1995 32¢ Chrysanthemum
Fall Garden Flowers
Issue Date: September 16, 1995
City: Encinitas, CA
Printed By: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Lithographed and engraved
Perforations: 10.9 vertical
Chrysanthemums, native to Africa as well as Asia, are without question the flower of the East. They’ve been cultivated and cherished in China for over 2,000 years and in Japan almost as long. Their noble image appears on porcelain, in textiles, and on wood.
In China, Juxian was named the “City of Chrysanthemums” in A.D. 400 because it was the home of the flower’s greatest cultivator. Until quite recently, only the nobility could grow the showy flower. The sixteen-petalled Hironishi chrysanthemum was so loved in Japan, it became the emblem of the emperor in 797 and the national flower in 910. Today, Japan’s October chrysanthemum festival is the fall counterpart of its spring cherry blossom festival.
Chrysanthemums were introduced into Europe and America in the early 19th century. Using Latin and Greek, European botanists gave this member of the daisy family the name “golden flower.” The name remains even though today’s mums come in all sizes and colors except blue. Each blossom is made up of multiple independent flowers that can appear as a tiny, tightly packed pompon or an elegant 8-inch corsage. Florists now produce chrysanthemums throughout the year – a testimony to the flower’s universal appeal.