The Ping Pong flower is originally a Chrysanthemum! They are sometimes called mums or chrysanths. - The Chrysanthemums are flowering plants in the Asteraceae family. There are 40 wild species of chrysanthemums and thousands of varieties created via selective breeding.
The Chrysanthemum flower was first cultivated from wild blossoms by the Chinese and the first breeding efforts date back to the 15th century BC. It was commonly used as an herbal remedy as boiling the roots were believed to provide headache relief while the sprouts and petals were eaten in salads.
From China, the chrysanthemum made its way over to Japan by Buddhist monks in AD 400. Soon after its introduction, the Japanese were so drawned by this beautiful flower that it was soon adopted as the emperor’s crest and official seal. “Kiku” is the Japanese name for the chrysanthemum flower and every year the National Chrysanthemum Day would be celebrated which is also called as the Festival of Happiness.
In the 17th century, the chrysanthemum flower was introduced to Europe where Karl Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy, declared the Western name “Chrysanthemum.” - The Chrysanthemum flower has also been a part of landscaping in the U.S. since importation in 1798. Its name ”chrysanthemum” was derived from the Greek words “chrysos” meaning gold, and “anthemon” meaning flower. Today they are also commonly referred to as “mums.”
Chrysanthemums generally symbolize joy, fidelity, optimism, and longevity. Various colors of the flower also symbolize other important meanings.
Since the chrysanthemum was first cultivated in China, the beautiful flower still holds deep cultural significance to this day, especially in the art scene. The chrysanthemum is one of the Four Gentleman. Four Gentleman which include the plum blossom, theorchid, and bamboo. These are the four main plants depicted in traditional Chinese watercolor paintings, and were derived from Confucianism.
In Japan, the official seal for the Imperial family is a chrysanthemum with 16 petals and used for official government documents as well. While in the military, the most prestigious honor that can be awarded by the Emperor is calledthe Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum.