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Hyacinth - February 2010(printable PDF)
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Dendranthema X grandiflorum
(den-DRAN-thuh-muh grand-i-FLOR-um)

Chrysanthemum, Mum, Florist mum

Chrysanthemums have “composite” flower heads of ray flowers (petal-like florets) and disk flowers (tiny florets in the center), in a range of forms and sizes.

Bloom forms include button, daisy, decorative (cushion, Dahlia-type, etc.), spider, feathered, anemone (mounded cushionlike center), incurve (“football”), and more.

Sizes include the larger single-flowered stems (disbuds, standard mums [see more photos on Page 10]) and the smaller multiflowered stems (spray mums, pompons). Spray mums also are available in “micro” varieties.

Mums are available in lavender, purple, red-violet, burgundy, red, pink, orange, coral, salmon, yellow, bronze, butterscotch, cream and white, as well as bicolors.

Cut chrysanthemums typically last from seven to 14 days at the consumer level, depending on variety, maturity at the time of sale and the care they receive.

Both disbud and spray mums are available year-round.

  purchasing advice  

Buy cut spray mums when half to three-fourths of the blooms are opening. Research shows that spray mums harvested at a more mature stage will last longer than those harvested in a tighter stage.

These single-bloom-per-stem flowers are usually sold individually and unbunched although some bloom types often are “netted” to protect the blossoms. In any case, check each flower for damage resulting in shattering (petal drop).

Make sure foliage is deep green, crisp and turgid, and that stems are thick and strong.


vase-life extenders


Immediately remove mums from their shipping boxes, and check flower quality. Chrysanthemums are particularly susceptible to dehydration during shipment. Remove any stem bindings as well as any leaves that would be under water in storage containers. Sleeves and nets may be removed later; keeping them on at this point will help protect the blooms.

Next, recut the stems, under water or in air, on an angle, with a sharp knife, removing at least 1 inch of stem; be sure to cut off any woody portions. Do not pound or break stem ends; doing so damages the stems’ vascular system, which inhibits water uptake.

Immediately after cutting the stem ends, dip or place them into a cool hydration solution (refrigerate, or add some ice cubes), then into containers partially filled with lukewarm (100 F to 110 F) properly proportioned flower-food solution.

The nutrient (sugar) in flower-food solution is not beneficial to disbud chrysanthemums, but flower food should always be used with these flowers to control the growth of bacteria in storage and arrangement containers. With spray mums, the sugar in flower foods is required for the buds to open.

Immediately place chrysanthemums into a floral cooler at 33 F to 36 F, and allow them to hydrate for at least two hours before using or selling them. If sleeves were not removed earlier, take them off after hydration to encourage air circulation between stems and blooms.

Mums are fairly resistant to the effects of ethylene.

Care extra Yellowing foliage is a common problem for many varieties of chrysanthemums, and it can be exacerbated by flower food prepared at higher-than-recommended concentrations, so be sure to mix flower-food solutions properly.

Certain microorganisms originating from carnation stems can reduce the vase life of chrysanthemums when both flowers are held together in storage containers.

  fun facts  

Chrysanthemums originated in China prior to 500 B.C. and were introduced into Japan around A.D. 400 and into Europe (England) in 1795.

In the fifth century, the chrysanthemum became the emblem of Japan’s imperial family. The Chrysanthemum Throne is the common term for the Imperial Throne of Japan, the oldest continuing hereditary monarchy in the world (2,700 years, 125 monarchs).


Some information provided by:

Chain of Life Network®,
Flower & Plant Care: The 21st Century Approach, by Terril A. Nell, Ph.D. and
  Michael S. Reid, Ph.D.
Cut Flowers of the World, by Johannes Maree and Ben-Erik Van Wyk
Hortus Third by Liberty Hyde Bailey and Ethel Zoe Bailey
Stearn’s Dictionary of Plant Names for Gardeners by William T. Stearn

Photos: Association of Colombian Flower Exporters (Asocolflores), Deliflor Chrysanten

Super Floral Retailing •• Copyright 2010
Florists' Review Enterprises, Inc.