All about the Chrysanthemum History and Symbolism

All about the Chrysanthemum: History and Symbolism

Chrysanthemums or mums are used for a smorgasbord of occasions, including new births, birthdays, Mother’s Day, well-wishing, funerals, and sympathies.

The flowers’ most distinct feature is perhaps its bountiful petal formation. However, they’re not really petals but small flowers called florets, which open gracefully during summer and fall.

Another highlight is that chrysanthemums are resilient and easy to care for, making them one of the most sought-after plants in America and the world. It can be grown in a pot, in your garden, or front lawn.

At any rate, let’s explore more about this stunning flower’s history and symbolism. Keep reading to learn more!

The History of the Magnificent Chrysanthemum

The History of the Magnificent Chrysanthemum

The history of chrysanthemums can be traced back to China where they first blossomed. The exact date is uncertain, but it was depicted in texts and pottery as early as the 15th century B.C.

It is a sacred flower that marks the change of season in the country. In fact, it’s one of the Four Gentlemen of China along with the plum blossom, bamboo, and orchid.

They even had a place named the Chrysanthemum City, showing their deep respect and fondness for the flower.

At that time, chrysanthemums were also widely used as medicine. All of the parts were used—the petals are edible, the root can be boiled to relieve body pain, and the leaves can be brewed to make ceremonial tea.

After two decades, the flower made its way to Japan where it gained prestige and attention, much like it did in China.

In the 12th century, the Imperial Family in Japan even adopted the flower as their official crest and seal. As you can still look up today, the crest officially has sixteen petals and is colored gold.

They even named their imperial seat the Chrysanthemum Throne. Also, the highest military honor that one can receive in Japan is called the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.

The flower also arrived later in America;  they didn’t have chrysanthemums until the 17th century. But here it took a meaning that was the complete opposite of how the flowers were regarded in the East.

Due to its dignified and calming appearance, they often placed these flowers on gravestones and gave this to bereaved families.

Nevertheless, American people have come to love this breathtaking flower. During autumn and summer, you’ll see mums adorning front steps and porches in houses as well as wrist corsages.

The Symbolism of the Chrysanthemum

The Symbolism of the Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum is the birth flower for November babies. It is a symbol of joy, faithfulness, hope, and long life.

It comes in various colors like red, violet, white, yellow, orange, and others. Each of them stands for different qualities.

Red mums signify love and true passion, white ones suggest loyalty and honesty, violet wishes a person to get well, and orange means delicate love. However, yellow chrysanthemums have a negative connotation which is neglected love or sadness.

By the way, in Australia, it’s quite amusing that they are the chosen flowers for Mother’s Day because they are also named mums.

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