CHRYSANTHEMUM is a genus of about 100 species of plants in the family Compositae. The chrysanthemum has been cultivated in the Far East for more than 2500 years. It is the national flower of Japan, It was introduced into England in 1789 and was taken to the United States in the early 19th century, from small species that grew wild in China and Japan, and thousands of varieties have been developed through crossing, selection, and mutation.
The word chrysanthemum comes from Creek words that mean gold and flower. The flowers now range in color from white and yellow through pink and lavender to deep red. The sizes vary from pompons, less than an inch across, to blooms 8 inches or more in diameter. There are 15 distinct bloom forms of chrysanthemums, which differ chiefly in the shape and arrangement of the petals. Petals may be flat, fluted, quelled, feathery, fringed, or curled. Blossoms may be single, semi-double, or double.