appleyard London. Excludes delivery charges & add-on gifts, subscriptions, hampers, and alcohol