In the Garden
Common Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium syn. Dendranthema grandiflorum, Anthemis grandiflora)
*Also known as garden mum and mum
This well-known perennial continues to bring color to the garden long after most other plants have faded. Reaching one to three feet tall, chrysanthemums have dark green, deeply lobed leaves. Their dense flower heads can be white, yellow, orange, or reddish-orange, as well as various shades of purple. The thirteen classes of chrysanthemums are based on flower form.
Chrysanthemums were first cultivated by the Chinese approximately 1500 BCE.100 In Chinese art and folklore, these flowers were a symbol of marital bliss. Although the chrysanthemum represented the sun and life in Japan, this flower was used to honor the dead in France, Italy, and Germany. It became known as Fiori dei Morte, “flower of the dead.” 101 Despite this, the flower was a symbol of cheerfulness and optimism to the Victorians.
Planted outside in a garden or indoors as a potted plant, chrysanthemums bring blessings and protection to the home. Use a red flower in love charms, a white one on your altar when seeking truth, and a yellow one to aid in recovering from slighted love. Remove the petals from a flower and scatter them across a stream or pond as you visualize releasing unwanted things from your life. Float intact flower heads in a large bowl of water when seeking forgiveness. A couple can give the flowers to one another in a handfasting ritual to represent their love and commitment.
If you use chrysanthemums on your Samhain altar, leave them in place until November 2, as they are also associated with All Soul’s Day.
Chrysanthemum is associated with the element fire. Its astrological influence comes from the sun.