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Chrysanthemums were first cultivated in China as a flowering herb as far back as the 15th century BC. It is believed that the flower may have been brought to Japan in the 8th century and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal.

Modern chrysanthemums are much more showy than their wild relatives. The flowers occur in various forms, and can be daisy-like, decorative, pompons or buttons. This genus contains many hybrids and thousands of cultivars developed for horticultural purposes. In addition to the traditional yellow, other colors are available, such as white, purple, and red.

Chrysanthemums are broken into two basic groups, Garden Hardy and Exhibition. Garden hardy mums are new perennials capable of being wintered over in the ground in most northern latitudes. Exhibition varieties are not usually as sturdy. Garden hardies are defined by their ability to produce an abundance of small blooms with little if any staking and withstand wind and rain. Exhibition varieties on the other hand require staking, over-wintering in a relatively dry cool environment, sometimes with the addition of night lights.

Mea Nursery specializes in growing the Garden Hardy group of chrysanthemums available at various Garden Centers and Home Improvement Stores throughout the U.S.

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