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Witchy Wednesday - Chrysanthemum

Witchy Wednesday - Chrysanthemum Chrysanthemums are a small flowering plant in the family Asteraceae. They are native to Asia and north eastern Europe. Most species originate from East Asia and the center of diversity is in China. Chrysanthemum blooms come in a huge variety of shapes and sizes and in a wide range of colors. In addition to the traditional yellow, other popular colors are white, purple, and red. Each Chrysanthemum flower head is actually a cluster of many flowers, composed of a central group of short disk flowers surrounded by rings of longer ray flowers. Chrysanthemum flowers come in four major shapes, sizes ranging from less than 1 inch in diameter to over 3 inches. Chrysanthemum comes from Greek word 'Chrys' meaning golden (the color of the original flowers), and 'anthemon', meaning flower. This name was given to it by Carolus Linnaeus, a Swedish naturalist who is also known as the father of modern taxonomy. An infusion of dried chrysanthemum petals has been used as a tea to lower high blood pressure brought on by stress and as an eyewash to relieve redness and pain from eye-strain. You can also place the whole flower over your eyelids for the same purpose or make a warm compress of the petals. Chewing a few leaves per day is said to give relief from migraines. Chrysanthemum flower petals are used in herbal teas and added to salads for a splash of color. The UK National Collection of hardy chrysanthemums is at Hill Close Gardens near Warwick. Chrysanthemum leaves are steamed or boiled and used as greens, especially in Chinese cuisine. Magickally Chrysanthemum has been used for burial rituals and is a suitable decoration for Samhain and for ancestral altars. The dried flower heads of chrysanthemum can be burned during house blessing ceremonies. Author Ellen Dugan says, “In ancient times Greeks would wear garlands of chrysanthemums to keep away those dreaded “evil spirits.” For the modern Garden Witch, the mum is a fabulous, protective fall flower that wards the home and keeps away wandering ghosts.” Chrysanthemums can also be woven into a wreath or hoop for protection hang it on your door or window.

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