A Full Guide to the Chrysanthemum’s Meaning and Uses

A Full Guide to the Chrysanthemum’s Meaning and Uses

Coming in bright colors, the chrysanthemum flower epitomizes joy and friendship.

Apart from that, though there are other meanings associated with it, including a negative one. Plus, we will go over its cultural relevance and uses.

And we will discuss all of them in this complete guide so you’ll know what makes them special—should you plan to get one for a friend or loved one soon.

What is the word origin of the chrysanthemum?

What is the word origin of the chrysanthemum

The word chrysanthemum can be traced back to Ancient Greek words khrusós, meaning gold, and ánthemon, meaning flower.

This is because when the flower was first cultivated, its color was golden yellow.

What does the chrysanthemum flower symbolize?

What does the chrysanthemum flower symbolize

The chrysanthemum flower represents joy, friendship, and loyalty owing to its bright colors and sun-loving characteristic. Plus, it connotes a long and happy life in Japan and China where they are native to.

What do various colors of chrysanthemums mean?

What do various colors of chrysanthemums mean

Different chrysanthemum colors vary in meaning and are ideal gifts for different occasions:

ColorMeaning and Recommended Use
RedRed chrysanthemums symbolize romantic love and desire.

Recommended use: As a gift for a spouse or partner on Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, an engagement, or a wedding

YellowIn some European countries, such as France, Italy, Austria, and Belgium, yellow chrysanthemums carry the negative meanings of sadness and rejection.

These flowers are only displayed in a vase or hung as decoration in cemeteries and gravesites.

In America and Asia, however, yellow chrysanthemums take the brighter meanings of joy, celebration, and positivity.

Recommended use: As a gift during birthday parties, Thanksgiving, International Friendship Day, and the like in America and Asia

PinkOne of the most popular chrysanthemum shades, they express fondness, first love, and longevity.

Recommended use: As a gift for someone you like or your mother on Mother’s Day

PurplePurple chrysanthemums symbolize a wish for someone to be healthier or to get well.

Recommended use: As a gift for a healing friend in the hospital or used as a table centerpiece in the dining or bedroom

WhiteWhite chrysanthemums stand for loyalty, purity, and innocence.

Recommended use: As a gift for an engaged or married couple, or a mom who just had a new baby

OrangeOrange chrysanthemums connote bliss, excitement, enthusiasm, and friendship.

Recommended use: As a gift to a best friend, confidante, or colleague, as well as a caring and supportive family member

GreenGreen chrysanthemums are a rare color for the plant. They symbolize good health, longevity, and resurrection.

Recommended use: As a gift for a person who loves gardening, a recovering friend, or for decorating a church

What does a chrysanthemum flower tattoo mean?

What does a chrysanthemum flower tattoo mean
Image credit: Temporary Tattoos

A chrysanthemum flower tattoo means that the tattooed person values the qualities of strength, determination, and a big heart.

Since the flower can also be a symbol of Amaterasu, the Japanese goddess of the sun, the flower tattoo also represents warmth, happiness, and long life.

It’s a popular artistic subject in Japan, and the flower is a feature in many creative and impressive ink designs.

What is the cultural relevance of chrysanthemums?

What is the cultural relevance of chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums hold cultural significance around the world, particularly in the US, China, and Japan.

ChinaNative to China, chrysanthemums have been considered a symbol of happiness and long life since ancient times.

The autumn flower is often seen during Lunar New Year festivals and is made into and drunk as tea or wine given its health benefits.

Aside from that, the chrysanthemum is one of the four noble plants of China, besides the bamboo, plum blossom, and orchid.

It’s also a common subject in traditional Chinese art for clothing, writing, painting, wood and jade carving, and crockery.

GreeceThere’s an old superstition in Greece that says chrysanthemum flowers ward off evil spirits and bad luck.

Additionally, it says that you should not pick chrysanthemums on gravesites or cemeteries because they will bring headaches, misfortune, or nightmares.

JapanThe meaning the flower takes in this country is also that of royalty, health, and longevity.

The chrysanthemum has been long cherished by the Japanese who have used it as an imperial emblem and passport logo.

The Japanese monarchy is also referred to as the Chrysanthemum Throne. This sovereign power continues to this day and is headed by Emperor Naruhito.

Furthermore, the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum is the most prestigious award in Japan.

The Emperor awards the Grand Cordon and Collar of this award to deserving Japanese citizens and soldiers for meritorious feat or service.

What does the white chrysanthemum mean in Japan?

White chrysanthemums connote death in Japanese culture.

Thus, people here only use these flowers as an offering for departed loved ones. It mustn’t be used for gifting a living relative or friend.

Chrysanthemums in Literature

Chrysanthemums in Literature

The Chrysanthemums is a short story written by John Steinbeck in 1937. It takes on the issue of gender inequality.

