Just like your birth stone, there is a birth flower for every month. If you celebrate a November birthday then your birth flower is the chrysanthemum, or the “mum.” These beautiful flowers begin blooming in late September and come in dozens of colors and thousands of varieties. Originally, chrysanthemums came only in golden hues which is how they got their name. In Greek, the prefix “chrys” means golden and “anthemion” means flower.
Chrysanthemums symbolize friendship, love, and joy. In red the chrysanthemum says, “I love you”, white symbolizes innocence and pure love, and yellow means slighted love! They are a member of the daisy family which means they are related to sunflowers, zinnias, dahlias, and marigolds. Blooms on the chrysanthemum look like a single flower but the blooms are actually a dense cluster of hundreds of flowers called florets. The National Chrysanthemum Society divides them into 13 classes depending on the size, shape, and curvature of the florets. Their large colorful blooms make them a popular pot plant to greet guests at front doors and balconies. Because they are perennials, you can enjoy them year after year!
History of the Chrysanthemum
The chrysanthemum dates back to the 15th century BC in China where it was cultivated as a flowering herb and believed to have healing powers. Its roots were boiled and used as a headache remedy. In China it is still believed that the flower will prevent gray hair. The chrysanthemum made its way to Japan around the 8th century AD where it became wildly popular. For example, the Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum is the highest Order of Chivalry in Japan and they celebrate a National Chrysanthemum Day, which is called the Festival of Happiness.
By the 17th century the chrysanthemum had been introduced in the Western world. It was first introduced in the United States during colonial times where it had established itself as one of the primary fall flowers, which is still true today. In 1966 the chrysanthemum became the official flower of Chicago. For many of us in the United States, (especially in the south), Homecoming “mums” are a celebrated tradition. The Homecoming mum corsage started in Texas as a token of affection given to a girl by her date in celebration of the homecoming football game. Over time ribbons with school colors, bells, small trinkets, and even teddy bears have adorned the Homecoming mum to make it a mandatory part of any high school football season.
Meanings of the Chrysanthemum
As much as the chrysanthemum symbolizes positivity and cheerful sentiments in the United States, it is actually known as a death flower in many European countries. For example, in countries such as Belgium, France, and Spain the chrysanthemum is used almost exclusively as a memorial on graves. China, Japan, and Korea also view the chrysanthemum as a symbolizing lamentation and grief.
Regardless of what the chrysanthemum symbolizes, this fall blooming flower enhances any floral arrangement and is sure to bring a feeling of delight to all who receive it! With proper care, they can have a vase life of two weeks or more. A study by NASA even indicates that the chrysanthemum can help reduce indoor air pollution. They can actually freshen up any room!
Petals and Pinot
Want to send your November birthday friend a special gift? What about congratulating a new parent on the birth of their November baby? Send them a floral arrangement with their birth flower, the chrysanthemum. At Petals and Pinot we design your arrangements to order and deliver them with care. Contact us so we can help you celebrate the month of November with a memorable and meaningful flower arrangement!