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cut flower of the month Super Floral Retailing has created this page
for the education of store-level employees.
To download a reprintable PDF, please go
to and select
spray chrysanthemum “Current Issue.”

BOTANICAL NAME (cushion, Dahlia-type, etc.), anemone/duet (mounded
Chrysanthemum indicum cushionlike center), spider/fuji, feathered, spoon, quill
Note: Several decades ago, plants in the genus and more. Bloom sizes typically range from 1 inch to 2
Chrysanthemum were split into several genera, and inches in diameter; “micro” variety blooms (e.g., Santi-
these flowers were reclassified into the genus Dendran- ni), however, are usually 1 inch or smaller in diameter.
thema. However, in 1999, the International Code of COLORS
Botanical Nomenclature returned these flowers to the These flowers are available in lavender, purple, red-
Chrysanthemum genus, with the species name indicum. violet, burgundy, red, pink, orange, coral, salmon, yel-
COMMON NAMES low, gold, bronze, butterscotch, green, cream and
Spray chrysanthemum, Spray mum, Pompon white, as well as bicolors.
Spray chrysanthemums have “composite” flower heads of Spray mum stems typically last from seven to
ray flowers (petal-like florets) and disk flowers (tiny flo- 14 days at the consumer level, depending on variety,
Chrysanthemum rets in the center), in a range of forms and sizes. There are maturity at the time of sale and care received. In gen-
indicum ‘Copper’ multiple blooms and buds per stem, with each occurring eral, individual blooms usually last around one week.
Spray chrysanthemum
(Decorative on a lateral stem that branches out from the main stem. AVAILABILITY
flower type) Bloom forms include button/dot, daisy, decorative These flowers are available year-round.
Photo: Progeny Breeding
vase-life extenders proportioned flower-food solution. purchasing tips
PREPARATION Immediately remove The nutrient (sugar) in flower-food
spray mums from their shipping box- solution helps buds to open. MATURITY LEVEL Buy spray mums when half to three-
es, and check flower quality. These Note: Yellowing foliage is a com- fourths of the blooms are opening. Research shows that
flowers are particularly susceptible to mon problem for many varieties of spray mums harvested at a more mature stage will last
dehydration during shipment. spray mums, and it can be exacerbat- longer than those harvested in a tighter stage.
Remove any stem bindings as well as ed by flower food prepared at higher- BLOOM DAMAGE Check bunches for shattering blooms
any leaves that would be under water than-recommended concentrations, (petal drop).
in storage containers. Sleeves may be so be sure to mix flower-food solu- FOLIAGE AND STEMS Make sure foliage is deep green
removed later; keeping them on at this tions properly. (no yellowing or brown spots), crisp and turgid, and that
point will help protect the blooms. REFRIGERATION Immediately place stems are thick and strong.
STEM CUTTING Recut the stems, under mums into a floral cooler at 33 F to 36
water or in air, on an angle, with a F, and allow them to hydrate for at fun facts
sharp sterile blade, removing at least 1 least two hours before using or selling
inch of stem; be sure to cut off any them. Except for design time, keep WHAT’S IN A NAME “Chrysanthemum” is from the Greek
woody portions. Do not pound or these flowers refrigerated until sold or words chrysos (golden) and anthos or anthemon (flower).
break stem ends; doing so damages delivered. If you did not remove The specific epithet “indicum” means of India, but, as in
the stems’ vascular system, which sleeves earlier, consider taking them this case, it often is applied to plants originating from as
inhibits water uptake. off after hydration to encourage air cir- far away as China (see “Home Sweet Home,” below).
Note: If you cut stems under water, culation between stems and blooms. FAMILY MATTERS Chrysanthemums are members of the
huge Asteraceae (Compositae) family. Close relatives
change the water or flower-food ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Spray mums are include Gerberas, Dahlias, Zinnias, marguerites, sunflow-
solution frequently to control bacte- fairly resistant to the effects of ethyl- ers, marigolds, China asters and many more.
ria levels. ene; however, always take precau- HOME SWEET HOME Chrysanthemums originated in China
HYDRATION AND NUTRITION Imme- tions to reduce ethylene levels in all prior to 500 B.C. and were introduced into Japan around
diately after cutting the stem ends, dip your facilities. A.D. 400 and into Europe (England) in 1795.
or place them into a hydration solu- CARNATION ALERT Certain microorgan- ROYAL TIES In the fifth century, the chrysanthemum
tion, to help the flowers take up nutri- isms originating from carnation stems became the emblem of Japan’s imperial family. The
ent solution more quickly. Then place can reduce the vase life of chrysanthe- Chrysanthemum Throne is the common term for the
the stems into clean, disinfected con- mums when both flowers are held Imperial Throne of Japan, the oldest continuing heredi-
tainers partially filled with properly together in storage containers. tary monarchy in the world (2,700 years, 125 monarchs).

18 floralretailing october ’13
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