Posted by on Wed, Nov 07 2012 11:39:00

Chrysanthemum is from the Greek, chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower). These plants come in a wide variety of floral colors, including not only gold but also white, off-white, yellow, bronze, red, burgundy, pink, lavender and purple. Mum plants can grow to be 2-3 feet high, depending on the cultivar and growing conditions. Chrysanthemums also come in many flower forms; that is, they are often grouped by the shape and arrangement of their petals. The most popular flower form is the "decorative," which is so packed with long, broad petals that you can hardly see the center.

In the Chinese culture, the chrysanthemum signifies a life of ease. Buddhists are fond of using this flower as offerings on alters. Symbolic of powerful Yang energy, this flower is an attractant of good luck in the home. It is very common in most cultures to give "mums" as a houswarming or hostess gift in the autumn. In the Victorian language of flowers (where certain flowers were unspoken code, allowing subtle language to be expressed without speech):

Yellow chrysanthemums: gently declining amorous advances.

Red chrysanthemums: a proposition, invitation to ignite a new relationship.

White chrysanthemum: tell the truth, be honest, a request for utter candor.

Violet chrysanthemum: a merry wish for wellness. 

So the next time you're invited to a dinner party this fall, consider bringing some "mums" with you as your gift.

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