The Symbolism of the Chrysanthemum: What Does It Represent?

by Robert Canning on August 20, 2021

There are many beautiful flowers available from nature all over the world. Each of them has its own special symbolism and meaning. When it comes to chrysanthemums, there's quite an interesting history to unpack. In this blog, we will explore the gorgeous flower a bit more deeply.

The Chrysanthemum Flower

The chrysanthemum was initially seen as a healing plant used for medicinal purposes. Part of the biggest flowering plant family, Asteraceae, the flower is amongst one of 23,000 plus species. It stands alongside the bamboo, orchid, and plum blossom as one of the “Four Gentlemen” in its country of origin—China. 

Nowadays, the chrysanthemum is often given out as a present. Read on to learn more about what it could symbolise or mean to give (or receive) such lovely flowers.

All About Love, Commitment, and More

Back in the Victorian era, they used flowers to communicate certain things wordlessly. There was a language of flowers, which chrysanthemums were a major part of in all its colours and types. Considering there are over a thousand versions of the flower, that's a lot of hidden messages! 

There's a lot of romantic traditions from the Victorian era, like anniversary presents! Well over a hundred and so years down the line, chrysanthemums have only gotten more popular. They're beloved all over the world, both in the West and in the East.

Chrysanthemums Are a Symbol Of Loyalty

Across the language of flowers, flowers in varieties of all-white were used as wedding decor. They were also used as a gift for spouses. It was so prevalent that the concept of having a white wedding dress actually finds roots in this very concept.

Naturally, white chrysanthemums symbolise weddings and devoted loyalty. The white leaves stood for pure love and devotion. White chrysanthemums in a bouquet have remained an incredibly sweet gift for spouses in the years since then.

Chrysanthemums Stand for Passion

The vivid colours of many chrysanthemums made them a show-stopper back in the day. When it came to the “language of flowers,” it was a symbol of love that is incredibly passionate. Reds, bright pinks, and bright oranges all fall under this.

During the beginning stages of courtship, red and pink chrysanthemums were given as a means of showing young love and devotion.

Chrysanthemums Can Also Mean Sorrow

Funerals back in the Victorian era often involved plenty of yellow chrysanthemums. This was both in terms of decor and bunches handed out to mourners. While yellow is generally seen as happy, in this case, it's a symbol of respect (for the deceased) and support (for the grieving loved ones left behind).

Conclusion

Chrysanthemums originated in China and belonged to the Asteraceae family, which has over 23,000 species. They were wildly popular during the Victorian era and featured heavily in the language of flowers. Chrysanthemums symbolise loyalty and weddings in white, devotion and passion in reds and pinks, and sorrow alongside respecting the deceased in yellow.

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