Chrysanthemums–better known simply as “mums”–are a staple of fall in New Jersey. In fact, they are arguably the most popular flowers in the world (perhaps taking second place only to roses).
The name “chrysanthemum” comes from Greek “chrysos” (gold) and “anthos” (flower). However, the plant originates from China, where it was cultivated as a flowering herb, and didn’t arrive in Europe and the U.S. until the 18th and 19th centuries, respectively. Chrysanthemum has its own genus and belongs to the family Asteraceae. There are approximately 40 wild species, and thousands more developed in commercial breeding.
You can find mums in all sorts of colors, including countless shades of pink, purple, red, yellow and more. Many people are surprised to find that mums will actually come back the following fall if you plant them in spring and mulch them in winter.
Did You Know?
New Jersey has two organizations dedicated to mums. The New Jersey State Chrysanthemum Society and Hunterdon Chrysanthemum Society are chapters of the National Chrysanthemum Society, which can be found at www.mums.org.
Other Fun Facts About Chrysanthemums
- The Chinese use chrysanthemum flowers and leaves in their cuisine.
- Chrysanthemum tea is believed to hold many medicinal benefits, and is used to treat everything from high blood pressure and chest pain to fever, headache, congestion and even cancer.
- Chrysanthemum is the birth flower of November.
- Chrysanthemum is the official flower of the City of Chicago.