In the book, the chrysanthemum stands for women who are often overshadowed by men in their society.

Chrysanthemums in Film

In the 1979 film Escape from Alcatraz, the chrysanthemum flower is a key symbol throughout the story.

For the director, the yellow chrysanthemum meant hope in a hopeless situation. 

The character Chester ‘Doc’ Dalton saw the flower as a symbol of his will to live, but for another character, Frank Morris, the flower represented his strong determination to be the first man to escape from the Alcatraz prison.

What is the spiritual meaning of the chrysanthemum?

What is the spiritual meaning of the chrysanthemum

Below are the spiritual meanings of the chrysanthemum flower in some religions:

BuddhismBuddhists look at the chrysanthemum as a deep spiritual symbol of life and rebirth.

In China and Japan, the flower is commonly used as an offering to the Buddha or supernatural figures in the temple.

ChristianityChristians view the chrysanthemum flower as symbolizing death and resurrection like what Jesus went through.

Chrysanthemums become dormant during the winter before returning fresh and new in spring.

Thus, the flowers have been taken to mean hope for the future and life after a person’s death.

HinduismIn the Hindu religion, the flower is taken to mean happiness and gratitude as well as good luck.

It is given to friends and family members when the giver wants to appreciate or give thanks for their constant love, care, and support.

IslamIn Islam, chrysanthemums communicate the honesty and sincerity of a person. This makes it a great gift for a wedding, birthday, or the like.

As they symbolize purity of spirit, the flower is commonly seen as an offering or adornment in mosques and other holy sites.

JudaismIn Judaism, the chrysanthemum stands for bliss and cheerfulness and is commonly used as floral decoration in religious ceremonies and festivals.

Aside from that, the flower means good luck to people who see it.

Is the chrysanthemum lucky in feng shui?

Is the chrysanthemum lucky in feng shui

The chrysanthemum is one of the luckiest flowers in feng shui because it’s believed to bring happiness and positivity to one’s home.

But not only that, happiness and positivity are also connected with and can boost your wealth, success, and good luck.

In terms of placement, you can place the chrysanthemum flower in the relationship area, which is located in the southwest area of the house.

What are some fun chrysanthemum facts?

What are some fun chrysanthemum facts

Check out some interesting facts about the chrysanthemum flower:

  • Chrysanthemum is the most common commercial flower in America.
  • Chrysanthemum, along with the peony, is the birth flower of November.
  • The flower is known as the Queen of All Fall Flowers.
  • It belongs to one of the largest plant families, Asteraceae, boasting 32,000+ varieties.
  • The flowers are made of many small disk florets in the center and are surrounded by bigger ray florets or petals on the outside.

What are the uses of the chrysanthemum flower?

What are the uses of the chrysanthemum flower

Chrysanthemums aren’t only used for gifting or event decoration. Some people actually use them as a garnish or side dish, as herbal medicine, or as a natural insect repellent as well.

Chrysanthemum Home Decor

With their unique shapes, colors, and sizes, chrysanthemums can add wonder, energy, and excitement to the house, office, or garden.

They come in many kinds, some of which are single-bloom, decorative, quilled, and pompon. 

Differing in color, from white to fuchsia to red and yellow, they make for an excellent flower display at the home or office.

The flower also emits a herby and earthy fragrance that can fill a room.

Warning: All plants of the chrysanthemum plant can be toxic to humans, cats, dogs, and other animals. 

To be on the safe side, it is advised to keep them away from children and pets.

Chrysanthemums in Cooking

Chrysanthemum greenery is mostly eaten as vegetables, used as a soup garnish, or with sukiyaki (Japanese meal with fried beef, veggies, and sauce) and shabu-shabu.

The foliage has a delicious and herbaceous taste, while the stems are sweet and crunchy.

The chrysanthemum greens can either be steamed or boiled, but for perfect chrysanthemum veggies, take care not to overcook them.

Disclaimer: According to Healthline, consuming chrysanthemums, whether as food or tea, can have some side effects for some people.

These side effects include skin rashes, asthma, and anaphylaxis (a life-threatening allergic reaction). Touching the plant might cause skin irritation, difficulty breathing, or other respiratory condition.

Chrysanthemums in Medicine

Chrysanthemums in Medicine

Though more research and evidence are needed, chrysanthemum flowers have been used to treat a wide variety of health conditions in a person.

Among them are headache, dizziness, chest pain, fever, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, stomach cancer, and prostate cancer.

Chrysanthemums as Insect Repellant

Chrysanthemums can repel or kill unwanted insects in the garden like fleas, ticks, ants, and Japanese beetles since they contain the chemical Pyrethrin.

As a result, this is an excellent flower to grow if your garden has been struggling with insects for some time.

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