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A cluster of chrysanthemums
A cluster of chrysanthemums
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum aphrodite
Chrysanthemum arcticum
Chrysanthemum argyrophyllum
Chrysanthemum arisanense
Chrysanthemum boreale
Chrysanthemum chalchingolicum
Chrysanthemum chanetii
Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium
Chrysanthemum coronarium, Crown daisy
Chrysanthemum crassum
Chrysanthemum glabriusculum
Chrysanthemum hypargyrum
Chrysanthemum indicum
Chrysanthemum japonense
Chrysanthemum japonicum
Chrysanthemum lavandulifolium
Chrysanthemum mawii
Chrysanthemum maximowiczii
Chrysanthemum mongolicum
Chrysanthemum morifolium
Chrysanthemum morii
Chrysanthemum okiense
Chrysanthemum oreastrum
Chrysanthemum ornatum
Chrysanthemum pacificum
Chrysanthemum potentilloides
Chrysanthemum segetum
Chrysanthemum shiwogiku
Chrysanthemum sinuatum
Chrysanthemum vestitum
Chrysanthemum weyrichii
Chrysanthemum yoshinaganthum
Chrysanthemum zawadskii

Chrysanthemums are a genus (Chrysanthemum) of about 30 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Asia and northeastern Europe.


[edit] Taxonomy

The genus once included many more species, but was split several decades ago into several genera; the naming of the genera has been contentious, but a ruling of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature in 1999 has resulted in the defining species of the genus being changed to Chrysanthemum indicum, thereby restoring the economically important florist's chrysanthemum to the genus Chrysanthemum. These species were, after the splitting of the genus but before the ICBN ruling, commonly treated under the genus name Dendranthema.

The other species previously treated in the narrow view of the genus Chrysanthemum are now transferred to the genus Glebionis. The other genera split off from Chrysanthemum include Argyranthemum, Leucanthemopsis, Leucanthemum, Rhodanthemum, and Tanacetum.

The species of Chrysanthemum are herbaceous perennial plants growing to 50–150 cm tall, with deeply lobed leaves and large flowerheads, white, yellow or pink in the wild species.

Chrysanthemum species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species — see list of Lepidoptera which feed on Chrysanthemum.

Today’s flowers are not as bright or large as ‘show’ varieties.

[edit] History

Cultivated chrysanthemums can be yellow, white, or even bright red, such as these.
Cultivated chrysanthemums can be yellow, white, or even bright red, such as these.

Chrysanthemums were cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. An ancient Chinese city was named Ju-Xian, meaning "chrysanthemum city". The flower was introduced into Japan probably in the 8th century AD, and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal. There is a "Festival of Happiness" in Japan that celebrates the flower.

The flower was brought to Europe in the 17th century. Linnaeus named it from the Greek prefix chrys-, which means golden (the colour of the original flowers), and -anthemon, meaning flower.

[edit] Economic uses

[edit] Ornamental uses

Modern chrysanthemums are much more showy than their wild relatives. The flowers occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like, decorative, pompons or buttons. This genus contains many hybrids and thousands of cultivars developed for horticultural purposes. In addition to the traditional yellow, other colours are available, such as white, purple, and red. The most important hybrid is Chrysanthemum × morifolium (syn. C. × grandiflorum), derived primarily from C. indicum but also involving other species.

A closeup of the flowers
A closeup of the flowers

Chrysanthemum leaves resemble its close cousin, the mugwort weed — so much so that mugwort is sometimes called wild chrysanthemum — making them not always the first choice for professional gardeners.

[edit] Culinary uses

Yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers are boiled to make a sweet drink in some parts of Asia. The resulting beverage is known simply as "chrysanthemum tea" (, pinyin: júhuā chá, in Chinese). Chrysanthemum tea has many medicinal uses, including an aid in recovery from influenza. In Korea, a rice wine flavored with chrysanthemum flowers is called gukhwaju (국화주).photo 1photo 2

[edit] Insecticidal uses

Chrysanthemum coronarium in the Tel Aviv botanical garden
Chrysanthemum coronarium in the Tel Aviv botanical garden

Pyrethrum (Chrysanthemum [or Tanacetum] cinerariaefolium) is economically important as a natural source of insecticide. The flowers are pulverized, and the active components called pyrethrins, contained in the seed cases, are extracted and sold in the form of an oleoresin. This is applied as a suspension in water or oil, or as a powder. Pyrethrins attack the nervous systems of all insects, and inhibit female mosquitoes from biting. When not present in amounts fatal to insects, they still appear to have an insect repellent effect. They are harmful to fish, but are far less toxic to mammals and birds than many synthetic insecticides and are non-persistent, being biodegradable and also breaking down easily on exposure to light. They are considered to be amongst the safest insecticides for use around food. (Pyrethroids are synthetic insecticides based on natural pyrethrum, e.g., permethrin.)

[edit] Environmental uses

Chrysanthemum plants have been shown to reduce indoor air pollution by the NASA Clean Air study. [1]

[edit] Cultural significance and symbolism

In some countries of Europe, Korea and in Japan, white chrysanthemums are symbolic of death and are only used for funerals or on graves. In China, white chrysanthemums are symbolic of lamentation, while in some other countries, of honesty.[2] In the United States, the flower is usually regarded as positive and cheerful.[citation needed]

kikukamonshō of the battleship
kikukamonshō of the battleship
  • The Chrysanthemum Throne (Japanese: 菊花紋章, kikukamonshō or kikkamonshō) is the name given to the position of Japanese emperor. The chrysanthemum (菊 kiku in Japanese) is the monshō ("badge" or "crest") of the emperor of Japan, and therefore the flower represents the emperor and Imperial House. The term kikukamonshō literally means the "Chrysanthemum Crest" (Imperial Seal).
  • The Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum: a Japanese honor awarded by the emperor.
  • The chrysanthemum is one of the "Four Junzi Flowers" (四君子) of China (the others being ume, orchid, and bamboo), known in Chinese as (). The jú is said to have been favored by Tao Qian, an influential Chinese poet, and is symbolic of nobleness.
  • The chrysanthemum is the flower of the American musician fraternity Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia.
  • The white chrysanthemum is the flower of Triangle Fraternity, a society of engineers, architects, and scientists.
  • Chrysanthemums were recognized as the official flower of the city of Chicago in 1966.[1]
  • The term "chrysanthemum" is also used to refer to a certain type of firework shell that produces a pattern of trailing sparks similar to a chrysanthemum flower. [citation needed]
  • The chrysanthemum is also the flower of November.[2]

[edit] See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to:
Wikispecies has information related to:

[edit] References

  1. ^ B. C. Wolverton, Rebecca C. McDonald, and E. A. Watkins, Jr. Foliage Plants for Removing Indoor Air Pollutants from Energy-efficient Homes. Retrieved on 2007-05-03.
  2. ^ Flower Meaning. Retrieved 22 September 2007.

[edit] External links

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