Commercial chrysanthemums (mums for short) come in an out of fashion almost as frequently as carnations. An although the carnation is still going strong, the commercial mum is starting to phase out. In an attempt to keep the trend from fizzling, growers are getting creative in the colours and varieties that they are producing. We are completely in love with the rich fall tones of this type of flower!
Commerical mums , or Football mums as they are referred to in the United States, are from the asteraceae family. They are native to Asia and Northeastern Europe. The greatest number of species originate in China. In total, there are about 40 species of chrysanthemums to date. In China, the chrysanthemum, particularly the large commercial variety, is held in very high esteem. As a symbol of nobility, there is an annual festival held near Hangzhou, China in its honour.
1. Did you know that mums are cultivated for the culinary industry in China as well? Chrysamthemum teas and wines are a popular treat.
2. Mums are an important plant in the contol of insects. The flowers are pulverized and active ingredients are taken from this and added to powders, water, or oils for application to infested plants. Pyrethrins, the active component, effects an insects nervous system leading to their demise.
3. Japan has a chrysanthemum festival too. The Chrysanthemum Throne is the name given to the position of the Japanese emperor.
4. In some European countries (eg. Spain, Poland, Hungary, Croatia), the white commercial mum is the symbol of death.
5. The NASA Clean Air Study, has proven that mums reduce indoor pollution
6. In Australia, the mum is given to mother’s on Mother’s Day, and men often wear a mum in their button hole to honour their mothers.
7. The 2006 movie, Curse of the Golden Flower, is about mums.
8. The mum is the most popular poem subject in China.
9. The mum is the Taoist symbol for simplicity and perfection.
10. One of the most popular tattoos in Japan (both male and female) is the chrysanthemum.
The length and fullness of a chrysanthemum makes it an appealing flower for a floral designer to work with. We are fortunate enough here in Southern Ontario to have many local mum growers at our disposal. We can get this lovely, Niagara grown flower year round. The fall colours are grown specifically to produce blooms in the late summer and fall months. If you are missing the beautiful warm weather of summer, why not bring some flowers indoor? Mums last for weeks and they are a lower priced flower, allowing them to be enjoyed by everyone!