Chrysanthemum indicum known as Shavanthige in Kannada is the most common flower found growing and selling in Karnataka and the rest of India.
Botanical name is Chrysanthemum and belongs to Asteraceae family. Other common names of this perennial are Golden flower, Mums, and Chrysanths. In Sanskrit it is known as Yodhika, Soughandika, and Javandhi. These golden blooms are Native to India and East Asia.
The plant grows to a height of 6 feet and the leaves are as pretty as the flowers, green, alternate, and toothed. Inflorescence is a bunch of buds that appear at the tip of the branch. Layered base secures the petals in the whorl and they vary in size from a button to a saucer. Flowers bloom in Yellow, White, Pink, and Off-white. The fruit is a ribbed pod with seeds.
There are 500 types of hybrids developed for horticulture purpose. Imperial symbol of Emperor of Japan is the Chrysanthemum flower. Japan also celebrates the flower as a “Festival of Happiness”. China too holds a festival for the flower in Tongxiang.
Tea is prepared using the yellow and white flowers in some parts of Asia. Rice wine flavored with Chrysanathemum flowers is prepared in Korea. The leaves are used as leafy vegetable and used in Chinese cuisine. Petals are used to garnish dishes in Japan.
It is also used as an organic insecticide.
Flowers are used to worship gods in India. During 21 Pushpa pooja, the flower is offered to Lord Ganesha while chanting the following verse: Om Sharva Priyaaya Namaha Sevanthika Pushpam Samarpayami.
Chrysanthemum plants are very easy to grow. It can be propagated from seeds, dividing, or cuttings. Plant them in loose, well-drained, fertilized soil, and in full sunshine. Feed every 2 weeks. Pinch the plants when they are 6 inches tall to encourage more blooms.
Re-pot every three or five years.