#bioPGH Blog: Chrysanthemums
Oct 15

#bioPGH Blog: Chrysanthemums

By Lorren Kezmoh, Outreach Coordinator, Phipps Science Education and Research

Biophilia NetworkA resource of Biophilia: Pittsburgh, #bioPGH is a weekly blog and social media series that aims to encourage both children and adults to reconnect with nature and enjoy what each of our distinctive seasons has to offer. From the best times to plant seasonal flora and enjoy their peak blooms, to astronomical events and creatures to keep an eye and ear out for, Phipps will keep you in the know with what’s going on in our environment!

There’s no question that chrysanthemums, or simply mums, are the dominant species of flora during the fall, and with over a hundred varieties of mums to choose from there is bound to be something for everyone’s garden. These herbaceous perennials thrive in locations with nutrient-rich soil and full sunlight and can be easily purchased or propagated from seed, cuttings or clump division. First cultivated in China as a flowering herb, chrysanthemums have several uses that range from being simply ornamental to being used in culinary pursuits and as a natural insecticide. Traditionally, the Chinese used chrysanthemums to remedy headaches and even brewed the flowers to create various beverages. In Japan they even celebrate a National Chrysanthemum Day, which they have dubbed the ‘Festival of Happiness!’

Connecting to the Outdoors Tip: Come explore Phipps’ historic glasshouse, outdoor gardens and newly installed Fall Flower Show, opening this Sat., Oct. 17, which celebrates the history of chrysanthemums in Japanese culture and will feature hundreds of the vibrant flowers throughout the Conservatory! This year’s theme showcases the unique ways the blooms are traditionally grown in Japan and their importance in Japanese culture. And, in addition to the opening of our Fall Flower show there will also be the highly anticipated return of our miniature Garden Railroad display! So, if you’re looking for a fun weekend activity for yourself or the family, stop by Phipps for the opening of our Fall Flower Show and take away some ideas for planting mums in your own yard this fall!

Continue the Conversation: Share your nature discoveries with our community by posting to Twitter and Instagram with hashtag #bioPGH, and R.S.V.P. to attend our next Biophilia: Pittsburgh meeting.

Additional Resources:
History of the Chrysanthemum - National Chrysanthemum Society 
Fall Flower Show - Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens 
How to Grow Chrysanthemums in Your Garden - Today's Homeowner

Photo © Paul g. Wiegman