History: Chrysanthemums have been used and revered by the Chinese since at least the early 15th century, according to the National Chrysanthemum Society USA, “As an herb, it was believed to have the power of life. Legend has it that the boiled roots were used as a headache remedy; young sprouts and petals were eaten in salads; and leaves were brewed for a festive drink.”
Chrysanthemums were introduced to Europe in the 17th century and their popularity and spread haven’t waned since. While some European countries restricted their use to the decorating of graves, they were and still are, prized by many cultures for their medicinal, decorative and edible qualities.
Symbolism: Fidelity, Optimism, Joy and Long Life
Did you know:
- Because they bloom into the “dark days” of November, Chrysanthemums are said to represent the light of Hope in dark times.
- Each Chrysanthemum bloom is actually a composite of many smaller blooms, from the center disk to the outer rays.
- Mums of red signify love, yellow mums speak of slighted love and white ones represent truth and loyal love.
- Chrysanthemums produce natural chemicals called pyrethrins, which work as a general insecticide.
- Chrysanthemums are native to a wide range, from the Mediterranean to the Artic.
- In Australia, Chrysanthemums are a traditional Mother’s Day flower.
- Florists often call them “xants”.