Chrysanthemums are perhaps one of the most popular flowering plants worldwide! They belong to the Chrysanthemum genus, which contains around 40 flowering plants, however, those grown and bred for the floral and garden industry are classified as Chrysanthemum x morifolium. Also known as “mums”, these plants are a part of the Asteraceae family which also contains daisies and dahlias.
These wondrous plants are herbaceous perennials and can flower in the garden year after year with the right care. Generally hardy to USDA zones 5-9, tender types need to be sheltered during the fall and winter months where their blooms can be enjoyed indoors, whereas hardy types can normally endure mild winters without a problem.
They are native to the Far East, which explains their extreme significance in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cultures. They are heavily depicted in East Asian art and pottery, as well as the subject of several festivals! Chrysanthemum flowers also have an esteemed place in traditional Chinese medicine.
Named by famed botanist Karl Linneus, the common name we use today “chrysanthemum” is a combination of Greek words “chrysos” and “anthemon” which mean gold and flower respectively.
Hundreds of Chrysanthemum x morifolium exist today with different growth habits, colors, and flower forms! These include anemone, single, intermediate incurve, pompom, spider, and more. Flower colors range from pinks and reds to bronzes and yellows. They are fantastic for beds, borders, and containers, and will bring a lovely touch of fall color to the garden or greenhouse!
Unique Chrysanthemum Varieties Every Gardener Should Know
Here are our favorite types of mums:
#1 Allouise Pink
Allouise Pink is a wonderful intermediate incurve chrysanthemum flower. Intermediate incurve flowers have a loose yet incurving flower form and produce medium to large blooms. This plant reaches heights of 4 feet, with large silvery-pink blooms. Petals become tinged with soft yellow closer to the central floret and have silvery-white undersides.
#2 American Beauty White
A tender variety, this chrysanthemum plant is suited for container planting but should be brought indoors or into a greenhouse at the beginning of fall. American Beauty White is an incurve type with medium-sized double flowers. Blossoms are creamy-white and become a soft buttery-yellow towards the center. This late bloomer reaches 5 feet tall and has attractive dark green foliage.
#3 Anastasia Green
A fantastic chrysanthemum for cut flowers, Anastasia Green has unusual spider-form flowers. These blooms are considered large, with thin tubular petals that curl inwards at the ends. This variety can be up to 36 inches tall, with bright green flowers that grow between 4 and 8 inches across.
#4 Anastasia White
Anastasia White is a quill chrysanthemum, meaning it has straight or tubular petals that come out from its closed center; petal tips are either pointed and closed or flat and open. Its 5-inch blooms are white with pale yellow centers and have straight, flat-tipped petals. This variety will grow to 2 feet tall and makes great cut flowers!
Beacon is a tender, intermediate incurve chrysanthemum flower. It produces vivid, red-orange, fully double blooms in late fall and grows as large as 4 feet. Flowers may reach just over 6 inches across, and their warm orange color lends them particularly to fall-themed floral bouquets or central pieces! Bring them indoors around early fall to protect them from the winter cold.
#6 Beauty Elegant Pink
An extremely compact variety, this eye-catching chrysanthemum flower is ideal for container planting, borders, or filling in gaps in the garden bed. It only reaches 10 inches in height and has unique, single, daisy-like flowers. Flowers have a golden yellow central disc, with long white petals that have a singular cerise pink stripe down the middle. It is a fantastic choice to bring some color into patios or city gardens!
#7 Belle O’ The Ball
Belle O’ The Ball has elegant, intermediate incurve flowers. Its 5-inch blooms are raspberry pink with golden centers but fade to soft, rose pink with maturity. This chrysanthemum plant will grow as tall as 18 inches and would look lovely planted among pansies or violas.
#8 Carmine Blush
This sunny, single-flowered chrysanthemum is a vigorous and free-flowering variety. This makes it a wonderful option for bed and border planting in cottage-style gardens! It may reach up to 28 inches, and has purple-pink flowers with golden yellow disc florets.
#9 Cottage Apricot
Cottage Apricot is another single-flowered variety well suited for cottage-style borders. It may reach as tall as 32 inches and would look lovely growing amongst other more showy chrysanthemum types. Its daisy-like flowers are vivid orange-pink tinged with bronze and have a yellow central eye.
