What Does Chrysanthemum Symbolize and Its Cultural Significance

When we think of flowers, roses and lilies often come to mind first. But what about the chrysanthemum? This often-overlooked floral beauty has a rich cultural significance dating back thousands of years. Across the world, the chrysanthemum has been a symbol of different things, from immortality and rebirth to grief and death.

In Japan, the chrysanthemum symbolizes the imperial family and is the emblem of the emperor. It is often used in art and architecture, and even forms a part of a celebratory national holiday dedicated to the flower. Meanwhile, in China, the chrysanthemum is associated with autumn and has been a symbol of longevity for centuries. It has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat a variety of ailments.

Beyond these specific cultural contexts, the chrysanthemum is often seen as a symbol of positivity, optimism, and joy. Its vibrant colors and unique petal structure have made it a beloved addition to gardens across the globe. Whether you’re a botany enthusiast or simply someone who enjoys the beauty of the natural world, it’s worth taking a closer look at the chrysanthemum and the fascinating symbolism behind this oft-neglected flower.

Historical significance of chrysanthemum in Chinese culture.

Chrysanthemum is one of the most significant flowers in Chinese culture, with a history that dates back more than 2,500 years. The flower represents a wide array of meanings, from purity and longevity to honor and respect. It is closely associated with the Chinese philosophy of Taoism and is often used in traditional Chinese medicine. The chrysanthemum’s importance in Chinese culture is evident in many aspects of Chinese society, from literature and art to medicine and celebrations.

The symbolism of chrysanthemum in Chinese culture

  • The chrysanthemum is a symbol of autumn and the changing of seasons. In this sense, it represents the cyclical nature of life and the beauty that can be found in change and transformation.
  • The flower is also associated with longevity and is often given as a gift to elderly people as a symbol of respect and honor.
  • In Taoism, the chrysanthemum is linked to the concept of immortality, as it is believed to have healing properties and the power to extend life.
  • Chrysanthemums have also been used as a symbol of purity and innocence. In ancient China, the flower was used to represent the virtues of a young woman, such as modesty and grace.

The significance of chrysanthemum in traditional Chinese medicine

In traditional Chinese medicine, the chrysanthemum is believed to have a cooling effect on the body and is often used to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, fever, and inflammation. The flower is often brewed into a tea or used in herbal remedies to help regulate the body’s internal systems. It is also used to improve eyesight and is believed to have a soothing effect on the mind and body.

Chrysanthemum in Chinese celebrations

The chrysanthemum is a popular flower used in many Chinese celebrations, including weddings and the Mid-Autumn Festival. During the festival, chrysanthemum flowers are displayed and used to make tea and wine. The flower is also a symbol of the famous Chinese poet, Tao Yuanming, who was known for his love of the flower and wrote several poems about it.

RedHappiness and good luck
PinkLove and romance
WhitePurity and innocence
YellowSadness and parting

Different colors of chrysanthemum also hold different meanings in Chinese culture. For example, red chrysanthemums symbolize happiness and good luck, while yellow chrysanthemums are associated with sadness and parting. It is important to be aware of these meanings when giving or receiving chrysanthemums in China, as they can carry significant cultural significance.

The use of chrysanthemum in traditional Chinese medicine

Chrysanthemum, known as “Ju Hua” in traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), has been used for thousands of years to treat various health issues. According to TCM, chrysanthemum has cooling properties and is therefore believed to have a calming effect on the body. In this article, we will discuss the use of chrysanthemum in traditional Chinese medicine.

  • Eye health: In TCM, chrysanthemum tea is commonly used to improve vision and eye health. It is believed to reduce eye strain, soothe dry eyes, and ease redness.
  • Headaches: Chrysanthemum is believed to have a cooling effect on the body, and is therefore often used to treat headaches caused by excess heat in the body.
  • High blood pressure: Chrysanthemum is often used in combination with other herbs to treat high blood pressure. It is believed to have a dilating effect on the blood vessels, which can help to lower blood pressure.

Chrysanthemum is also used in topical applications for various skin conditions such as acne, dermatitis, and eczema. It is believed to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help to soothe and heal the skin.

TCM practitioners may use chrysanthemum in various ways, including as a tea, a poultice, or in combination with other herbs in a formula. It is important to note that chrysanthemum should not be used in excess, as it may cause dizziness, nausea, or vomiting.

