November 11, 2006

Fancy Chrysanthemums

Like so many traditions, the art of fine Chrysanthemum growing is long forgotten in most of the world, replaced with growth-retardent hyper-pinched and fertilized monster-mums displayed in bushel baskets and then tossed into the trash like any disposable holiday decorations, the chrysanthemum has gone the way of fine English carnations, to even become lower-class supermarket plants with a status that often has no other plant lower.

This is ashame, for in Japan and China, the Chrysanthemum continues to to be an important part of the culture, with spectacular displays that continue today. In America and Europe, the lowly 'mum' has suffered a fate the few can ever pull out from. Until the twentieth Century World Wars, the Exhibition Chrysanthemum was grown for display and cut flower, and many private estates based thier entire autumn display season around these late blooming plants. The American Chrysanthemum Society, classifies Mums in categories that still reflect thier heyday, yet only one mail order supply house still carries the classic varieties (Kings Mums). Why not consider growing a ledgend, and bring back the Chrysanthemum. We did it with English Sweet Peas, but many other classic heirloom plants need to be resurected before they are gone to the compost pile forever. This includes many plants found on this blog - Scented Parma Violets, English Auricula Primroses, Japanese Chrysanthemums - one of the first plants ever cultivated by humans in China.


  1. Anonymous5:24 PM

    You have inspired me to "try" mums! thank you.

  2. Anonymous9:39 AM

    Matt, can you reveal some of your sources. I have been searching for heirloom mums to grow from seed for over a year, and can only find 1 or 2. Any suggestions?

  3. Those pictures are beautiful, and yet I know they don't do them justice. I found this post while in a search to try and find a place to order Asian mums from. Just your small post here has already given me so much more information. Thank you!

  4. Anonymous6:21 PM

    truly beautiful...beyond me why more people do not grow them...i am inspired to look into mums. i especially liked the ones with unusual bright yellow-green flowers. now, i find that there are so many more unusual looks to these magnificent mums. thank you!!!

  5. thank you! i dont understand why more ppl do not grow these gorgeous flowers. you've inspired me as well. initially, the yellow-green flowers inspired my search...now i see there are so many more unusual ones to explore and plant! thanks!

  6. Anonymous11:25 AM

    I think mums are just gorgeous, but can I grow the large showy variety in Michigan without bringing the plants in over winter?


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