Whether you call it soccer or football, it’s hard not to score big with the football mum at your next World Cup watching party. If you only get the chance to celebrate your favorite teams once every four years, make it special by adding a centerpiece that’s worthy of your starting line-up using this unusual type of chrysanthemum. Colorful, large, festive and sturdy, these blooms will look fresh until long after the semi-finals and add cheer to the room whether your team wins or not.
Football mums are a cultivar of chrysanthemum that look like they’re on steroids. Over 4 to 6 inches in diameter, these beauties have been bred for size. Historically, the origin of the mum is China, but they were brought to the West in the 17th century and selectively hybridized for color and size. In America, the fall-blooming mum took on special meaning as a Homecoming flower in the early 20th century and began to be thought of as a good-luck charm when worn to sports games. While this meaning is more commonly associated with passing around the pigskin, there’s no reason not to include it in your soccer celebrations this year as teams from around the world meet to play a little footy.
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Compared to your typical garden mum, the football mum is in a league of its own. Not only larger in size, this flower has lots more petals that curve out and then inward, giving it a globe-like appearance. Towards the center, the petals are closely spaced while the petals towards the outside open up and flatten out a bit. Most are a solid color, but there are some varieties that have petals that are a different shade on the bottom than on the top, giving them a more dynamic appearance that is sure to score a goal with your guests.
One of the best reasons to include the football mum at your World Cup celebration is the variety of colors it comes in. White, red and green ones are available if you are cheering for the Italian team or the bright orange ones that perfectly match the jerseys from the Netherlands. In fact, the only color they don’t come in is blue- so you’ll just have to find yourself a blue vase.
Football mums are easy to grow in the garden and are available all year round from your local florist, so pick some up today and score points with these awesome flowers!