Mum flower

5 min read

Native to Korea, the chrysanthemum, also known as “mum flower” is an annual or perennial plant depending on the species, belonging to the Asteraceae family. Its name comes from the Greek word “chrystos” and means “golden flower.” A strong symbol of the imperial family in the Land of the Rising Sun, it is commonly associated with the All Saints period.

A magnificent and colorful plant, the chrysanthemum is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful fall garden flowers. All varieties need being exposed at full sun and good air. This charming flower decorates terraces and balconies, offering you not only beauty but also diversity of shapes, varieties, and vibrant colors including pink, red, orange, yellow, or even white.

Originally from Korea, the mum flower is a favorite plant for Japanese people. They even call it “Autumn flower.” To them, this beauty is a symbol of pleasure and happiness.

In this article, we are going to explain more about the symbolism and the meaning of mum flower. You can learn the following:

  • Description of the mum flower
  • A bit of history
  • Botanical characteristics
  • Symbolism and meaning
  • Some interesting facts about the flower
  • General care tips

Description of the Mum Flower

The chrysanthemum is a beautiful flower, and its Greek etymology brings a certain value to this plant and gives it a very special meaning. ‘Chrysos’ means gold and ‘Anthemon’ means flower.

In the Chinese and Japanese culture, they call it “golden flower” or “golden bloom” when referring to the chrysanthemum. Today, the mum flower has a range of sizes and shapes that can provide flowers throughout the fall.

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Overflowing with sparkling forms, the chrysanthemum offers a range of colors: snow white, bright yellow, bright pink, purple or apple green. After all, the symbol of the chrysanthemum is just a question of culture.

A Bit of History

The chrysanthemum was first introduced in France in the 18th century and has known a huge success. As the “golden flower” of the Japanese culture, this stunning flower symbolizes honor and dignity.

In Europe, the mum flower played an essential role in wedding ceremonies. As a sign of fortune and prosperity, botanists created, over the decades, hundreds of hybrids. At the beginning of the 20th century, however, the fate and meaning of the chrysanthemum was changed in the West because of World Wars.

In Autumn 1918. At the end of the First World War, France had decided to pay tribute to thousands of victims with the mum, which is a mourning tradition that is expressed by flowers.

Just a few years later, “the golden flower” was commonly associated with the memory of the disappeared throughout Europe. Because of this, many place mums at the tombs of veterans during All Saints’ Day.

Today, offering a chrysanthemum to someone is a symbol of a sincere and constant love.

Botanical Characteristics

The chrysanthemum gives us abundant and lasting flowering from June until the first frosts, depending on the species. It can be seen in many forms: with single or double flower heads, and in a wide variety of colors.

Fall chrysanthemums bloom in cemeteries in early November. There are other varieties, however, that can brighten up your garden or balcony during winter with their incredible colors. The mum flower offers countless varieties, too, all with different aspects and messages.

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The chrysanthemum is much more versatile than many other decorative flowers. Besides, it does not produce a scent during its growth. Yet, a delicate and sweet aroma arises when certain varieties are used in food.

You can make your own chrysanthemum flavored tea, for instance, if you have access to flowers that haven’t been treated with pesticides. Organic pyrethrins are also extracted from this plant and are used to keep insects away from people and other plants.

Symbolism and Meaning

The mum flower brings warmth, joy, and beauty even in winter. In Australia, the mum flower is the most favorite flower to offer on Mother’s Day.  However, the Victorians strictly regarded it as a flower of friendship and comfort for those in need of rest.

Floral specialists in the United States generally believe that the chrysanthemum symbolizes cheerfulness and happiness. In New Orleans, it is used only to celebrate All Saints’ Day.

In many cultures, the chrysanthemum is the symbol of joy and optimism. Sometimes, it is viewed as a symbol of the sun. The Japanese regard the petals of this plant as a representation of perfection.

Confucius claimed that chrysanthemum is a flower of meditation. The legend says by placing mum petals at a glass of wine, and then drinking it, you ensure a long and healthy life. In India, the chrysanthemum is often displayed in window boxes.

Some Interesting Facts About the Flower

Etymologically speaking, the term “chrysanthemum” is a word that means “golden flower.”

Chrysanthemums have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries. Thus, chrysanthemum tea is known to have many medicinal properties.

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Chrysanthemums are also used to treat infections, eye problems, to lower blood pressure, and to treat headaches and colds.

A hot infusion of chrysanthemum flowers can be helpful in relieving eye strain, blurred vision, and dry eyes.

Chrysanthemum tea is often used to relieve fever and mild headaches that could result from excess toxins in the blood.

General Care Tips

The mum flower can be planted in spring or in autumn. It is very popular at the end of summer, and the flower looks beautiful on a terrace or in a garden.

To help its flowering, which extends from June until November, its soil must be moist and its exposure sunny. However, be careful not to wet the foliage when watering and remove the wilted flowers as you go. Well maintained, it can reach a meter in height.

Autumn is a peaceful season, which spreads its colors in the center of nature.  The mum flower plays a part in this natural beauty. Its radiant petals harmoniously arranged in the shape of the sun leave you speechless.