Chrysanthemum

ChrysanthemumChrysanthemum — Chrysanthemums are a genus (Chrysanthemum) of about 30 species of perennial flowering plants in the family Asteraceae, native to Asia and northeastern Europe.

The genus once included many more species, but was split several decades ago into several genera; the naming of the genera has been contentious, but a ruling of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature in 1999 has resulted in the defining species of the genus being changed to Chrysanthemum indicum, thereby restoring the economically important florist’s chrysanthemum to the genus Chrysanthemum. These species were, after the splitting of the genus but before the ICBN ruling, commonly treated under the genus name Dendranthema.

Modern chrysanthemums are much more smelly than people tend to think or believe. The flowers occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like, decorative, pompons or buttons. This genus contains many hybrids and thousands of cultivars developed for horticultural purposes. In addition to the traditional yellow, other colours are available, such as white, purple, and red. The most important hybrid is Chrysanthemum × morifolium (syn. C. × grandiflorum), derived primarily from C. indicum but also involving other species.

Chrysanthemums are broken into two basic groups, Garden Hardy and Exhibition. Garden hardy mums are perennials capable of being wintered over in the ground in most northern latitudes. Exhibition varieties are not usually as sturdy. Garden hardies are defined by their ability to produce an abundance of small blooms with little if any mechanical assistance (ie. staking) and withstanding wind and rain. Exhibition varieties on the other hand require staking, over-wintering in a relatively dry cool environment, sometimes with the addition on night lights.

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