Florists can tell that it’s autumn when chrysanthemums show up in the market. Their large, full heads are the embodiment of the last offerings of the warmer weather, and they are generally found in typical autumn colors- golds, bronzes, reds, oranges and yellows. Some chrysanthemums even lean towards brown, and the green varieties help unify both summer and autumn designs. Chrysanthemums, which are the most widely grown potted plant in the U.S., bloom towards late summer and throughout fall, further making them a perfect symbol of the season.
There are over one thousand varieties of chrysanthemum, which are part of the family Asteraceae. There are actually such an abundance of varieties within that category that they are further divided into thirteen sub-families. Sunflowers, spider and football mums, aster, carnations, gerbers, chamomile and daisies are all part of the Asteracea family! How they are further grouped is dependent upon the shape of the petals, which may lay flat, curl underneath themselves, be reflexed, or even only partially closed in the middle of the petal.
The chrysanthemum pictured is called a football mum, so named for its popularity in use for mothers’ corsages at American football games. Its petals, which are a dark orangey bronze, are a much lighter shade on their underside- a yellow-beige- which make it a visually interesting and quite attractive flower. Although one of the longest-lasting flowers available for floral design, (and gardening,) chrysanthemums have gotten a “bad rap,” in Europe, where they are widely used as funeral flowers, due to their inexpensive cost. In Japan, however, chrysanthemums have been cultivated for so long that they hold a revered place in Japanese history. The emperor’s throne is called the Chrysanthemum Throne, and the highest level of chivalry awarded to Japanese military is called the Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum.
So next time you call Starbright for a fall arrangement, consider requesting that chrysanthemums be included. There is no more perfect flower than the “Queen of Fall Flowers.” In case you’re wondering, Aster, a member of this same family, is the September birth flower; chrysanthemums are the birth flower for November, officially bringing autumn to a close as the season gives way to winter.
One of the best orders our designers can be asked to fill is a seasonal arrangement. If you call (800) 520/8999 or place your order online at www.starbrightnyc.com, during fall, we will be sure to make it all things autumnal, be that through the colors or the quintessential chrysanthemum!
Starbright Floral Design is a full-service florist located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District. We deliver flowers and all kinds of great gifts throughout Manhattan, all of New York City and to the rest of the country. Give us a call, stop by or visit us on the web. Many have said that we are the best florist anywhere!