Discover the hidden meaning of chrysanthemum flowers.
Celebrate fall garden mums in a new way: by learning about chrysanthemum symbolism. This cherished flower offers beauty that’s more than petal deep. When you dig into chrysanthemum meanings, you discover that this bloomer boasts a long pedigree and a host of symbolism.
The history of chrysanthemum dates to China in the 15th Century. Chrysanthemum flowers offered such perfection with the beautiful alignment of petals that it quickly became the blossom of nobility in ancient China. It was held in such high esteem that only nobles were permitted to grow it. In this time, chrysanthemum meaning came to include longevity, and it was adopted by the Old Chinese Army as a symbol.
Buddhist monks carried chrysanthemum flowers to Japan, where it was quickly revered for its exquisite beauty and precisely ordered petal unfolding. In Japan, chrysanthemum meaning came to embrace the idea of perfection, as well as being viewed as a symbol of the sun. The Japanese also developed the idea of a chrysanthemum meaning rejuvenation and longevity.
Japan’s culture revered the blossom so much that it quickly became part of many family seals. Its most famous use is in the Imperial Seal of Japan. At one point in the nation’s history, the royal family incorporated chrysanthemum flowers into the royal throne as decorations.
Throughout Asia today, chrysanthemum meaning embraces the idea of long life and rebirth. Many times these colorful flowers are included as part of birthday celebrations and baby showers. It’s not unusual for individuals to give chrysanthemum flowers as gifts at these auspicious occasions.
One other important meaning of chrysanthemum in Japan has to do with death. White chrysanthemum blooms are reserved for funerals and decorating graves. In several European nations, including Belgium, Italy, France and Austria, chrysanthemum symbolism has to do with death. The only time chrysanthemum flowers are given in these nations is as a token of comfort, grief or bereavement.
In Britain, as in the United States, chrysanthemum meaning tends to flow more along the lines of happiness, optimism, joy and longevity. In these nations, florists rely on the vast array of chrysanthemum flower colors and forms to create arrangements that can be sent at any time of the year. Although the Chinese word for chrysanthemum literally translates “October flower,” these lovely blossoms are available year-round in the floral industry.
For the individual who speaks the language of flowers, however, it’s wise to choose chrysanthemum bloom color carefully, or you risk sending a double message with your bouquet. For instance, in the language of flowers, red mums signify love, yellow mark rejection or sadness, and white symbolize steadfast loyalty and devoted love.
In Greek, it’s possible to translate a chrysanthemum definition, based on the word itself. “Chrysos” translates as gold, which is the original color of the first chrysanthemum, while “anthos” translates as flower. In the end, the one chrysanthemum meaning you can rely on in any culture is the one that comes from the name itself: gold flower.