What are Chrysanthemums?

Types of Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums, also known as chrysanths or mums (botanically Chrysanthemum), are perennial plants in the large family of Asteraceae. There are approximately 40 wild species of Chrysanthemums, most of which are native to East Asia.

Incurved chrysanthemum
Incurved chrysanthemums have large inflorescences and do not tolerate frost. However, they are suitable for cultivation as pot plants.

Chrysanthemums are available in a wide variety of cultivars, including plain and multi-colored, single and double flowers. They can reach heights from 30 to 120 centimeters.

Although they are fall bloomers, they are available almost year-round as potted plants or cut flowers.

Chrysanthemum zawadskii Clara Curtis
Chrysanthemum zawadskii “Clara Curtis” is a cultivar of the white-flowering Chrysanthemum zawadskii. It can bloom from September to November and tolerates frost down to 14 °F (-10 °C).

Unfortunately, many of the varieties found in stores in the fall are only partially hardy, tolerating only a few degrees below freezing. For those who want to enjoy these attractive perennials for several years, it’s best to buy them from a nursery, directly from the breeder, or grow them in containers with frost-free overwintering.

Chrysanthemums are known as ornamental plants for containers or beds, such as cut flowers, but they can be more than just decorative. Some species have culinary uses. Tea can be made from their leaves and flowers.

Spoon Chrysanthemum
The petals of Spoon Chrysanthemums look like small spoons.

Due to improved identification methods, the genus Chrysanthemum has been reorganized. The popular Chrysanthemum pacificum is now called Ajania pacifica.

Gold and Silver Chrysanthemum Ajania pacifica
The Gold and Silver Chrysanthemum (Ajania pacifica) is native to Japan.