November’s birth flower, the chrysanthemum, recalls the vibrant colors of autumn leaves. Learn about the meaning and symbolism of chrysanthemums.
Also known as simply as “mums,” chrysanthemums can be seen in all sorts of autumn decor. The word, “chrysanthemum,” comes from the Greek prefix chrys- meaning golden and -anthemion, meaning flower. Its original colors were golden hues, though mums now come in many colors—orange, burgundy, purple, red, and so on!
A native to Asia with a history that dates back to 15th century B.C., chrysanthemum symbolism often originates from its original birthplace.
In Japan, there’s even a “Festival of Happiness” to celebrate this flower each year.
- Both the Chinese and Japanese consider chrysanthemums a powerful emblem of youth. The Chinese also believe that it prevents gray hair.
- A symbol of the sun, the Japanese consider the orderly unfolding of the chrysanthemum’s petals to represent perfection.
- Confucius once suggested chrysanthemums be used as an object of meditation.
- It’s said that a single petal placed in the bottom of a glass of wine enhances longevity.
- A red chrysanthemum means “I love you.”
- A white chrysanthemum means innocence, purity, and pure love.
- A yellow chrysanthemum means slighted love.
Gardening With Mums
Most chrysanthemums are perennials and can be planted in the garden for years of enjoyment. However, planting them in the fall requires a few special steps to ensure that they can make it through the winter. See more about how and when to plant mums here.