The chrysanthemum is a treasured beautiful flower like no other. It is used in the ornamental and culinary field as well as in traditional folkloric medicine. Similar to the other flowers from the Aster family, a chrysanthemum holds deep meaning and symbolism.
For example, a white, red, or orange chrysanthemum means hope, love, and happiness. Meanwhile, a purple or pink chrysanthemum symbolizes well wishes and platonic love. A green or yellow chrysanthemum flower represents good fortune and high spirits.
Growing chrysanthemum flowers will surely make a great addition to your garden! Not only will it add more beauty but it will also add that pop of color during springtime! In this article, you will discover the chrysanthemum flower meaning when it comes to culture, spirituality and more.
History of the Chrysanthemum Plant
In the course of the rich history of the chrysanthemums,it has been around for over a thousand years (around the fourth century) with so many varieties today. The great Chinese philosopher Confucius was the first to mention its beauty 500 years before Christ.
It was described in 1548 as a perennial composite herb or shrub with double petal bright colored beautiful flowers. These not so tiny flowers feature disc florets or ray florets on single blooms.
The first chrysanthemums were brought by buddhist monks from Japan and then grew to fame for its beauty and elegance. Some interesting and unique characteristics about these flowers is that the petals bloom in a perfect order – this caught the attention of botanist Karl Linnaeus.
Chrysanthemums belong to the genus Chrysanthemum of the Aster or Asteraceae family. The genus name comes from the Latin and Greek word Chrysanthemon referring to any plant with bright yellow flowers. Additionally from ancient Greece, it can also come from the Greek words Chrysos meaning gold, and Ánthemon meaning flower.
The original chrysanthemum literally means the golden flower! There are roughly over 40 different chrysanthemums available in other parts of the world and all year round. They are primarily native to the subtropical and temperate regions of the western world which includes European countries (western Europe and Great Britain mostly), East Asia, and Africa.
Got any clues as to what nicknames this plant has? Since its floral name is quite long, it is also famously called the Chrysanths or Mums (either Cushion mums or Spider mums). Some chrysanthemum cultivars in the present day include the Moon Daisy (C. maximum), the Small Feverfern (C. parthenium), the Gaudy Tricolor (C. carinatum), and the Paris Daisy (C. frutescens).
Symbolism of Chrysanthemum Blossoms
The chrysanthemums symbolize history that is very culturally diverse. Historical Japanese traditions have high regard for Mum blossoms. The chrysanthemum signifies the imperial family and is the official flower of the Japanese emperor. It is decorated on the emperor’s crest and the royal family emblems. The flowers are floral representations of the sun and good luck and good fortune.
Mums were called Kiku in Japanese. These are symbolic flowers of September embodying optimism, long life, and happiness. It is the official birth flower for November birthdays and is sometimes called Fall flowers. Folks in the United States also believe chrysanthemums symbolize happiness, positivity, and cheer!
Apart from its bright floral colors, there are some quite gloomy symbolisms mums are known for. In some European customs, a symbolism recognized by many was that mums were a symbol of condolence and grievance in funerals and graves. It was considered as memorial flowers.
Elder Italians and folks in Malta also believe in a similar symbolic meaning for the mums. They say that bringing these flowers into homes will bring about bad luck. The Victorian era believes otherwise. During Victorian times, mums were a symbol of good luck and friendship.
Meaning of Chrysanthemum Flowers
Chrysanthemums hold symbolic meanings that depend on its color and history. In the language of flowers, the chrysanthemum carries a meaning behind every petal. These include cheerfulness, abundance, and wealth – just take a look at its bright double petals!
Other chrysanthemum meanings, on another note, can also include undoubted loyalty and true affections. It is a flower that greatly expresses one’s purest and deepest emotions.
In some understandings, one rich meaning of a mum can indicate a happy home. And the most peaceful meaning a happy home has is solitude and rest. Here are the different colors of chrysanthemums and the meaning behind each.
What does a White Chrysanthemum Flower Mean?
White chrysanthemums hold such a spectacular sight to see when in bloom. Witnessing such splendor can mean the unveiling of the truth and newfound hope.
What does a Purple Chrysanthemum Blossom Symbolize?
Purple Chrysanthemums or violet chrysanthemums are playful and quite beautiful in appearance. This floral color symbolizes faithfulness and truthfulness. Sometimes, a violet chrysanthemum can also convey well wishes.
What does a Red Chrysanthemum Floret Indicate?
Red chrysanthemums are truly the best red flowers to symbolize love. Red chrysanthemums symbolize love – a deep passion and a devoted love. It is as special as many red flowers out there with bright red or deep red petals.
What does a Yellow Chrysanthemum Bloom Represent?
Yellow chrysanthemums are quite special. For one, it represents a slighted or neglected love. It can also symbolize a love gained from a true and lasting friendship with high spirits.
What does an Orange Chrysanthemum Flower Symbolize?
If you’re looking for a flower that symbolizes a happy heart and blissful joy – then orange mums can mean and symbolize just that! Orange chrysanthemums can also express feelings that represent happiness joy.
