Plant Profile Chrysanthemums Chrysanthemum Indicum

Chrysanthemum indicum is perennial flowering plant that belongs to the genus Chrysanthemum. The genus Chrysanthemum contributes close to 30 plant species to the family Asteraceae that forms a group of perennial flowing plants. Chrysanthemums naturally occur in Asia and the northeastern part of Europe. Many gardeners and florists refer to Chrysanthemums by the name “mums”.

Chrysanthemums were first grown in China as flowering plant in the 15th century Before Christ.  The plant had spread to the rest of Asia by the 10 century, and was introduced to Europe in the 17th Century.

Modern domesticated strains of chrysanthemum are more colorful their wild counterparts.  Traditionally, the plant had yellow flowers but currently grown varieties can have white, red and purple flowers. There are various flowering patterns including decorative, daisy like and the pompons. The herb has developed for horticultural applications.

Mums are used in many parts of the world as ornamental plants and are categorized into two major groups, the exhibitions and the garden hardy. Garden hardies can be cultivated in the northern hemispheres.  They are often described by the possibility of producing blooms with little or no mechanical aid.  The exhibition strains often require staking and can be overwintered in moderately dry and cool environments.

One bloom can be composed of several individual flowers (florets) that are capable of producing seeds. The disk florets are centrally located in the bloom head, while the ray flowers are usually on the perimeter. Usually, the ray florets are regarded as deficient flowers due to the fact that they possess only the female reproductive parts.  The disk florets are considered to be perfect because they possess both the male and female reproductive parts.

Usually the commercially used blooms are produced by strains that have been formed through fusion of more than 12 species and therefore cannot be classified.

Chrysanthemum herbal extracts have been used to treat certain medical conditions. The Chinese have traditionally used tea made from the herb to treat or prevent sore throat and reduce fever.  A study conducted on dogs showed that Chrysanthemum extract can cause the dilation of coronary arteries.  Another study showed that extracts from the plant can stop the conversion of xanthine to uric acid and therefore be used to treat gouts. This function has not been confirmed in human subjects. Chrysanthemum is chemically composed of sesquinterpenes, kikkanols A, B and flavonoids.

Chrysanthemum can additionally be used for environmental purposes. A NASA clean air study showed that mums can be grown to lessen internal air pollution.