Plants & Us: Chrysanthemum - The Golden Flower

Posted Date: Monday 19 November 2018    

The Chrysanthemum flowers during the ninth month of the Lunar calendar. In Ancient China, the ninth month was therefore also known as “The Chrysanthemum Month”.

During the Chung Yeung Festival (the ninth day of the ninth lunar month), Chinese people visit family graves bringing chrysanthemums to pay respects to their ancestors. To this day, people in China still appreciate this beautiful yellow flower during autumn with flower exhibitions and festivals held every year to celebrate the flowering season of the Chrysanthemum.

Chrysanthemum morifolium. Location: Eco Garden, Plants & Us Greenhouse

Origin of Name

Scientific name: Chrysanthemum

The name “Chrysanthemum” is a combination of the Greek words chrysos (gold) and anthemon (flower) because originally the flower’s colour was a rich golden yellow.

Language of the Flower

Purity, nobility, success, rememberance and longevity

Chrysanthemum in Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, Plum, Orchid, Bamboo and Chrysanthemum are regarded as the “Four Gentlemen”, a popular subject of traditional Chinese paintings. Chrysanthemums have been cultivated in China for more than 3,000 years.

In early days, chrysanthemums were completely yellow in colour. It is mentioned in “The Book of Rites” (Liji) (5th cent.-221 BCE) – “when the wild yellow flower blooms we know it is the last month of autumn”. The “yellow flower” here, refers to the chrysanthemum.

Chrysanthemum has been loved and praised by Chinese poets and painters for centuries, there are many works of art and literature featuring this beautiful flower as a motif or metaphor. Apart from appreciating the beauty of chrysanthemum, it can also be used to make herbal tea or delicious dishes. Chrysanthemum flowers also have a long history in traditional Chinese medicine.