Chrysanthemums are showstoppers of the autumn garden. Each flower consists of ray florets in a rainbow of colors including white, yellow, green, bronze, orange, red, pink, purple, and countless bicolors.

They are classified into a dozen groups according to flower form. The aromatic foliage, oval to lance-shaped and 2" to 7" in length, may be shallowly or deeply lobed or even feathery.

The Chrysanthemum is one of the longest cultivated of ornamental plants, having been grown and hybridized in China for over 2500 years. The name derives from the Greek, chrysos (gold) and anthos (flower), likely referring to the yellow Chrysanthemum coronarium. The genus consists of about 20 species of bushy, upright annuals and herbaceous perennials, some with woody bases.

Originating in the Mediterranean region, annual species typically grow in dry fields and wasteland. Herbaceous perennial species originate from the Arctic, Japan, China, and northern and central parts of Russia.

Chrysanthemums are usually talked about in two groups Hardy Garden mums and Exhibition mums.


Hardy Garden mums

The most popular chrysanthemums are the ones known as garden mums. These robust beauties bring color to the late summer/fall garden when it needs it most. Garden mums are low maintenance, care free, inexpensive, instant fillers in a range of vibrant colors. Although often sold mostly (or exclusively) in fall, they are perfectly perennial in our area and will perform steadfastly for you year after year.

Exhibition Mum

Exhibition mums

These are divided into 13 different styles by the National Chrysanthemum Society. These types are the kinds you see at florist shops. They come in beautiful colors, and sizes that are truly exhibition worthy. They can be grown in a garden situation but often require more attention and cold protection that the Garden types.

It is uncommon for us to have them for sale as we do not have a consistent supplier. If you are interested in finding Exhibition mums we suggest you contact the Oregon chapter of the Chrysanthemum Society at [email protected] for information. Also check our events page in May when the Chrysanthemum Society has their annual sale at our nursery.

Read more about the 13 styles in this article at the National Chrysanthemum Society Website.

Mums at Portland Nursery


Find the Best Perennials for your Garden

We have a wonderful selection of perennials year round, but if you are looking for a specific perennial we will have the best selection when it is in bloom around town. Note: Native plant pages will take you into the Native Plant section.


Lewisia: Bitterroot