#10 Emperor of China
This is a relatively old chrysanthemum cultivar that has an unusual and interesting spoon form. Spoon form varieties may have small to large blooms that are daisy-like, with curled-up petals that open at the ends to resemble a spoon! Emperor of China has silvery pink blooms that darken towards the center into a dusty rose. It tends to spread and will grow as tall as 3 feet.
Dolliette is another spoon form plant that may reach between 18 to 24 inches. It has small, 2-3-inch flowers that have golden yellow central discs, pale yellow petal tubes flushed with bronze, and vivid red spoon-like petal tips. This striking chrysanthemum variety would be the talking point of any garden, and would bring a much-needed pop of color to patio or city gardens!
#12 Fairweather Pink
Fairweather Pink is a regular incurve chrysanthemum. These types are also known as “football mums” due to their round shape and compact petals. This variety has 9-inch, pale pink blooms and will grow as tall as 72 inches. It will need to be brought indoors before the first frosts and makes beautiful cut flowers.
#13 Froggy Green
A spray-type chrysanthemum with a pompom flower form, Froggy Green produces a mass of small blooms that have a button or ball-like shape. The plant is heavily branched with several flowers per stem. A highly popular variety for bouquets due to its interesting lime green color, it grows as large as 36 inches, and disbudding will encourage it to produce bigger blooms.
#14 Golden Rain
Golden Rain is a tender, late-flowering variety that will need to be brought indoors in early fall. It is a spider chrysanthemum with striking golden-yellow flowers that grow as wide as 8 inches. This unusual flower is perfect for bouquets and vases.
#15 Little Dorrit
This hardy Korean chrysanthemum has a spoon form and can be up to 32 inches tall. Flowers have three layers of spoon-shaped petals which have white tubes flushed with red and soft red tips tinged with gold. Their centers are golden-yellow. Blooming occurs in mid to late fall, making this a great variety for an autumnal flower arrangement!
#16 Long island Beauty
Long Island Beauty is an anemone-flowered variety. Flowers resemble single, daisy-like forms, but have pronounced central florets which create a large dome shape. It is a late flowering, tender chrysanthemum and should be either dug up and replanted indoors, or moved indoors in its container. The outer petals are pure white, contrasting with its sunshine yellow, pronounced central disc. It may grow between 3-5 feet high.
Lucy is a stunning chrysanthemum that would look amazing in cottage-style garden beds and borders! This anemone-flowered variety reaches 36 inches and is considered an early bloomer. Outer petals are pale pink, with pale pink inner florets that fade to orange-yellow in the center.
This bold and eye-catching chrysanthemum plant has incredibly showy spoon form flowers. Blooms have golden yellow centers, golden yellow petal tubes, and contrasting rich red petal tips. It grows between 18 and 24 inches high, with dark green foliage that accentuates its colorful flowers.
Matinee is a compact, clump-forming variety that makes the perfect container plant! It reaches a mere 12 inches tall and has sunny, anemone-flowered blooms. These wonderful chrysanthemums initially have rich orange blossoms that open fully and mature to a striking and uniform sunshine-yellow! Mulching in winter is recommended to provide extra protection.
A lovely chrysanthemum variety, Mavis has pompom flowers and stands at 2 feet tall. It is half-hardy so may need to be transferred to a greenhouse in early fall. Flowers are just shy of 2 inches, with a beautiful blush pink coloring that intensifies towards the central florets. Plant it in cottage-style garden borders.
#21 Moulin Rouge
This low-forming bush has wonderful pompom flowers and has a compact height of 16 inches. Blooms emerge in late autumn and are dark red with extra small yellow central discs. This is a fantastic container variety that will need to be moved indoors in the fall. Use it for autumnal floral displays alongside chrysanthemums Beacon and Little Dorrit.
#22 Okura Red
Okura Red is a cheery chrysanthemum bush that is ideal as a container plant in patio gardens! Growing up to 20 inches high, it produces masses of small, red pompom flowers that contrast nicely with its dark green foliage.
#23 Paul Boissier
Paul Bossier is a semi-double type with relatively small 2-inch flowers. A clump-forming chrysanthemum, it grows as large as 40 inches and blooms in mid to late fall. Blooms are bronze orange, occasionally flush with gold. This hardy variety is perfect for sunny beds and borders!