Medicinal PropertiesActions
CoolingCalms the body
DilatingReduces blood pressure
Anti-inflammatoryTreats skin conditions

In conclusion, chrysanthemum has been used for centuries in TCM to treat various health issues. Its cooling properties make it a popular choice for the treatment of headaches, high blood pressure, and other conditions caused by excess heat in the body. It is also used topically to treat skin conditions such as acne and dermatitis. As with any herbal remedy, it is important to consult with a trained TCM practitioner before using chrysanthemum for medicinal purposes.

The Symbolism of Chrysanthemum in Japanese Culture

Chrysanthemum, or “kiku” in Japanese, is a flower that holds great significance in Japanese culture. It is often considered the national flower of Japan and is associated with royalty, longevity, and the imperial family. Chrysanthemum festivals are held in Japan every autumn and the flower is prominently featured in art, textiles, and pottery.

  • The Number 3: In Japanese culture, the number 3 holds significant symbolism when it comes to chrysanthemums. This is because the flower has both male and female parts, as well as petals that are arranged in groups of three. This triplet formation is known as “mitsugashiwa” and is often used in Japanese art and architecture. Three chrysanthemum flowers together are also said to represent the three imperial treasures of Japan: the mirror, the sword, and the jewel.
  • Imperial Family: Chrysanthemums are deeply associated with the imperial family and are often used as a symbol of the emperor and empress. The flower is even featured on the Japanese passport and in the emblem of the Imperial family. In fact, the chrysanthemum throne has been a symbol of the emperor’s power for centuries, with Japanese emperors being referred to as the “chrysanthemum king.”
  • Longevity: Chrysanthemums are also associated with longevity in Japanese culture, as the plant can live for many years and still produce beautiful flowers. It is believed that the tea made from the chrysanthemum flower has restorative properties and can help with longevity, making it a popular drink among the elderly.

Chrysanthemums hold great significance in Japanese culture and can be seen as a symbol of royalty, longevity, and the imperial family. The flower’s association with the number 3 and its use in Japanese art and architecture makes it a beautiful and meaningful addition to any piece of art or decoration.

Chrysanthemum Festival in Japan

The chrysanthemum festival, or “Kikumatsuri,” is held every autumn in Japan as a celebration of the flower’s beauty and significance. The festival often takes place in public parks, with elaborate displays of chrysanthemums arranged in intricate patterns. People typically dress in traditional clothing and enjoy food and drink while admiring the beautiful flowers.

The festival is also significant for its cultural importance, with schools and organizations often participating in chrysanthemum competitions and displays. Many Japanese citizens take great pride in their individual chrysanthemum plants, carefully cultivating them throughout the year and displaying them for all to see at the festival.

Chrysanthemum Art and Design

Chrysanthemums are a popular subject in Japanese art and design, with the flower frequently appearing in textiles, paintings, and pottery. The flower’s intricate patterns and multiple layers of petals make it a visually striking addition to any piece of art.

One of the most famous instances of chrysanthemum art can be seen in the chrysanthemum throne itself, which is used for the enthronement ceremony of Japanese emperors. The throne is made entirely of chrysanthemum blossoms, with each petal carefully arranged to create a stunning and intricate pattern.

RedLove, passion, joy
YellowSorrow, neglected love, optimism
WhiteTruth, purity, innocence
PinkLoyalty, friendship, love

Chrysanthemums are a beautiful and meaningful addition to any piece of art or decoration, and their association with royalty, longevity, and the imperial family make them an important symbol in Japanese culture.

The Significance of Chrysanthemum in Art and Literature

The chrysanthemum flower has been a symbol of different things throughout history. In Chinese culture, it is a symbol of autumn, longevity, and nobility. In Japan, it represents the emperor and the imperial family, as well as the sun and the Japanese flag. In the west, it has been a symbol of death, grief, and remembrance. But beyond its cultural and historical significance, chrysanthemum has also been a popular subject in art and literature.

