November Birth Flower: Chrysanthemums

7 Nov

Mums the Word

Happy Birthday November Bloomies! You lucky things, your birth month flower is the chrysanthemum. Mums are a symbol of cheer, optimism and long life. What could be more appropriate for a birthday gift?

I love working with mums because there are just so many colors and types to choose from, and they last a long time. Mums are a classic fall bloom. Their appearance so late in the season makes them really memorable. They really are a great boost of color just as everything else starts to go grey, especially here in Portland.

Varieties of Mums

The word “chrysanthemum” translates literally as golden flower, because the original variety was yellow, but since we’ve been cultivating them for about 700 years, there are now hundreds of distinct varieties of mums. They also come in just about every color imaginable.

I know that when most people think mums, they think of the potted plants you see outside of the supermarket every fall. While these are great potted plants, and are perfect on your front porch, they’re not exactly what you think of when it comes to a beautiful birthday arrangement. There are two classes of mums though- hardy and show. Essentially, hardy mums are the front porch kind and show mums are the celebration kind.

There are some really impressive mums that make great floral arrangements like Button, Spider, Japanese, Roman and Spoon Mums.

Button Mums

Pompon Mums are really perfect for bouquets because their compact burst of color really adds a lot of cheer to an arrangement. They are small and round, and come in great colors. Kermit button mums are a popular choice. It’s hard to match the energy of that bright lime green.

Spider Mums

Spider Mums get their name from their leggy petals. They’ve been cultivated for super long petals that reach out from the center. They add great texture to an arrangement. Some have longer, curlier petals, and others are almost downy. Like all mums, they come in a lot of different colors.

Japanese Mums

These mums are among the rarer varieties, and take a lot of work to bring out a truly great bloom. They’re grown one bloom to a stem, are sort of goblet shaped, and have loosely layered petals that scoop up, or dangle down depending on the type. They are  quite beautiful, but can be hard to find. They’re often seen at flower shows.

Roman Mums

This is one of my favorite type of mums to work with. They have the big bold impact of a sunflower, but they’re available later in the season, and come in more colors. Like the one in the arrangement just above, it really only takes one or two to make a statement!

Spoon Mums

These mums have a really unique petal shape, that resembles a spoon. The petals are long and slender, and open up at the end in a bowl shape. The long part is often a different color than the end part, and the center of the flower, which makes a really dramatic three colored flower.

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