Chrysanthemum Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

Chrysanthemum Tattoo: Symbolism, Meanings & More

The Chrysanthemum is the flower of November and symbolizes rebirth and being thankful for life. In some cases it can also represent sympathy, making it cover all aspects of life.

When it comes to floral tattoos there are so many more options than the traditional rose, and there are so many deep meanings that can subtly be expressed. Not only can you choose a shape and color that you love and that suits your personal aesthetic, but that also represents the meaning you want it to have.

Here we will be going over the Chrysanthemum to help you decide if this is the right floral tattoo for you. A much less common flower for a tattoo, and a famously hard one to spell, this delicate flower makes for a beautifully meaningful tattoo.


What is the History of Chrysanthemum Tattoos?

The Chrysanthemum, also sometimes known as the mum flower or chrysanths, are native to northeastern Europe and east Asia. However, the name itself is derived from Greek and means “golden flower’. 

The flower dates back as far as the 15th century BC when it was first recorded being cultivated in 2003 as a flowering plant. By 1630 there were over 500 different cultivars recorded and this has continued to grow toward roughly 20,000 different types in 2014.

The history of the Chrysanthemum is particularly rich in Japan where there is even a holiday known as “Chrysanthemum Day” that constitutes one of the five sacred festivals.

The flower has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine throughout the years by boiling the roots and using it to treat headaches. Its petals and sprouts were also used in salads as a source of nutrition. 

Turning the flower into a tea has also been used as a natural way to treat chest pain, high blood pressure, diabetes and fever and has been used as an anti-inflammatory. 

Its many uses go beyond cooking and herbal medicine and the head of the flower contains a chemical called “Chrysanthemum cinerariaefolium” which is used in insecticides as it is known to paralyze insects. 

The Chrysanthemum was introduced to Europe in the 17th century and named by the botanist Karl Linnaeus. 


What Do Chrysanthemum Symbolize?

Because the Chrysanthemum is widely recognized all over the world it has been given many different meanings in many different cultures.

For this reason its symbolism will vary depending on where you are in the world. However, in general, the flower symbolizes the month of November and is a great way to celebrate children born in this month or other special events taking place in November.

In Japan the flower symbolizes the highest military honor (the Supreme Order of the Chrysanthemum) which is awarded to members serving in the military by the Emperor. This symbolism comes from the fact that the flower is the official seal of the imperial family and bears 16 petals. This seal is used for official documents.

In Australia, this flower is the unofficial flower of Mothering Sunday due to its other name, “mums”. 

However, in parts of Europe, such as Belgium and Austria, the flower is also used to honor loved ones but as a sign of respect after they have passed away. As such it is often placed on tombstones. 

Conversely, in China, the Chrysanthemum symbolizes long life and good luck and it is often given to the elderly to keep in their home to encourage this good fortune in health.

In Victorian England, it was common to pass this flower among friends as a sign of admiration, friendship and respect. It was a subtle nod to platonic love.

What Do Chrysanthemum Tattoos Mean?

When it comes to the meaning behind Chrysanthemum tattoos you will need to consider the color of the tattoo, as with most flowers. This flower has been cultivated to come in many beautiful colors, giving you a wide variety of meanings to choose from.

The most common colors for this flower are red, white, yellow and purple so here we will cover the meaning behind each of these different colors.

The red Chrysanthemum means romantic love and burning passion and desire. This is true for most red flowers and is a very well-known meaning. It was made very widely recognized by the association of red roses with St Valentine’s day. This red flower offers a red alternative to symbolize your love for another person.

The white version of this flower represents honesty and loyalty. Although white flowers are commonly associated with purity and innocence these two meanings are also very common to white flowers. This makes them great choices for bouquets made to celebrate a new baby, christenings and weddings. However, the connotations of honesty and loyalty also make them great gifts for friends.

The yellow version of this flower differs greatly from many other yellow flowers, which normally signify friendship or joy. Here instead, the yellow Chrysanthemum represents neglected love and sorrow, putting the bright yellow color in contrast to its meanings.

The purple flowers represent a desire for good health and make a good option for a get well soon bouquet.


Where Do Chrysanthemum Tattoos Usually Go?

Chrysanthemum tattoos are typically very rounded and can be made large and small, meaning that they are suited to just about anywhere on the body. However, you should consider how much detail you want in your tattoo for your placement. 

The more detail you want the bigger your tattoo will need to be, in which case you should opt for placement on the shoulders, back, thigh or upper arm. Somewhere that allows for a larger rounded tattoo.


Characteristics and Styles of Chrysanthemum Tattoos

The color of the flower plays a big part in its meaning so if you want your meaning to be explicit then opt for a bold outline and bold color. You will also need to choose a bigger area for this type of tattoo.

This tattoo works great just as the head of the flower due to its complexity. So, do not overcomplicate the tattoo by adding leaves and other unnecessary details and let the lines of the petals do all the work.


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