#24 Peach Allouise
This intermediate incurve chrysanthemum has large flowers that will reach just over 6 inches. It will grow to 40 inches producing beautiful blossoms in late summer to early fall. Flowers are pale peach with slightly yellow undersides. In mild areas Peach Allouise will require a layer of mulch for extra protection over winter, otherwise lifting is recommended.
#25 Pennine Glory
Pennine Glory is a reflex type which means it has medium-sized full-double blooms with petals that curve outwardly from the center. It grows up to 30 inches high and has creamy yellow outer petals, and bright golden-yellow central petals with soft yellow undersides. This half-hardy chrysanthemum may need lifting or mulching over winter.
#26 Pennine Oriel
An anemone-flowered chrysanthemum plant, Pennine Oriel is great for attracting pollinators into the garden! Reaching 48 inches tall, this half-hardy variety would look at home in a cottage-style garden amongst other early fall bloomers such as pansies. Its blossoms have creamy yellow outer petals and a soft yellow, domed central disc.
Picasso is a wonderful container variety with masses of small, double flowers. This half-hardy chrysanthemum bush will grow to a compact 20 inches high and has beautiful peachy-pink blooms that fade to soft orange as they mature. Its small central disc is golden yellow. Grow this plant in patios or city gardens for a vision of fall color!
#28 Pink Splendour
This show-stopping chrysanthemum flower is a spider type. It has pale pink blooms, drooping outer petals, and inwardly curved, darker, central petals. A tender variety, it will need to be brought indoors in early fall where it will showcase its dramatic blooms a few weeks later. It will reach up to 35 inches tall.
Poppet is a hardy pompom type with sunshine yellow blooms that would look incredible in a meadow-style garden alongside ornamental grasses! Considered an early bloomer, its small, spherical flowers are 1.5 inches wide and make an appearance in late summer to early fall. Expect this chrysanthemum plant to reach a maximum height of around 34 inches.
#30 Regal Mist Purple
Regal Mist Purple is an intermediate incurve chrysanthemum with large 9-inch flowers. Blooms are a lovely, rich pink-purple with paler undersides. It will grow as high as 48 inches and makes great cut flowers.
#31 Sea Urchin
This delightful flower is a Korean chrysanthemum that has a quill form. It is relatively low growing at a maximum of 22 inches and will flower in mid-fall. Petals are pale yellow, growing slightly darker towards the center. Sea Urchin is borderline hardy and may need to be overwintered in a cold frame. Plant them along beds and borders.
Snowscape has semi-double blooms that reach 3-4 inches wide. Its flowers are wonderful with white petals tipped with purple-pink and pale yellow centers. Reaching heights of 18 inches, this is the perfect chrysanthemum for cottage-style garden beds and borders, and flowers from late summer to early fall.
Sputnik is an unusual spray chrysanthemum that will need to be moved indoors at the beginning of fall. It grows up to 40 inches with blooms just under 3 inches. Its quilted outer petals are soft yellow with pink flushed tips, and its inner central dome is bright orange-yellow. Foliage is dark green and contrasts nicely with its vivid yellow flowers.
A beautiful spoon-form, Korean, chrysanthemum flower, Starlet is a compact cultivar well suited to beds and borders. This plant will require either a layer of mulch over winter for added protection or lifting in very cold areas. Blooms have bright yellow central discs, and light orange-bronze outer petals. It can grow up to 20 inches in height and makes very attractive cut flowers.
This chrysanthemum flower is a half-hardy Korean cultivar well suited for container planting. It will need a protective layer of winter mulch or to be sheltered indoors over the cold months. Syllabub is anemone-flowered with spoon-shaped outer petals! Outer petals are raspberry pink fading to white towards the central disc. The central cushion florets are yellow, with pink insides edged with white. It is compact at 20 inches tall and would be the talking point of any garden!
#36 Yellow John Hughes
Yellow John Hughes is a tender chrysanthemum plant that has 3.5 inch regular incurve flowers. Blooms are pale yellow and will emerge in late fall. Reaching heights of 43 inches, this delightful variety will need to be mulched in areas that experience mild winters, otherwise, it should be lifted and stored over the cold months.
~ image source: depositphotos/Wirestock