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The expression, 'mum's the word,' can certainly be appropriated for these plants as they begin to proliferate in the fall. According to the National Chrysanthemum Society, mums were first cultivated as flowering herbs in ancient China. All parts of the plant were likely used: petals and young shoots were added to nutritious salads; flowers and leaves were brewed in teas; boiled roots were used to treat headache; and leaves were brewed for a festive drink.
Generally, mums symbolize happiness, love, longevity, and joy, but specific colors have specific meanings.
Additional facts about the chrysanthemum