November's Birth Flower


If you're born in November, you share your month with the delightful chrysanthemum. Mums, as they are colloquially called, are one of the world's most famous cut flowers. They are long-lived in a vase of water or in flower arrangements in floral foam. 

Image: G Hartoog
Image: G Hartoog

Chrysanthemums are native to north-eastern Europe and parts of Asia and although they are now available throughout the year, they bloom in nature in autumn. Mums were first cultivated in China around the 15th century and are a treasured part of Asian culture. Japan celebrates National Chrysanthemum Day or the Festival of Happiness every year on 9 September, a tradition dating back to 910 AD.

The word 'chrysanthemum' was derived from the Greek 'chrys' and 'anthemion' - meaning golden and flower respectively. The warm, golden hues of autumn were the flower's original colours. Today, mums come in a rainbow of colours from the lighter shades of white and cream, through tones of pink and lavender. Mums are part of the daisy family and have flower cousins that include asters and zinnias.


The birth flower for November symbolises joy and good luck. As with many other flowers, the colours of these pretty blooms deepen the meaning and symbolism. White mums are linked with youth and pure love, while shades of violet are a suitable convalescence gift.

Today, we associate yellow with happiness and joy, but in Victorian times, yellow was a colour associated with sorrow and it was popular at funerals. A gift of yellow mums can show support and sympathy for a loved one during a time of loss.

Display mums in your home

Bring colour, light and the energy of flowers into your home with a jar of chrysanthemums placed in fresh water. 

Decorate your 'joy jar' as you wish. We've used a hessian (burlap) band, ribbon and recycled cardboard to create our special November joy jar.

Joy jar tips:

  • For good longevity, when you're choosing a bunch of mums in store, look for one with healthy flowers and avoid those with drooping flower heads and leaves
  • Before arranging the mums in the jar, remove any side shoots or leaves along the main stem that will be below the water
  • Change the water every few days and add a little bleach and sugar to the mix to keep your mums will looking beautiful and healthy for the next three weeks

© Gina Hartoog 

Photo by Ilja Frei on Unsplash
Photo by Ilja Frei on Unsplash
© 2022 Gina Hartoog. South Africa
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