Chrysanthemum: "humble flower with a secret"

Pompons AKA cushions, buttons, chrysanths, or daisies are an often underappreciated staple of the floral industry. These versatile little beauties are highly reliable thanks to their long vase life, ability to store well, and year-round availability in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors.

But you may be surprised to hear that from the cheery daisies to the many petaled cushions, every Chrysanthemum keeps the same secret.

Did you know that each chrysanthemum’s bloom is actually made up of a collection of many tiny flowers?

It is best explained in the pictures below. On the left, you see a front view of a yellow daisy. On the right is the same flower but shown as a cross section where you can see sixteen individual flowers! That’s right, each individual petal is actually a flower called a ray flower/floret. The structures in the center are called disk flowers/florets and those are also small individual flowers.

Now you know the chrysanthemum’s secret, you may never look at this humble flower in the same light again. And as a bonus you can now amaze your friends, family, and colleagues with your newfound botanical knowledge.

Chrysants come in a variety of beautiful spring pastel colors. However, if you need a flower outside of nature’s color palette, they offer the perfect base onto which to add a spray of water-based color. So even in a pinch you can make a white chrysanthemum any color you desire.

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