The chrysanthemum is a perennial, herbaceous plant with jagged leaves and large flowers with petals arranged radially or forming a sphere that covers the center. Blooms early in autumn and is considered the official flower of November, with a delicate and sweet not so strong scent. Chrysanthemums cultivated for decorative purposes are more appealing than the wild ones. The name comes from the Greek ‘chrysos’ (gold) and ‘anthos’ (flower), the nickname of ‘golden flower’ or ‘flower of gold’ was given to the chrysantemum flowers that were originally yellow. Through careful selection, florists have cultivated other colors beside the traditional one, such as red, white or violet chrysanthemums.
Chrysanthemums are especially popular in Asia, where they have a rich history. Since the fifteen century, the Chinese used the flowers of certain species to prepare medicinal tea and the young leaves for salads or to garnish some dishes. In Korea they are part of the flavoring process of a type of rice wine, while in Japan the chrysanthemum was chosen as representing the family of the Emperor.
In Europe the chrysanthemums were offered in the Victorian era as a sign of lasting friendship and for good wishing. In present society these flowers are a symbol of familial love, affection, loyalty, joy and good mood, also being used to celebrate new beginnings, life and birth. They are placed as a decorative element both indoors and outdoors, having the effect of purifying the air.