  • Symbolism in Literature: Chrysanthemums have been used as a literary symbol in many works of fiction. In John Steinbeck’s short story “The Chrysanthemums,” the flower symbolizes Elisa’s femininity, sexuality, and emotional repression. In F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel “The Great Gatsby,” the chrysanthemums represent Jay Gatsby’s flamboyance and extravagance. In Nathaniel Hawthorne’s story “The Gray Champion,” they symbolize the fleeting nature of youth.
  • Symbolism in Art: Chrysanthemums have been a popular subject in Asian art for hundreds of years. In China, they are one of the “Four Gentlemen,” representing the seasons and the virtues of the Confucian scholar. In Japan, they are often depicted in paintings, woodblock prints, and ceramics, symbolizing the beauty of autumn and the impermanence of life. Western painters like Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet also painted chrysanthemums in their works.
  • Chrysanthemum Festivals: In many countries, chrysanthemum festivals are held annually to celebrate the flower’s beauty and cultural significance. The Chrysanthemum Festival in Tongxiang, China, is one of the largest, attracting millions of visitors each year. In Japan, the Imperial family holds a chrysanthemum-viewing ceremony every autumn to honor the flower’s symbolism.

In summary, chrysanthemums have a rich cultural and historical significance, as well as a significant presence in art and literature. They represent different things to different people, but their beauty and grace have captured the attention of artists and writers across the globe.


Chrysanthemum Festival in Tongxianghttps://www.travelchinaguide.com/attraction/zhejiang/tongxiang/chrysanthemum-festival.htm
The Significance of the Chrysanthemum Flower in Chinese Culturehttps://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-culture/chrysanthemum-flower.htm

Chrysanthemum as a symbol of death and mourning in Western culture

Chrysanthemums have long been associated with death and mourning in Western culture. In fact, they are often used as funeral flowers and adornments for graves. But where did this association come from?

  • Chrysanthemums were first introduced to Europe in the 18th century and were quickly associated with death due to their dark color and the fact that they bloomed in the fall, a season associated with the end of life.
  • In Victorian times, flowers were used as a way to send messages and convey emotions without words. Chrysanthemums were often given to express sympathy and condolences.
  • In some Western countries, chrysanthemums are even known as “death flowers.” In Italy, for example, chrysanthemums are used exclusively for funerals and are never given as gifts.

But the association with death and mourning is not universal. In some Asian cultures, chrysanthemums are actually associated with joy and celebration.

Overall, the symbolism of chrysanthemums as a symbol of death and mourning in Western culture has persisted for centuries. Whether they are placed on a gravesite or used in funeral arrangements, these flowers continue to hold a special significance in our collective understanding of death and loss.

Chrysanthemum cultivation and its economic importance

Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are a popular flowering plant cultivated for both their ornamental value and economic importance. Chrysanthemums have been cultivated for thousands of years and are native to Asia and northeastern Europe.

Chrysanthemums are grown in a variety of colors and shapes, making them a popular choice for decoration in gardens and floral arrangements. However, chrysanthemums also have a significant economic importance, particularly in countries like Japan and China.

  • In Japan, chrysanthemums are the official emblem of the emperor and are highly revered. They are used in festivals, cultural events, and even as a symbol on the Japanese passport.
  • In China, chrysanthemums are highly valued for their medicinal properties. They are used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat conditions such as fever, headaches, and inflammation.
  • In the United States, chrysanthemums are one of the top-selling flowers. Around the world, chrysanthemums are grown as a cash crop for the international floral industry, generating millions of dollars in revenue.

Chrysanthemum cultivation requires careful attention to soil preparation, watering, and pruning. The flowers bloom in the fall, making them a popular choice for autumnal decorations.

CountryChrysanthemum Production (in metric tons)

Chrysanthemums also have cultural significance in many countries. In some cultures, chrysanthemums symbolize death and are used in funeral arrangements. In others, they symbolize long life, happiness, and good fortune. In general, chrysanthemums are viewed as a symbol of optimism and positive energy.

Traditional uses of chrysanthemum in food and beverages

Chrysanthemum has been used for culinary purposes for centuries in various cultures around the world. It is commonly added to dishes or brewed in teas, imparting a unique flavor and aroma to the food or drink. The herb is also praised for its various health benefits, including its ability to relieve headaches, calm nerves, and promote relaxation.

The number 7

The number 7 is believed to hold special significance in Chinese culture, and it is often associated with chrysanthemum. In traditional Chinese medicine, chrysanthemum is one of the “Seven Flowers” used to promote health and wellness. In addition, the herb is said to have seven benefits, including nourishing the liver, improving vision, and reducing inflammation.

