Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Favorite Flower #2: The Chrysanthemum

In a previous post, I showed my collection of photos of one of my favorite flowers, the Dahlia.  Another one of my favorites, especially this time of year, is the Chrysanthemum (or just plain "mum").  Like the Dahlia, they come in many different types and colors and look pretty alone or in bunches.

Chrysanthemums are native to parts of Europe and Asia, cultivated as an herb as far back as the 15th century.  They were brought to the United States by Col. John Stevens and planted into the Elysian Fields in New Jersey.  One type, known as "Garden Hardy Mums" can survive northern winters, which is why they last so long where I live.

I visited the Mitchell Park Domes last month, where they showcased mums in their Show Dome.  I was amazed at how many different types of mums were on display from the Irregular Incurve (pictured above) to the Spider mum:

There is also the Semi-Double variety, probably the most popular:

 And the Decorative variety:

Chrysanthemums also come in Reflex, Anemone, Regular Incurve, Spoon, Quill, Pompom and Brush.  You can learn more about these different types here.

As I mentioned above, one of the reasons I love mums is that they are really the only type of flower you see in their prime in late fall around Wisconsin.  I love going to the farmers markets and seeing their bright colors all around.  They are always the last burst of color before we head into cold, gray winter.

I'm sure you can still see these vibrant, happy flowers at any botanical garden or farmers market for the rest of fall and, maybe, into winter.  They really do brighten any dreary day!

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