The Quilled Pink Chrysanthemum
On this day in 1822, Joseph Sabine ("Suh-BEEN") gave a presentation to the London Horticultural Society. He was describing some new varieties of Chinese chrysanthemums.
Eleven different kinds of mums had been imported two years earlier, in 1820, and had been thriving in the society's garden at Chiswick.
In 1753, Carl Linnaeus, renowned Swedish botanist, combined the Greek words chrysos, meaning gold with anthemon, meaning flower. Chrysanthemum (Dendranthema grandiflora) is the birth flower for November. In Japan, the highest Order of Chivalry is the Imperial Order of the Chrysanthemum. And National Chrysanthemum Day, aka the Festival of Happiness, has been celebrated in Japan since 910. Chrysanthemum Day is always celebrated September 9th - the ninth day of the ninth month because, in terms of numerology, that day, September 9th, is regarded as an auspicious day.
Now, when Joseph Sabine described the Quilled Pink Chrysanthemum in detail for the London Horticultural Society, members had only heard about the Quilled Flamed Yellow variety. The Quilled Pink was exciting. Sabine, would not even recognize modern mums. Although some mums still look like their sister flowers, daisies, mums are being bred to be showier. Regardless of their appearance, mums belong to the Compositae, or daisy, family.
And, there's another highlight for Joseph Sabine. He was serving as the Secretary of the Horticultural Society and is remembered for sending David Douglas on his 6-month expedition to North America. Douglas named the Digger Pine, Pinus Sabiniana, in honor of Joseph Sabine.