Commentary

CHRYSANTHEMUM

Some trivia about our fall favorite - Chrysanthemum

    Submitted by Jacki Brewer

Common name:  Chrysanthemum, mum, tansy

Botanical name:  Chrysanthemum, Dendranthema

Family:  Asteraceae

The name 'chrysanthemum" comes from the Greek chrys (golden) and anthos (flower).  The Mediterranean Chrysanthemum coronarium, from the Latin coronarius (used for garlands), was a golden-yellow flower from which garlands were made to protect against demons.  It wa also called Dios ophrya (God'd eyebrows).  The European feverfew (the medieval Tanacetum, or "tansie," now Chrysanthemum parthenium) was widely used as  an antipyretic (an agent that reduces fever).

The Chinese chrysanthemum, originally a daisy-like wild plant, had been cultivated in Chinese gardens for more then twenty-five hundred years before it came to the west.  Chrysanthemums include flowers we call daisies such as the ox-eye daisy, the painted daisy, and the Shasta daisy.

Chrysanthemum symbolizes a scholar in retirement but not necessarily a recluse.  Mums were considered one of the four "noble plants" along with bamboo, plum, and orchid.

About 400 A.D. Zen Buddhist monks took the chrysanthemum to Japan where they became the symbol of the Mikado (Emperor).  The first garden mum was exhibited in England in 1795.  In Italy mums are associated with the dead and are unacceptable in any other use.

Chrysanthemums are short-day flowers so they are easily manipulated in the greenhouse growing industry to bloom anytime of year specifically as florist plants or cut flowers for arrangements.  In the garden, Chrysanthemums bloom in the autumn, though, in milder climates some may come on in spring, too.

Information gathered from the book 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names by Diana Wells, copyright 1997.

NATIVE PLANT LIST

Submitted by Chrissy Cortez-Mathis

Gailon Hardin did a wonderful presentation on the importance of using natives in the landscape.

Some are old favorites & some were new to me. I am in total agreement that plants need to be beneficial to other critters.
That biodiversity is what is critical in maintaining a healthy environment as well as to conserve our most precious resource, water!
As always, I love that all of these plants serve as nectar & host plants for a variety of butterflies not to mention a great food source for birds.

Here's the list:
Chinquapin Oak
Cedar Elm
Bur Oak
Mexican Plum
Yaupon Holly
Flame Acanthus
American Beautyberry
Possumhaw Holly
Agarita
Red Columbine
Salvia Greggii
Zexmenia
Butterfly Weed
Blue Mist Flower
Mealy Blue Sage
Crossvine
Coral Honeysuckle
Passion Vine
Lindheimer Muhly
Red Yucca