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Calms nerves
  • Relieves headaches
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Nourishes liver
  • Improves vision
  • Detoxifies the body

Chrysanthemum tea

One of the most popular ways to consume chrysanthemum is in the form of tea. Chrysanthemum tea is a refreshing and calming beverage that is enjoyed both hot and cold. It can be made by steeping dried chrysanthemum flowers in hot water for a few minutes, then adding honey or sugar to taste. Chrysanthemum tea is often served at Chinese restaurants and is a common home remedy for colds and flu.

Chrysanthemum tea is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments, including high blood pressure, fever, and sore throat. The tea is believed to have a cooling effect on the body, making it especially beneficial during the hot summer months.

Chrysanthemum dishes

Chrysanthemum is also used in various culinary dishes around the world. In China, chrysanthemum petals are added to stir-fries, soups, and stews to enhance the flavor and aroma of the dish. In Korea, chrysanthemum leaves are used in traditional recipes such as the savory pancake dish called “buchimgae.”

Chrysanthemum SaladChrysanthemum greens, sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chili flakes
Chrysanthemum SoupChicken broth, chrysanthemum petals, carrots, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, tofu
Chrysanthemum Stir-FryChrysanthemum petals, carrots, onions, garlic, soy sauce, cornstarch

Chrysanthemum dishes not only provide a unique taste experience but also offer various health benefits. The herb is rich in vitamins and antioxidants that can boost immunity and protect the body against damage from free radicals.

The role of chrysanthemum in contemporary flower arrangements

Chrysanthemum symbolizes various meanings and values in different cultures across the world. Its versatility and availability make it a popular choice for contemporary flower arrangements. In this article, we will discuss the significance of chrysanthemum in modern floral design.

The Number 8

The number 8 is considered lucky in Asian cultures and is often associated with prosperity, wealth, and success. In Chinese culture, the pronunciation of the number 8 sounds similar to the word for “wealth” or “fortune”. As a result, many people believe that incorporating eight chrysanthemums in floral arrangements can bring good luck and fortune.

  • Eight chrysanthemums are often used in wedding bouquets or centerpieces to bring good fortune to the newlyweds.
  • Businesses may use eight chrysanthemums in their office decor to attract wealth and success.
  • Individuals may gift bouquets with eight chrysanthemums to wish their loved ones prosperity and good luck in their endeavors.

When using chrysanthemums in contemporary flower arrangements, whether it is for a special occasion or everyday decoration, incorporating the number 8 can add meaning and depth to the composition.

Chrysanthemum Varieties in Contemporary Floral Design

Chrysanthemum has over 40 species and thousands of cultivars, each with unique shapes, colors, and textures. The variety of chrysanthemums available makes it a versatile flower that can be used in a range of contemporary designs.

The most commonly used varieties of chrysanthemums in modern floral design include:

Spray ChrysanthemumsWhite, Yellow, Pink, Orange, Red, PurpleSmall, Daisy-like
Spoon ChrysanthemumYellowSpoon-shaped, Petals curled up at the end
Spray Spider ChrysanthemumWhite, Pink, Yellow, BronzeLong, Spiky petals
Disbud ChrysanthemumPure white, Yellow, Orange, Russet, Bronze, PinkSingle large head, Symmetrical blooms

Contemporary floral designers often use chrysanthemums in combination with other flowers and foliage to create unique and striking arrangements. The versatility and beauty of chrysanthemums make it a valuable addition to modern floral design.

Chrysanthemum as a symbol of autumn and the changing seasons

Chrysanthemums are known as the quintessential autumn flower, and for good reason. As the seasons begin to change and the weather starts to cool, chrysanthemums come ablaze with color and become the stars of autumn gardens and decor. But the chrysanthemum is more than just a visually appealing autumn flower – it also holds deep symbolism regarding the changing seasons of life.

  • Resistance: Like the chrysanthemum’s hardiness and ability to survive cooler weather, it symbolizes resilience and perseverance in the face of hardship.
  • Endings and beginnings: As the last flower to bloom in the growing season, the chrysanthemum represents the finale of summer and the beginnings of winter, signifying the cyclical pattern of life’s many transitions.
  • Mortality: Due to its association with the end of the growing season, chrysanthemums have also come to represent the inevitability and acceptance of death, and are often used in funerary arrangements.

But there’s more to this flower than just symbolism. In Japanese culture, the chrysanthemum represents the Emperor and the Imperial family, and is also the official emblem of the Imperial Family. In Chinese culture, the chrysanthemum is a symbol of autumn and the flower plays an important role in art and literature, often representing tranquility and longevity.

