October 9, 2008


A fascinating bit of history on the Mum which came from Asia and believe you me if a plant is edible they'll be the first to give it a try. There are a surprising number of flowers that make it into their foodchain. The young shoots of the Mums and the leaves are popular in Asian cuisines and the Koreans make a rice wine with it .

Like Shirley McLaine says in Steel Magnolias I guess I'm just a stubborn old Southern woman, but I find it hard, if not impossible, to get used to calling my Mums by the new name Dendrantemum. Calling them ' Dens ' just grates on my ears. So you can just kiss my grits 'cause I'm sticking to my Mums .

Reading recent posts in the garden blogging world I see that some gardeners are finally catching on to the love of hardy Mums for colder climates . Kylee over at OurLittleAcre has written a post on 'Clare Curtis' ( pictured above ) an outstanding variety that blooms as early as July and keeps on going until frost. What more can you ask of a perennial , except maybe that it be evergreen and colonize ?

Last Fall I planted 'Bolero' , 'Samba' and 'Rumba' , all Korean varieties that bloom later than 'Clare Curtis' and continue the Fall show until the very end. I love their colors of orange and yellow as a contrast to the pink of 'Clare Curtis '.



Unfortunately it's difficult to find these varieties at nurseries. A good online source is LazyssFarm which carries a good selection.


  1. Interesting that your 'Clara Curtis' is blooming now. Mine is just beginning to break buds and I've never had it bloom before October. But it's a hardy one, that's for sure!

    I got 'Bolero' last year, based on its form (and color), and it came through winter with flying colors.

    'Rhumba' was purchased earlier this summer and it's just starting to break bud also.

    Thanks for the info, Carolyn Gail!

  2. Carolyn, Your Clara Curtis looks so much (from a distance) like painted daisies! It's very, very pretty. This may be one mum I'd be happy to get!! :-)

  3. Hi Kylee,

    Clare has been blooming since early August and is still going strong, one reason I really love this plant.
    Could be the full western exposure it gets all afternoon.

    I love the orange and yellows of Bolero and Rhumba, I just wish they'd appear earlier.

  4. Shady,

    You're right about Clare looking like a painted daisy. These Mums are often referred to as 'Daisy ' mums because they look so much alike.

  5. I'm a Southerner with you -- "Mum" is the word! :-)

    These are beautiful! I've not tried very hard with mums due to rabbits and deer. I have only a few in planters and pots.

    Speaking of grits. When my son went off to archaeology grad school in London a few years ago, he packed boxes of grits in the case with his banjo! He once took his banjo to Crete on an archaeological dig, too!


  6. " Birds of a feather...." Cameron. Thanks.

    I've had problems with rabbits eating my asters but so far they've not touched the Mums.

  7. Thanks for that source link. I have been looking for a place that has mums. Interestingly enough lazyssfarms says that the name is changing back to chrysanthemum from dendrantemum. So you are florally correct after all!

  8. Well, I'll be darned. I didn't know about perennial mums, so I thank you my friend. You're always teaching me new stuff.

    BTW, my feed is lost on Blotanical again, but I saw you there.~~Dee

  9. You're welcome, 3 generations. Glad to know that I'm proper again.

  10. On again, off again, eh? I have you on my reader but I thought I saw you on Blotanical, or was it Garden Voices?

    Lots of folks don't know that there are Mums that are truly perennial. Working at a garden center helps me keep up with things like that because I'm always visiting every department to check out new arrivals.


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