The chrysanthemum has deep roots

A family tree with roots stretching to China and Japan

Does your family have a family tree? The journey of discovery to uncover your roots is not only educational, but also exciting! The origins and travels of many flowers have been traced by enthusiasts and biologists. But some flowers like the magnificent chrysanthemum are harder to trace. 

The chrysanthemum has deep roots

Love at first sight

What we do know is that the chrysanthemum originates from China and Japan, where they instantly fell in love with the flower. That love was so deep that the Chinese city of Chu-Hsien (chrysanthemum town) is named after the flower. In Japan, the chrysanthemum was even declared the national flower! Because the chrysanthemum was held in such esteem, only the aristocracy were allowed to have the flower. 

The chrysanthemum throne

Want to impress other monarchs? Forget about thrones made of swords or solid gold. Japanese emperors made a real impression with a throne entirely covered in chrysanthemums. The flower was depicted surrounded by 16 rays - a sign of divine power. 

They lived happily ever after

In many Asian countries the chrysanthemum symbolises a long and happy life. That’s why chrysanthemums are still widely sold in order to use the coloured petals in offering rituals and tea ceremonies.

A golden name

The chrysanthemum made its appearance in Europe in around 1700, where it was also given its current name. The name is derived from the Greek: chrys (gold) and anthemon (flower). In the past they only came in golden yellow, but nowadays this golden treasure comes in many other colours as well.