Interestingly, the number nine also holds special significance when it comes to chrysanthemums. In Chinese culture, the number nine is considered to be the most auspicious number, and as such, it’s believed that planting nine chrysanthemums in your garden will bring good luck and fortune.

Chrysanthemum ColorSymbolism (Japan)Symbolism (China)
RedLove and deep passionGood luck and success in life
WhitePurity and honestyDeath, grief, and lamentation
YellowPositive energy and happinessDesire to love and be loved
PurpleNobility and royaltyFlourishing career and business

Whether you’re admiring chrysanthemums for their beauty or delving deeper into their symbolism, this flower is a fascinating representation of the autumn season and the many transitions of life.

Varieties and Colors of Chrysanthemums and Their Meanings

Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are widely cultivated for their beautiful blooms and diverse colors. There are over 40 species of chrysanthemums with numerous cultivars and hybrids, each carrying unique meanings and symbolism. Below are some of the most popular varieties and colors of chrysanthemums and their meanings.

  • White Chrysanthemums: symbolize purity, innocence, and honesty. They are often seen in wedding bouquets and arrangements.
  • Yellow Chrysanthemums: represent joy, happiness, and friendship. They are commonly given as gifts to celebrate a birthday or to express gratitude to a friend.
  • Red Chrysanthemums: symbolize love, passion, and deep emotions. They are often used in romantic situations and can convey strong feelings of love and devotion.
  • Pink Chrysanthemums: signify grace, elegance, and femininity. They are often used in arrangements for baby showers or other celebrations related to women.
  • Purple Chrysanthemums: represent royalty, nobility, and luxury. They are often used in elaborate arrangements or bouquets for special occasions.

In addition to the various colors of chrysanthemums, the number of blooms in a bouquet or arrangement can also carry special meanings. For example, the number 10 signifies perfection and completeness, making it a popular choice for anniversary or graduation arrangements.

Number of BloomsMeaning
3Friendship, loyalty, and love
5Health, wealth, and happiness
9Longevity and eternity
10Perfection and completeness

Whether you’re looking to express love, friendship, or celebrate a special occasion, the diversity of chrysanthemums and their symbolism makes them a great option for any occasion.

FAQs About What Does Chrysanthemum Symbolize

1. What does chrysanthemum represent in different cultures?

Chrysanthemum symbolizes different things in different cultures. In Japan, it’s a symbol of the emperor and the sun, while in China, it represents longevity and vitality. In the US, it’s often associated with fall and Halloween.

2. What is the meaning of chrysanthemum flower color?

Chrysanthemum flower colors have different meanings. White symbolizes purity and innocence, yellow symbolizes friendship and joy, red symbolizes love and passion, and pink symbolizes motherly love.

3. What does chrysanthemum represent in Victorian language of flowers?

In the Victorian language of flowers, chrysanthemum represents cheerfulness and friendship. It’s often given to convey well-wishes, affection, and gratitude.

4. What does chrysanthemum tattoo mean?

Chrysanthemum tattoo has different meanings depending on the design and placement. In general, it represents beauty, strength, and resilience. It’s also associated with fertility, abundance, and spiritual awakening.

5. What does chrysanthemum tea symbolize in Chinese culture?

Chrysanthemum tea is a popular beverage in China with various health benefits. It’s also considered a symbol of balance, harmony, and purity. It’s often served during special occasions to show respect and hospitality.

6. What does chrysanthemum jewelry represent?

Chrysanthemum jewelry is a beautiful and elegant accessory that symbolizes femininity, grace, and inner beauty. It’s often worn as a reminder of one’s own strength and resilience.

7. What is the spiritual meaning of chrysanthemum?

Chrysanthemum has a spiritual meaning of transcendence, transformation, and enlightenment. It’s believed to help one overcome obstacles, embrace change, and reach higher levels of consciousness.

Closing Thoughts: Thank You for Discovering What Chrysanthemum Symbolizes

We hope you found our FAQs on chrysanthemum symbolism helpful and interesting. As you can see, this floral beauty has a rich cultural, historical, and spiritual significance that goes beyond its physical appearance. Whether you’re gifting chrysanthemum flowers, brewing chrysanthemum tea, or wearing chrysanthemum jewelry, you’re embracing a powerful symbol of beauty, strength, and endurance. Thank you for reading and do visit again soon for more exciting explorations!