Our favourite flower for the month of July ties in nicely with our favourite colour, chartreuse (link to blog). Enter (drum roll please) …. The Chrysanthemum (pronounced kris-an-thi-mim)
A bit of background, a-la-Wikipedia: Chrysanthemums, often called mums or chrysanths, are perennial flowering plants (of the genus Chrysanthemum in the family Asteraceae ) which are native to Asia and northeastern Europe. About 30 species have been described. Florists sometimes abbreviate the spelling to “xants”.
Naturally, if “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” was anything to go by, all things come from Greece, and the name ‘chrysanthemum” is no exception. It is derived from the Greek words, chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower).
The “Golden Flower” was first recorded in China in the 15th Century as a flowering herb, and has done its rounds in the east, arriving in Japan in about the eighth century AD.. In fact, our flower for July is a dignitary in its own kingdom, and is celebrated in the Japanese “Festival of Happiness”.
The Chrysanthemum found its way to Europe and America in the 17th and 18th centuries respectively.
The flower is really versatile and has a number of uses – ornamental, culinary, insecticidal and environmental. In the ornamental sense, Chrysanthemums come in a lot of different forms, including daisy-like, pom poms, decorative and buttons. They are also found in a variety of colours over and above the traditional yellow, including red, purple and white.
In China and Korea, Chrysanthemums are enjoyed in tea, as a leafy vegetable, and as salad greens. The leaves are known for their nutritional value.
We bet you did not know that they reduce indoor pollution too?
As with most things, the Chyrsanthemum has a number of different cultural meanings around the world. In Europe and China, it symbolizes death and grief, while in the United States it represents positivity and cheerfulness. This is something we need to pay careful attention to when planning an event. No-one wants a bowl of grief on a celebratory table!
We love this little bloom because it makes for an amazing centerpiece if used correctly. You can create interesting shapes with it. It is well priced, locally sourced and it adds a nice POP of color to any arrangement.