|Binomial name||Chrysanthemum indicum|
Other Common Names:
The other common names for chrysanthemum are Mother's Daisy and Mums, the jua, Chinese chrysanthemum, pellitory and ox-eye daisy.
CHRYSANTHEMUMS have been known in Europe for fully two hundred years, yet they have been but recently "discovered," for as a familiar garden flower the history of the plant dates from the year 1843, when the first public exhibition of chrysanthemums was held in the ancient city of Norwich. Pictorial art in China and Japan owes much of its life to the chrysanthemum. The chrysanthemum is in both countries a greater favourite than the paeony; and it must be confessed that, while we have derived from China and Japan the parents of our finest varieties and the types of the most distinctive forms, we are not the less indebted to them for the lessons that are the basis of our chrysanthemum cultivation. Chrysanthemum is the common name and genus name for a group of erect, herbaceous perennial plants in the flowering plant family Asteraceae (aster, daisy or sunflower family); generally characterized by aromatic, deeply lobed, alternate leaves and often large and showy flowers. The term also is used for the flower head of any of these plants, many of which are cultivated as ornamentals.
This perennial plant, in habit and appearance like the chamomile, has stems that lie on the ground for part of their length, before rising erect. Each bears one large flower, the disk being yellow and the ray's white, tinged with purple beneath. The leaves are smooth, alternate, and pinnate, with deeply-cut segments.
The root is almost cylindrical, very slightly twisted and tapering and often crowned with a tuft of grey hairs. Externally it is brown and wrinkled, with bright black spots. The fracture is short, and the transverse section, magnified, presents a beautiful radiate structure and many oleoresin glands. The taste is pungent and odour slight.
The chrysanthemum plant is indigenous to China and other Far Eastern countries - it grows in the wild in eastern Asia. However, due to its ornamental value, the plant is mostly cultivated and is naturalized in many other countries.
The plant prefers light sandy, medium loamy and heavy clay soils. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic alkaline soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.
Succeeds in most well-drained fertile soils in a sunny position. The plant is propagated from the cuttings which are planted in the spring or in the early summer months. Gardeners around the world are familiar with the chrysanthemum flowers. During the fall, the flower heads open fully and they are usually gathered from the field at this time. Floral heads to be used in herbal medications are normally dried by exposing them to sunlight; this process is needless to say a long drawn out affair and takes many days. Seeds are sown in spring to early summer in a greenhouse and only just cover the seed. It usually germinates in 10 - 18 days at 15°c but if it does not germinate within 4 weeks then try chilling the seed for 3 weeks in the salad compartment of a fridge. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in the summer. Division in spring. Larger clumps can be replanted direct into their permanent positions, though it is best to pot up smaller clumps and grow them on in a cold frame until they are rooting well. Plant them out in the spring.
Aerial parts (stems, leaves and flowers) and seeds are the most commonly used parts for its commercial and medicinal purposes.
The flowers are hermaphrodite and are in bloom from August to October.
Pests and Diseases
Resistance to pathogens and pests common to Chrysanthemums has not been observed on plants grown under commercial conditions. Spraying or dusting an all- purpose insecticide-fungicide mixture twice a month, June through September, is recommended. Chrysanthemums are attacked by a variety of chewing, sucking and rasping (scraping) pests. To make problems worse, chrysanthemums are sensitive to some pesticides, such as those containing dimethoate, and some cultivars may be sensitive to pesticides containing dicofol.The most common aphids infesting chrysanthemums in Victoria are the green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, and the chrysanthemum aphid, Macrosiphoniella sanborni. The green peach aphid is a green to greenish-yellow colour and the chrysanthemum aphid is a shiny mahogany colour.
• It possesses antihyperkinesia, antiasthma, antitussive, antimicrobial, antiviral and parasiticidal activities.
• The herb is taken internally for headaches, dizziness, and hearing disorders.
• It is also useful as a treatment for high blood pressure (hypertension).
• It is used as a compress or eye wash for inflammation of the eyes and for other eye problems such as dry-eye, blurred vision, and spots before the eyes.
• The herb can also be taken internally as an infusion and is combined with honeysuckle for the treatment of colds, the flu, and infected sores.
• It has a calming effect and can also be good for stress.
• Chrysanthemum is known to be a powerful antiseptic and antibiotic.
• It helps bring soothing relief from a dry mouth or dryness in the throat, and is an aid in treating bad breath in people.
• 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.
• A rice wine flavoured with chrysanthemum flowers is called gukhwaju.
• Chrysanthemum leaves are steamed or boiled and used as greens, especially in Chinese cuisine.
• It is economically important as a natural source of insecticide.
• Chrysanthemum plants have been shown to reduce indoor air pollution.
• The flower heads are pickled in vinegar.
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.
Chrysanthemums had been cultivated in Chinese gardens for more than 2,500 years before they were first exhibited in England in 1795. The ancient Chinese named the Chrysanthemum ("chu hua"), to be their official Flower for October, and also the official badge of the Old Chinese Army. Mums were considered one of the four Chinese noble plants. along with bamboo, the plum, and the orchid, and therefore the lower class Chinese were not permitted to grow them in their gardens. Visiting Buddhist monks brought the chrysanthemum to Japan in AD 400.
Japanese emperors so loved this flower that they sat upon chrysanthemum thrones, and kukus, chrysanthemums in Japanese, were featured on the Imperial Crest of Japan. Even today, the chrysanthemum is a symbol of the sun, and the orderly unfolding of the mum's petals denotes perfection. One of their traditions is to put a single chrysanthemum petal on bottom of a wine glass to sustain a long and healthy life. This popular perennial's name is derived from the Greek chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower). In Italy chrysanthemums are associated with death, so don't give an Italian girl friend a bouquet of chrysanthemums. The chrysanthemum is also the flower of November.