Feature Flower Chrysanthemum - from Garden of Eden Flower Shop

Feature Flower Chrysanthemum - from Garden of Eden Flower Shop

The chrysanthemum is the November birth flower, which comes in myriad colors and breeds. Chrysanthemums were first bred in China many centuries ago, and have appeared in ancient Chinese writings since 15th century BC. The Chinese used the chrysanthemum as an herbal remedy for various ailments such as headache relief, reducing blood pressure and as an anti-inflammatory. Over the years, the Chinese have cultivated the chrysanthemum into beautiful, unique forms that flow downward, spike up, and puff like a cottonball. Spider, Fuji, cremon, and football are just a few of the many chrysanthemums available to florists today.

From China, the chrysanthemum migrated across the sea to Japan where it was further cultivated by Buddhist monks in AD 400. Due to its beauty, the flower quickly became the official flower for the Japanese emperor’s crest and official seal. The Japanese word for chrysanthemum is “kiku” and every year the country celebrates National Chrysanthemum Day, which is also referred to as the Festival of Happiness. Chrysanthemums figure hugely in the national floral art of Japan, Ikebana.

The chrysanthemum finally made its way over to Europe in the 17th century where Carl Linnaeus, the father of taxonomy, coined the name “chrysanthemum.” The name is a fusion of the words “chrysos”, gold, and “anthemon”, flower. Today, this November flower has become one of the most popular flowers around the world!

As the birth flower for November, the chrysanthemum is one of the most colorful flowers that bloom in fall — a season that’s known for having only a few colorful blooms. Therefore, the chrysanthemum symbolizes joy and beauty despite the oncoming colder months. Sadly, the scent of a chrysanthemum is one that is either loved or hated – there are those that can’t stand the earthy odor, and others who can’t envision the Fall season without that smell, which is reminiscent of marigolds.

Different chrysanthemums carry different meanings across various time periods and cultures. According to the Victorian language of flowers, chrysanthemums symbolize friendship and well-wishing. In Buddhism, chrysanthemums are used as offerings to emit powerful Yang energy. In China, chrysanthemums are commonly offered to the elderly, as they symbolize long life and good luck. Red chrysanthemums are used in Chinese weddings and Chinese New Year and signify luck, whereas white are used in funerals and signify death. In Australia, chrysanthemums are the official flowers for Mother’s Day due to their nickname “mum.”

So there you go, November babies! Happy birthday, Happy Thanksgiving, and go get some chrysanthemums!


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