Chrysanthemums – Mother’s Day

Episode: 8
Title: Chrysanthemums – Mother’s Day
Broadcast: 7 May 2016
Presenter: Nigel Ruck

Nigel talks to us about the history of the Chrysanthemum and why they are a traditional mother’s day gifts.

  • Mother’s Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honour Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology. The ancient Romans then got in on the act and it’s been celebrated ever since.
  • The name chrysanthemum comes from the Greek words ‘chrysos’ meaning gold and ‘anthemon’ meaning flower.
  • They have been cultivated by the Chinese, dating back as far as 1500BC as a flowering herb for medicinal, culinary and ornamental purposes. They are still used to make tea.
  • They were introduced to the Japanese by Bhuddist monks around 400AD. The emperors loved them so much that they sat on chrysanthemum thrones.
  • There are around 40 species mostly from the Euro-Asian region.
  • Giving these flowers for Mother’s Day is a far more recent tradition in Australia, most likely started commercially due to the ‘mum’ at the end of the word.
  • At home they can stay indoors. After they’ve finished flowering prune them back halfway and place them in a sunny position outdoors. The next winter it will flower again. Without any diseases a chrysanthemum can last for years.

Contact: Flora Plant
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