At first glance, the chrysanthemum bloom looks like a single flower. Look closer and you will see that it is actually hundreds of flowers called florets. There are two kinds of florets in a single bloom: disk florets and ray florets. These give each mum classification its distinctive appearance. So how did the Asian chrysanthemum get to America? According to the National Chrysanthemum Society of the U.S., the first chrysanthemum was introduced into the Western world in the 17th century. Back then, chrysanthemums were small yellow daisy-like flowers. Over the years, hybrids were grown in England and France, then carried across the ocean to America. "The modern mum has evolved from the first mums," says Sutton, noting that mums are part of the composite or daisy family. Just as the hardy chrysanthemum heralds the fall season, the mum is the guest of honor at a festival in its name. In addition to the bounty of chrysanthemums, the newly expanded 86-acre Meadow Garden features warm fall shades of blooming goldenrod, native asters and meadow grasses.
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