Chrysanthemums, frequently called mums, are a type of about 30 species of Perennial Flowering plants. The flowers are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. The chrysanthemum is also recognized as the flower of November.
In some parts of Asia, a sweet drink is made by boiling yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers. This beverage is known simply as “chrysanthemum tea” and has many medicinal uses. For example the chrysanthemum tea is used for assistance in recovery from influenza. In Chinese cuisine, chrysanthemum leaves are steamed or boiled and consumed as greens. Petals of chrysanthemum are also used in soap making.
Extracts of Chrysanthemum stem and flower have been shown potential medicinal properties, including anti-HIV-1, antibacterial and antimycotic.
Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium or Pyrethrum is a natural source of insecticide. The active components known as pyrethrins, enclosed in the seed cases, are extracted and sold in the form of an oleoresin. This is applied as a powder or as a mixture with water or oil which works as a natural insect repellent. Pyrethrins particularly inhibit female mosquitoes from biting. According to NASA Clean Air Study, Chrysanthemum plants are also found helpful in reducing indoor air pollution.
Cultural significance and symbolism:
In some European countries including France, Spain, Croatia, Poland, and Italy as well as China, Korea and Japan, white chrysanthemums are only used for funerals. In United States, the flower symbolizes positivism and cheerfulness while in some other countries, it represents honesty.
Chrysanthemum has always been admired as well as honored in different countries around the world. Some examples may be seen below.
China– A dominant Chinese poet Tao Qian is said to favor the Chrysanthemum. Besides, Chrysanthemums are focused in hundreds of Chinese poems. Chrysanthemum symbolizes nobleness. Also it is one of the 4 symbolic seasonal flowers.
Japan– The position of the Japanese Emperor is given the name “Chrysanthemum Throne”. The Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum is a Japanese honor awarded by the emperor. The “Nihonmatsu Chrysanthemum Dolls Exhibition” is held in every autumn. The city of Nihonmatsu hosts this exhibition in historical ruin of Kasumigajo castle. The Arisaka rifles required to be stamped with the chrysanthemum during the production.
United States– In 1961, Chrysanthemums were recognized as the official flower of the city of Chicago
Australia– Australians have a tradition to give their mother a bunch of chrysanthemums on Mother’s Day.
Chrysanthemums may grow well in any location; however they cherish in a sunny and well drained environment. Without proper drainage the plants are more likely to perish. They are hardy; they require very little attention as far as the plant care is concerned. Enrich the soil with a 5-10-5 fertilizer once in the spring and once in the fall to boost growth and flower production respectively. Older mums require regular pinching in order to make the plant more compact and bushy for an added quantity of flowers. But the pinching should be done as late as July 4th; after that there is a risk of pinching off the developing flower buds.