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The Chrysanthemum Flower is the Mothers Day Flower in Australia. It also means that autumn is here. My favourite is the gold. I have one in a little pot outside and every year up it comes with its glorious gold and the perfume .... It's worth having just for that. But I can't resist the pinks which is great because there are so many of them. In the wild they are usually white, yellow or pink.
But with today's cultivation techniques and hybridizing we have an enormous range to choose from. They are perennial plants which means that their above ground parts will die back in winter.
Why do they look so much like Daisies, Asters and Gerberas?
Because they all belong to the same family: Asteraceae. They are perennials but we consider them as annuals because they only have the one flowering season each year, in March, April and May. After this they should be cut right back and the seeds can be gathered for next year or left where they fall to produce new plants for the next season.
They are extremely tough. If you pick one up and plant it somewhere else it will almost certainly survive and flower for the next season. They can tolerate very poor soils and they are herbaceous. Herbaceous plants have no woody stems, unlike trees and shrubs. Chrysanths will grow from 1 to 3 feet in height and are ideal for pots, garden beds, indoors for the flowering season (Autumn) and some forms will hang in a basket.
Chrysanthemums are used as Mothers Day Flowers in Australia because they are just about perfect by the second Sunday in May. We can buy them in a pot for our mothers and they can be brought inside to enjoy the flowers and the fragrance, and then put them outside when they either finish flowering or when we think it's time to let them go.
They are very showy and share the same 'secret' as the daisies and the Gerberas and Asters - a very clever way of reproducing.
Chrysanthemums are very useful as a source of Pyrethrins to protect us against mosquitoes and many other insects - pyrethrins paralyze their nervous systems and prevent the female mosquitoes from biting. They are just about the safest insecticides to use in the home and outdoors. But they are harmful to fish, so never spray near a fish tank. They also reduce indoor pollution, so bring them inside when you can.
In the USA the Mothers Day flowers are the Carnations. And there are plenty of these to choose from too. They are very useful little plants.
There are over 30 species of Chrysanthemum flower and in each one there are many forms. However, these are some of the most popular:
Chrysanthemum morifolium. Good Old-Fashioned Type.
The Chrysanthemum Flower rounded - in Pink.
Wispy in red.
Just about perfect.