Monday, November 11, 2013

Emperor of China

Chrysanthemum, that is ...


Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemums are gorgeous flowers that are under-appreciated.  Although the mums we see sold in grocery stores and most nurseries are pretty, there are stunning varieties out there that should grace our gardens. Chrysanthemums are very easy to grow and display an array of color for our Autumn landscape.  They also have a long vase life if properly cared for.  I should tell you that I started writing this blog last November, and what inspired me to begin when I did was the spectacular yellow chrysanthemums in my garden.  I wanted to share an arrangement I had made with the flowers (most specifically the yellow chrysanthemum), berries, and vegetables from my garden (see Autumn Glory post, 11/8/12).


See Autumn Glory post, 11/8/12


Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

This year, I decided to add more chrysanthemums to my garden.  I tried the Emperor of China variety and boy oh boy, they are spectacular!

The flowers begin with tight burgundy/deep pink incurved buds.   

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum


Around mid October (in Virginia) the buds start to open, slowly unfurling petals in dark pink. 


Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

As the petals open wider, they turn into lighter shades of pink.  

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

When the flowers mature, they turn light pink, almost white.  My Emperor of China is still going strong -- and it's mid November!  

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

The pink spectrum that the Emperor of China Chrysanthemum displays is quite impressive. 

Emperor of China Chrysanthemum

At 3-4' tall, this elegant beauty sends out a soft and sweet fragrance as she sways in the wind. 
   
Emperor of China Chrysanthemum



WOW!

Does this chrysanthemum
deserve such fame?
I think so. Don't you?





Fun Facts About Chrysanthemums

Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China and appeared in Chinese literature as early as the 15th Century B.C.  This flower appears in many poems and paintings and symbolizes grace and nobility in ancient Chinese literature.  Today, the chrysanthemum is a symbol of happiness and good luck.  This flower has been used in tea and cooking for centuries.  It also has medicinal properties.  The Chinese people celebrate the Double Ninth (Chongyang) Festival on the 9th day of the 9th lunar month (which usually falls in October in the Gregorian calendar).  The Double Ninth Festival occurs when chrysanthemum blooms.  Although the Double Ninth Festival originated as a day to drive away danger, over time it became a day of celebration.  During this festival, people drink chrysanthemum tea and wine and enjoy other activities celebrating the chrysanthemum flower, such as reading poetry about chrysanthemums and admiring the blooming chrysanthemum.

Source: powershow.com/view/a7374-ODQ3Y/
Double_Ninth_Festival_powerpoint_ppt_presentation

For the legend behind the Double Ninth Festival, see http://bluebalu.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/be-careful-of-the-double-nine/

The Japanese people also celebrate the Double Ninth Festival.  They name it National Chrysanthemum Day (Choyo).  The chrysanthemum was introduced to Japan around the 8th Century A.D.  The Japanese Emperor was smitten by this lovely flower and adopted it as the crest and official seal of the Emperor.  The Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum is the highest Order of Chivalry.  National Chrysanthemum Day is one of the five ancient sacred festivals.  As in China, this festival is celebrated on the 9th day of the 9th month.  This festival began in around 910 A.D. when the Japanese imperial court held its first chrysanthemum show.

Chrysanthemums were introduced to the West in the 17th Century.

The National Chrysanthemum Society - USA, has a wealth of information about the chrysanthemum.  http://www.mums.org


10 comments:

  1. I'm completely blown away by how amazing this 'emperor of china' is!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. And it's still blooming in Virginia even though we have had very very cold nights. They last over 2 weeks in a vase (remember to add and change water frequently). Just a fabulous flower.

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  2. Want, both in my garden and in a vase. Not hinting here :-)

    xo J

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jane,
      You should plant some in the spring. I bought it from Select Seeds (www.selectseeds.com or call
      1-800-684-0395).

      Delete
  3. Now you've made me sorry that I didn't plant any chrysanthemums for the past couple of years. I will have to make a note to check out this one ... where did you get it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Connie,
      I bought the plants from Select Seeds. You can order from their website www.selectseeds.com or call them 1-800-684-0395 for their catalog. They have gorgeous plants.

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  4. Replies
    1. Wonderful chrysanthemums - love all the different pinks - and lovely flower arrangement.
      Have a great weekend!
      Ingrid

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    2. Ingrid,
      I am so happy I planted this chrysanthemum. I might want to try another one this spring.
      Christa

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