Phoenix Perennials and Specialty Plants

From the E-Newsletter: November and December 2006

Festive Chrysanthemums in China

The Chinese love their chrysanthemums -- so much so that every fall the parks, squares, gardens, monasteries, and other public sites across the country are adorned with large and impressive displays. Chrysanthemums were cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. An ancient Chinese city was named Chu-Hsien, meaning "chrysanthemum city". The flower was introduced into Japan around the 8th century AD and to Europe in the 17th century AD. Today the chrysanthemum is used in teas as well as for ornamental purposes across China. The flowers represent nobility and elegance to the Chinese people. Currently there are said to be more than 3000 different chrysanthemum cultivars grown in China.

Various large-flowered cultivars mass-planted along the Yangtze River. These flowers are about six to eight inches in diametre.

Chrysanthemum balls and pillars in the the Humble Administrator's Garden, Suzhou. The pillars are not forms holding various pots. Each pot contains three to five plants each of which are staked and grown to 6 to 8 feet tall!

This disc of orange chrysanthemums is a single plant measuring at least six feet in diametre! The flowers are held by the concentric circles of a wooden frame to present a uniform floral pattern. Tiger Hill Pagoda, Suzhou.

While this single chrysanthemum plant is perhaps meant to represent the nearby Tiger Hill Pagoda of Suzhou it looked awfully like a Christmas tree to us westerners. For reference sake Randy is six foot four. Again a bamboo frame is used to support the plant and to arrange the flowers.



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