CHRYSANTHEMUM, a genus of herbs of the family Asteraces. The very numerous species are natives most of the cooler parts of the northern hemisphere, but some have become introduced and established in the southern hemisphere as weeds, having escaped from gardens. They are generally hardy, white or yellow-flowered, annual orperennial and of easy cultivation. Except C. rinerarirefolium and C. coctineurn, the flowers of which are used to make insect powder (q.v.), the species have small economic use, though some, notably C. leucanthemuni, • the oxeye daisy, is a trouble some weed upon badly managed land in the United States. C. segetum, the corn-marigold, and C. frutescens, the marguerite,; are cultivated for ornament, especially in Europe, where they are native.
But the most important species are C. indi and C. morifolsuns. These are the parents of the popular autumn flowers known as and chrysanthemums, the varieties of which in Europe and America are numbered by thousands, and vary greatly in size, form and color. So great is the that fanciers, speak of the varieties as belonging to certain types, of which there are recognized: Single, double, large, small, few-flowered, many flowered, anemone-flowered and various forms of the ray, flowers, such as incurved, reflexed, etc. The size ranges from the (pompon.' which may be less than an inch in diameter, to the ((show,* which may exceed eight inches in diameter. But with all this range of form and color the varieties are almost scentless, or have a somewhat disagreeable odor. These varieties are mainly cultivated under glass, since they do not reach perfection in the open air. They arc propagated almost wholly from cuttings, which are taken from the parent plant after it has flowered. The cuttings are grown in a cool
greenhouse until spring, when the young plants, then in pots, are placed in partial shade for the summer and kept as stocky as possible. In autumn they are forwarded until they blossom, after which they are destroyed, new cuttings having been taken.
For exhibition purposes the plants are watched and tended with the most minute atten tion, the superfluous buds and stems being re moved while stilt tiny. Sandy or clayey soil is found useful by various growers, but whatever its character it. must be rich and rather porous. Attention to fertilization, watering and cultiva tion is essential. For outdoor culture the large-flowered varieties are unsuited, but the hardy pompons, which are usually free-flower are more satisfactory. Though the season of the indoor chrysanthemum is only about six i weeks long, this flower ranks fourth in ance in the United States as a commercial flower, about $500,000 worth being used annually.
The literature dealing with this flower is voluminous, probably ranking next in extent to that dealing with the rose. Eighty-three books are listed by C. Harman Payne in the (Cata logue' of the National Chrysanthemum So ciety (1896), and many more have been pub lished in recent years. Other references to literature are given under the title Chrysanthe Alum in Bailey's (Cyclopedia of American Horticulture,' which should be consulted for descriptioni of various species, types, etc., and for methods of propagation, cultivation and management. Consult also Scott, The Show Chrysantheinum and Its Cultivation.'