What does a Green Chrysanthemum Flower Mean?
Green chrysanthemums are quite a rare flower to see as its an uncommon floral color. A green chrysanthemum is most popular during St. Patrick’s day where it symbolizes good fortune, rebirth, new life, and good health or well being.
What does a Pink Chrysanthemum Flower Represent?
Pink chrysanthemums are such lovely flowers. It represents a unique kind of love. These flowers represent a platonic love or a new love.
What is the Cultural Significance of Chrysanthemum Blossom?
The cultural background for mums is quite interesting. The chrysanthemums are honored as sacred flowers all over Asia. Since time before, these were historically dubbed as flowers of nobility and distinction and an object of meditation. In the great nations of China and Japan, the chrysanthemums are regarded as very sacred and important flowers.
It is called the Chu Hua or the Chinese flower of October and Autumn. The blossoms are symbolic of a bountiful harvest and peaceful rest and ease for Chinese farmers. The art of Chinese Feng Shui believes that mums are also said to be harbingers of happiness and loveliness.
During the Imperial Reign period in ancient China, mums were only available and owned by the most elite and noble people. Similarly, the Republican China era used mums as a decorative floral motif on the collars, badges, and buckles of the Chinese army.
This perfect flower also has a city named after it. In the Chinese city of Zhongshan, the city is dubbed as the Chrysanthemum city of Chu hsien. Chinese culture believes that chrysanthemums means a long and happy life.
The Four Gentlemen was also an artwork created in Chinese brush that refers to the plum blossom, orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum each representing the different seasons of the year.
Historical Japanese again regard this as a flower befitting royalty and nobility. Late emperors sat on mum-like thrones and practiced drinking wine with a single petal on the bottom of the glass – for a long and healthy life for the reigning!
The Japanese have held a national chrysanthemum Day since the early 8th century known as the Festival of Happiness. Chrysanthemums during the feasts were also symbolic of the sun and its orderly blooming period symbolized perfection.
What is the Spiritual Influence of Chrysanthemum Floret?
The essence of chrysanthemums holds a very deep spiritual influence – especially in homes! It offers protection in houses while releasing feelings of anger letting the flow of forgiveness in. The most powerful influence of Mums is its ability to initiate an optimistic influence during days of gloom and doom.
Such flowers also bestow longevity of life by infusing vigor, youthful energy, and healthy curiosity in mind and heart. It opens the mental clarity for a clearer mind and a more focused sense of thought.
As a flower of protection, it creates a shield from psychic attacks and invisible dangers. Mums are in fact, also great flowers that soothe grief by building inner strength and shining a light of hope.
What are the Folktales Associated with a Chrysanthemum Bloom?
There is a folktale going around about the mystical powers of Mums. Folks say that growing Mums in backyards or gardens can fend off evil spirits trying to enter homes!
What does a Chrysanthemum Floral Tattoo Symbolize?
The beauty of a Mum flower is not only seen in pots and gardens – Mums are a favorite floral tattoo design! There is a beautiful meaning and symbolism behind a Mum floral tattoo. It is for those who believe in divine enlightenment and the afterlife.
Those who choose this design strongly believe and want to represent rebirth. Chrysanthemum tattoos also symbolize love and peace.
Uses of Chrysanthemum Plants
The beauty of chrysanthemums is mostly admired as potted plants and outdoor garden ornamentals. These flowering plants are a great choice of flower to express your many thoughts and feelings. Professional growers say that mums are one of the largest commercially produced flower and the best plants to grow.
It is the perfect choice for just about any occasion – a special occasion such as baby showers for new parents, Valentine’s day with a loved one, Mother’s day, or a first date. The cut flowers are great in a floral arrangement with floral accents. The arrangements can be festive bouquets, a birthday bouquet or even funeral wreaths for cemetery decorations. Overall, it is a thoughtful gift for loved ones.
Aside from this, chrysanthemums also have unique uses such as having medicinal properties with acclaimed health benefits, culinary uses, and natural insecticide/organic insecticide.
In Chinese culinary tradition, mum leaves were boiled or steamed and consumed as leafy greens. Mums with white petals were also used to make a delectable tea infusion with antioxidant compounds. Such petals can also be added to sugar syrup to enhance its flavor and aroma.
Chrysanthemums are also known as the Pyrethrum flower. Its seeds contain an active compound called pyrethrin with known insecticidal properties. In fact, some floral enthusiasts use mums for indoor air pollution control!
Some medicinal applications of Mums utilize fresh flowers and boiled roots. In traditional Chinese medicine, fresh mum flowers are used to treat sore eyes because of their anti inflammatory properties. The blossoms are soaked in warm water and placed on top of closed eyes as tradition says.
It is also believed to be a herbal remedy used in many health products that are claimed to help with high blood pressure, chest pain, and lower blood sugar. It was also used to treat headaches and chest pain.
A word of warning that it’s a must to always consult a medical professional before using this plant or any part of it for medical purposes.
~ image source: depositphotos/Dudaeva