What the tulip is to springtime and the sunflower is for summer, the chrysanthemum is to the vibrant fall harvest season. The textured blooms of the chrysanthemum are rich with history and symbolism and actually date back to the 15th century B.C. The name was derived from the Greek “chrys,” meaning “golden,” and “anthemion,” meaning flower.
However, the chrysanthemum we know and love today in the U.S. has experienced many iterations of cultivation to produce its current range of artful colors and hues. Far beyond just the original golden tone, chrysanthemums can now be found in shades of orange, red, white, pink, and purple; some blooms even feature multiple bright colors throughout.
Joy, Happiness and Optimism
Chrysanthemum blooms resemble a daisy or aster, with a yellow-gold center and an exuberant burst of petals radiating out from it. In Japanese mythology, the mum is considered a symbol of the sun, as its measured bloom cycle represented an unfolding order and perfection.
The joyful mum symbolizes positive emotions, and in Japan there’s even a “Festival of Happiness” held annually to celebrate this special flower. In the United States, the mum is the birth flower for November, the official flower of Chicago, IL, and it is the traditional flower given on a 13th wedding anniversary.
The great Asian sage Confucius once proposed that chrysanthemum flowers be used in meditation as a focal point. In another ancient chrysanthemum story, it is said that just one petal from this bloom dropped in your wine glass can ensure a long, healthy and happy life.
Accent Flower or Centerpiece, the Mum Shines
Whatever you choose to believe, the chrysanthemum has undeniable charms. At once the perfect autumn flower and exceedingly elegant, the mum can work equally well as the centerpiece or as an accent flower. The Fall Brights bouquet combines lavender chrysanthemums, orange Asiatic lilies, red carnations, dark orange alstroemeria, orange miniature carnations, bupleurum, oak leaves and lemon leaf for a stunning result.
Fallin’ for You is a symphony of Fuji mums, hydrangea, lilies, tulips and cattails. A Field Picked Autumn Bouquet brings together Viking mums with Gerbera daisies, lilies, roses and kangaroo paw in autumn tones. If you really want to go for broke, give The Dazzler, which combines hot pink, purple and yellow flowers in mums, alstromeria, roses, gerbera daisies, asters, monte casino, snapdragons, plumeria fern, curly willow and solidago for a breathtaking effect.