Types of Mums

Tap into the amazing variety of flower forms that garden mums offer.
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Dendranthema x grandiflorum  (19) Bloom

Dendranthema x grandiflorum (19) Bloom


Explore the wonderful world of garden mums. These hardy flowers boast variety in color and flower form. By using different types of mums, you can give your garden a splash of autumn color. All told, there 13 classes or types of chrysanthemum, as determined by the National Chrysanthemum Society. These 13 classes are based on different types of mum flower forms. 

While many of the names describe chrysanthemum flowers in botanical terms, like incurve, reflex or decorative, other class names offer a more descriptive clue into what its floral members look like. For instance, quill types of mums have petals that resemble miniature tubes or quills. The ends may be spoon-like or hooked, and each flower lacks a visible disk center. Instead, blooms are fully double, and petals pack the flower’s center. 

Quill types of mums are similar in appearance to spider mums, which have quilled petals that have distinct hooks or coils on the ends. Spider mums, sometimes called Fuji mums, have long petals that dangle from the flowers, much like a spider’s legs dangle from its body. Spider mums are incredibly exotic-looking and a popular choice in bridal bouquets. 

Regular incurve types of mums are the ones most people recognize as traditional football corsage mums. These plants grow tall and form large, ball-like blossoms. Petals are packed into the flowers and curve toward the flower center—which is why they’re called incurve types. Button mums are on the opposite end of the size scale compared to these corsage giants. Button mums tend to form sprays or several stems arranged like a small bouquet. The flowers are small and packed with petals. 

Cushion mums are a type of hardy mum or garden mum. They earn their name from the way they form a mound or cushion of bloom. Most cushion mums grow to a shorter height (for mums), reaching 12 to 30 inches tall. The plants are usually tightly branched and don’t need staking. These are the garden mums that form mounds of color in the autumn landscape. Look for cushion mums in a rainbow of hues and assorted flower forms. 

In China, wild chrysanthemums (Chrysanthemum morifolii) grow on hillsides, flowering in winter. The flowers are sometimes gathered to make tea.

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