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  • Writer's pictureKatherine Aleem

Flower of the Month: November: Chrysanthemum

I cannot believe that it is already November, and I am about to introduce November’s Flower of the Month – time has really flown! Well, without further delay, November’s Flower of the Month is the chrysanthemum, commonly known as the mum. Chrysanthemums come in a wide variety of colors and sizes making them an extremely diverse and popular cut flower. They range in color from deep, rich reds and purples to light, bright yellows, whites and green. Tiny button mums are the smallest in the Chrysanthemum family with blooms that are often no larger than the size of a nickel. Spider mums are on the other end of the spectrum; their blooms can be up to 6 inches across depending upon the type. Given the diverse options within the Chrysanthemum family, they can be used as either filler flowers or focal flowers.

They have a decidedly retro vibe, which some might cringe at and call outdated. However, for those that are averse to using mums, I urge you to take another look at them. They are extremely hardy flowers and can last in a vase for 7 to 14 days with proper care. And, well, I believe already we already covered how diverse they are in both color in form. Chrysanthemums, depending on the flowers with which they are paired, can create different results – from vibrant, fun seasonal tablescapes to modern and romantic altar arrangements. Button mums will complement large, showy blooms, while football mums make excellent focal flowers.

I have even been known to just pick a variety of mums from the local grocery store and place them in a ceramic pitcher to create a simple and easy side table bouquet. In order to make sure the arrangement doesn’t look like it came straight out of the 1970s, I vary the types of mum and the heights at which they are placed into the arrangement.

Chrysanthemums can be paired with woody stems, fall foliage, various gourds and gorgeous roses to make a stunning seasonal arrangement for a Thanksgiving table. Bright green button mums paired with showy white focal flowers in arrangement add textural interest to modern arrangements. Mums have even been seen in bridal bouquets where they blend seamlessly with roses, dahlias and zinnias to create something truly breathtaking.

As diverse as the mums are in their looks, they also carry many different meanings. Some of the more popular meanings are loyalty, truth, strength, friendship, innocence, love, and joy. Their meanings can also vary with their colors as roses do. For example, red chrysanthemums, much like a red rose, conveys that the giver loves the recipient, and like the white rose, a white mum is a symbol of purity, innocence and love.

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