by Adam Sholes
Part Five of Our Fun Facts About Flowers Series
This is number 5 in my series of blogs offering some basic information about many of the flowers that we, as florists, use every day.
The Chrysanthemum is one of the most varied and versatile flowers in our repertoir. Originally native to Asia and Northeastern Europe, the largest number of species live in China where they were first cultivated in the 15th Century. They are very highlyu regarded in Asian art. Some are also used in cooking as a flavoring for drinks and soups.
Chrysanthemum comes from the Greek words Chysos which means gold and Anthemom which means flower.
The Chrysanthemum is a natural insecticide. The flowers contain a chemical called Pyrethrum which can be used as a repellant in small amounts or a poison in larger amounts. This chemical is a lot less dangerous to mammals and birds than synthetic poisons but is still very harmful to fish.
The plants have also been found to reduce air pollution inside homes.
The Chrysanthemum came to the US in 1798 and commercial production began in earnest in the late 1800's. The US remains one of the larger producers of these flowers. The meanings for Chrysanthemums vary tremendously from country to country. In the US they are used as an every day flower because of their long lasting qualities. In Australia they are used traditionally at Mother's Day. But, in many European countries they symbolize death and are only used at funerals.
Chrysanthemums take many forms ranging in size from 1/2 inch (buttons) to about 1.5 inches (pompons) to the large 4 " blooms.
For more information on these beautiful flowers try the following:
Also in This Series: