Chrysanthemum! The Queen of Autumn Flowers

Chrysanthemum! The Queen of Autumn Flowers

Fall is here. There is no denying the changes are everywhere. The cool temps and rain have started. Such is life in Washington. 

While pressing bouquets is a large portion of my work. I frequently collaborate with local community organizations and flower farmers. I like to collaborate on projects that bring meaning and union together. My fall project this year grew out of a new love for chrysanthemums that keeps growing as the Autumn weeks keep showing their flare! There is so much more to mums than we see in our local grocery store. There is a reason she is the Queen of Fall flowers.

As a nod to this beautiful flower and embodiment of community, I sought to find unusual and unique varieties of chrysanthemums. I was fortunate to meet and partner with Annie Chia, owner of Mooncake Flower Farm, located in Camas, WA. Annie is one of the most talented flower farmers I have met and her assortment of mums captivated me. More to come on Annie and Mooncake Farms, but to have met a local farmer who shares a passion for mums is music to my flower soul! Annie’s Instagram page is @mooncakeflowerfarm and website Do yourself a favor and check out Annie and what she has going with her flower farm!

I met with Annie last week and toured her farm. I was able to take seven different types of chrysanthemums home to press. Once these petals have been pressed and reconstructed, they will be framed and given as a gift to the Lan Su Chinese Garden for their Chrysanthemum Festival, running from November 3, 2023 – November 19, 2023. Please take a moment to take a look at their Instagram page @lansuchinesegarden and website  Lan Su is one of Portland’s best kept secrets!

The National Chrysanthemum Society has a classification system in place to categorize different mums based on flower shape like daisy, button, pompon, daisy, and spider. The button mum is the most common.

Chrysanthemums are composites, meaning that their flower heads are made up of tiny individual flowers. The flowering parts of chrysanthemums are made up of disk and ray florets.

Disk florets are tiny flowers located at the center of the bloom; ray florets are the showier flowers on the
perimeter (what we view as the petals). The ray florets are considered imperfect flowers, as they only possess the female productive organs, while the disk florets are considered perfect flowers as they possess both male and female reproductive organs.

 Random chrysanthemum facts!

  • The chrysanthemum is one of the “Four Gentlemen” of China. The others being the plum blossom, the orchid, and bamboo. They also represent the four seasons, the orchid for spring, the bamboo for summer, the chrysanthemum for fall, and the plum blossom for winter.
  • It is one of the top 5 most popular plants in the world, rivaling the rose.
  • The chrysanthemum symbolizes happiness and joy. In feng shui, this flower is believed to bring happiness and laughter to the home and keeps away evil spirits.
  • The names come from the Greek work chrysos meaning gold and Anthemom meaning flower.

In this vein, I wish you all a happy fall! As I post this on Friday the 13th, during October, have a spooky and fun filled weekend.


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