December 18, 2019



: Menashe Davidson‏ 
Summary Author: Menashe Davidson 

Chrysanthemums are flowering plants of the genus Chrysanthemum (Glebionis) in the family Asteraceae. Most species originate from East Asia and the center of diversity is in China. Where I live, in Israel, they grow in the wild and bloom from winter to spring (top photo). It’s hard to disregard their beauty.

The chrysanthemum is also an important global floricultural crop leader due to its extensive range, flower colors, and various forms. Few cultivars are as important to the attractiveness of my home garden as are chrysanthemums. Admiring their beautiful and versatile blooms, I couldn’t help but think about the various conventional and non-conventional breeding techniques that have proved so successful, using wild relatives to introduce various ornamental traits to cultivated flowers (bottom photo). Major characteristics that are targeted by gardeners include the development of novel flower colors, altered flowering and plant morphology, insect-pest and disease resistance and enhanced post-harvest attributes. The development of varieties with novel traits provides marketing opportunities for retailers. Additionally, cautious selection acts to increase productivity and improve quality.

I feel very fortunate that even during the grey days of wintertime, I have plant companions, like chrysanthemums, in my home garden and in wild landscapes that always enrich my soul. Garden photos taken on December 3, 2019.