The family Asteraceae or Compositae, to which Chrysanthemum belongs, is known as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family. It is the largest family offlowering plants in terms of number of species. According to the Royal Botanical Gardens of Kew, the family comprises more than 1,600 genera and 23,000 species. The name “Asteraceae” is derived from the type genus Asterand refers to the star-shaped flower head of its members, epitomized well by the daisy. “Compositae,” an older but still valid name (McNeill et al. 2006), means “composite” and refers to the unique inflorescence (described below).

Asteraceae is a taxon of dicotyledonous flowering plants. In addition to the chrysanthemum and daisy, other well-known members of the family includelettuce, chicory, globe artichoke, safflower, dandelion, ragwort, and sunflower.

Chrysanthemums were cultivated in China as a

flowering herb as far back as the fifteenth century B.C.E

The chrysanthemum was introduced into Japan probably in the eighth century C.E., and the Emperor adopted the flower as his official seal.

Imperial Seal of Japan

The flower was brought to Europe in the seventeenth century. Linnaeus named it from the Greek prefix chrys-, which means golden (the color of the original flowers), and -anthemon, meaning flower.

In some countries of Europe (e.g., FrancePoland), in Korea, and in Japan, white chrysanthemums are symbolic of death and are only used for funerals or on graves. In China, white chrysanthemums are symbolic of lamentation.

Chrysanthemum. (2008, August 28). New World Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:57, October 30, 2011 from

How could it be that the same flower is the flower of happiness in some countries and flower for funerals in other countries? It certainly has nothing to do with the flower itself, or am I wrong? Is chrysantemum a flower with a “double face”-in a good sense of a word? Looking at a basket full of little flowers I happen to see even more faces……………..


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