Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mums - the colour of fall

Every year at this time the nurseries and grocery stores and convenience stores are setting out pots of colourful chrysanthemums to sell. They are always eye catching and the colours are strong and vibrant and a reminder that fall is upon us.

I think like the recurring seasons I am a creature of habit in some ways.
I always buy a pair to set on the stairs, in the same place. This year it is a deep bright red.

First cultivated in China as a herb, they are believed to have the power of life.

The earliest illustrations of mums show them as small, yellow daisy-like flowers.

Chrysanthemums get their name from the Greek prefix “chrys-“ meaning golden (its original color) and “-anthemion,” meaning flower.

The mum appeared in Japan around 8 A.D.  So taken by the flower, they adopted a single flowered chrysanthemum as the crest and official seal of the Emperor.

A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum’s petals to represent perfection.
In many countries in Europe the chrysanthemum is used in bouquets at funerals and is considered the death flower.
At my house it is a reminder of Fall, with their glorious shades and hues of orange, yellow and red and everything in between.


  1. Ja chryzantemy lubię, bo to śliczne kwiaty w różnych kolorach i są trwałe, ale - to kwiaty jesieni, której za bardzo nie lubię. Pozdrawiam

  2. They are just gorgeous! I have stopped buying them because they don't last in my hot weather. But I always have some buds in the cupboard. They are from the Chinese Medical store. I make tea with them and mulberry leaves.

  3. Giga- I wonder why you don't like that they flower in autumn. Please tell.

    One - The bit a reading I did on them did mention they were used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Is your chrysanthemum tea medicinal or for pleasure?

  4. You certainly have the color. Very pretty, Patty. My mums still have not flowered. I hope the buds open before the snows.

  5. Patty, a habit not worth breaking...they add delight to the fall senses! I didn't know that about them being a flower of death...makes sense with them blooming right before winter. Have a great weekend.

  6. Hi Patty, Your post is full of interesting tidbits. I had no idea that mums might be a herb. I wonder how it was used? I see in the comments that it was for medicinal purposes and wonder about the plants healing properties. I also thought it interesting that they are a flower associated with death. As with you, they say fall to me.

  7. Thanks for the history lesson. It's very interesting to me because Chrysanthemum tea is a favorite in this household. More for the flavor than medicinal although we hear that it has good effects. I also like watching the whole dried flower heads open up in my cup.

  8. Very nice choice bof color, Patty. I think the placement by the step looks grand.