Happy November! To celebrate the first week of this penultimate month in the calendar year, today's spotlight is the chrysanthemum, which is the official flower of November (and also of Chicago). Just like different gemstones are assigned to different months, so too are flowers! (November is topaz & citrine, by the way!)
The chrysanthemum, aka "mum" (much easier to spell), comes from two Greek words-- "chrysos" and "anthemon"-- and means "gold flower," although mums can be found in many different colors that just gold. They are native to Asia and northeast Europe and feature prominently in Chinese poetry and art. Mums are related to the daisy family, which makes a lot of sense since I use the same tools to make mums that I use for daisies! And speaking of scents, the mum has a rather earthy smell, rather than floral, which some people don't care for. But with gumpaste flowers, your nose would never know!
Chrysanthemums make great flowers for wedding cakes (they symbolize joy and optimism), anniversary cakes (they are the official 13th wedding anniversary flower), cakes for moms (traditional mother's day flower), or baby showers (they also symbolize longevity). In China, mums are used as a symbol for stateliness, and in Japan, perfection; so make your cake perfectly stately with these choice blooms!