Chrysanthemum Show

Mum ShowEvery year, Smith College’s Lyman Plant House holds a Chrysanthemum Show for two weeks starting on the first Saturday in November. Two glass houses are packed with blooms of all shapes, colors and sizes, with one house showcasing student’s own hybrids, upon which visitors can vote for their favorite.

The curators paired art prints illustrating mums from famous artists like Renoir, Monet and other Impressionists, adding another dimension of interest to the show. Colors or forms were matched in pleasing combinations.

Every class of Chrysanthemum from incurve (aka ‘football’), single, semi-double, anemone, quill, spider, spoon, decorative to novelty were well-represented. I loved the wall of trained daisy mums cascading over a white picket fence. Below is just a sampling:

While it may not be as popular as their spring bulb show, the fall mum show has become an annual favorite for me, a cheerful thing to do on a dreary November afternoon.

About Eliza Waters

Gardener, writer, photographer, naturalist
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60 Responses to Chrysanthemum Show

  1. tonytomeo says:

    I didn’t know anyone knew what a football mum was anymore. I have not seen a real one in a very long time. I think they were around when I was a kid, and if I remember correctly, they were the traditional autumn colors that mums are known for, even a bronzed orange that was about the color of a football.

  2. tonytomeo says:

    Spider mums were more popular too.

  3. Love all the different shapes and colours!

  4. MK says:

    I too like the spidery blossoms that you say are your favorite. I’m guessing those are spider chrysanthemums, right? 🙂

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, they look so graceful to me. There is another type that you see around Christmas that looks like a lacy snowflake, although they aren’t so easy to find. Hope you’re enjoying the long weekend!

      • MK says:

        Hope you’re enjoying your long weekend too. Now that your chrysanthemum show is over, I hope another warm & colorful event is in your area.
        It was back into the 90’s here on Wednesday & Thursday, but thankfully the temps are heading back to the 70’s. And we are supposed to even get some rain next weekend! Yippee!

      • Eliza Waters says:

        I hope you get that rain, I hear that Oct./Nov. has been disappointing in that regard.

  5. Widdershins says:

    I had no idea there were so many different ones! Gorgeous. 😀

  6. Laurie Graves says:

    Wowsah! That is quite the display of flowers. No wonder you enjoy going to the show.

  7. Anne says:

    What a splendid display! My purple chrysanthemums are putting on a brave show in my South African garden in response to a little rain.

  8. Alice Pratt says:

    Wonderfully gorgeous…..all the colors…..the artwork….look at the huge ones behind the bench……and it must have smelled so chrysanthemummy….we had chrysanthemums in a garden, in Wellesley, where we lived till I was 7…the smell of those flowers is always a memory.

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you, it was a nice show. Have you ever had tea made from the flowers of Chrysanthemum morifolium or Chrysanthemum indicum? You can usually find it in Asian markets. It is more floral than pungent, but makes a nice light tea.

      • Alice Pratt says:

        No, never had that kind of tea…I love to try new teas….’Good Health’ here has a huge assortment of ‘ every kind’ of tea….will look…I like Elderberry Flower… special tea on Sundays.

  9. jenanita01 says:

    What a lovely display! Just the sight of them all has filled my office with their very distinctive scent!

  10. Joanna says:

    Although chysanthemums aren’t really my favorite flowers, they are just the thing for these dreary days! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Robin says:

    Such a wonderful display of color. A feast for the eyes. 🙂

  12. Wow! looks like England.

  13. bittster says:

    I’m so glad you posted on this display, I’ve seen the pictures from other seasons and it’s always a treat to see!
    You’re lucky to have this nearby and you’re right that it cheers up a dreary November day….

  14. NorCal Zen says:

    These are absolutely gorgeous !

  15. gwenniesgardenworld says:

    Great pictures ! The ones with “the spider leggs” are my favorite too !

  16. Cathy says:

    What a lovely lot of colour! Some of them are quite pretty, others terribly over the top, but all a delight to see on a November day. I like the spidery one labelled ‘My favourite’, and the other spidery ones too – especially ‘Spoon’. Nice to have a show like that nearby. Thanks for sharing them Eliza!

  17. Brian Skeys says:

    They are not grown very much in gardens here in the U.K. these days. They tend to be grown for show by specialists growers. Your show looks very impressive are they all grown by students?

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Yes, the students (assisted by faculty and a few staff) do a portion of the work. There are many houses here with different climates– tropical, temperate, semi-arid and desert. It is well-maintained and is a great resource in the depths of winter. A visit is like a mini-vacation, esp. to the Palm House. 🙂

  18. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    How wondefully colourfull!

  19. Loved the art and flowers and the wall of mums.🙂 Beautiful show and photos and thanks for the cheerful post!

  20. This looks like a wonderful way to chase away the early winter doldrums!

  21. Dymoon says:

    image, my favourite #9786.. dreamy, wispy,lovely!!!

  22. What a beautiful array, I can almost smell the fragrance of the flowers!

  23. I never knew there was such a variety of forms of this beautiful fall flower. Great photos!

    • Eliza Waters says:

      Thank you! It is one of the oldest flowers to be hybridized – grown in China since 15th Century B.C. – but Westerners were the ones to actively hybridize it after in arrived in Europe in the 1600s.

  24. Kris P says:

    Wowzer! I love the spider and other “fancy” mums. The only varieties sold locally are the plain types found in supermarket bouquets.

  25. Kathy Sturr says:

    What fun Eliza! I love those spider mums – spectacular!

  26. WOW that’s a lot of mums! What would fall be without them? I love them because they last so well. Great post and photos!

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