Even though gray skies have returned to Portland, you can still see vibrant bursts of color all month long at the Lan Su Chinese Garden as part of Mum-vember, the largest display of chrysanthemums on the West Coast.
“The Chinese have been growing and displaying chrysanthemums for thousands of years,” says Glin Varco, Lan Su’s horticulture manager. “Our hope is that when people come in, they see mums they have never seen before and are surprised at the great diversity and variety.”
Lan Su’s staff and volunteers have brought in 500 potted plants that they have grown at their greenhouse and made available for viewing throughout the garden, along with 100 prize-winning cut flowers from the National Chrysanthemum Society’s Annual Exhibition. All in all, you can explore 50 chrysanthemum varieties in different colors and sizes including spiders, quills, spoons, anemones, brush and more.
Go See It!
- November 1 - 30
- Lan Su Chinese Garden, 239 NW Everett St., Portland
- Visit website
The chrysanthemum is one of the most beloved plants in China. “Plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum are called ‘four gentlemen of flowers,’ and the Chinese have revered them for thousands of years because they have admirable qualities,” Varco explains. “When it comes to the chrysanthemum, it’s admired because it represents the ideas of longevity and integrity. Longevity, because chrysanthemum blooms last for a long time. In fact, mums at our display will be up all month long. Integrity, because they bloom in the fall which we know typically is not the best weather of the year … it’s rainy, windy and blustery, and yet somehow they manage to maintain despite those adverse circumstances.”
If you are interested in learning more about the history and cultural significance of the chrysanthemum, Varco will be hosting guided tours on November 17th and 24th at 1 p.m.