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Korean Chrysanthemum
by Ann McCulloh - posted 09/27/13

The pink and gold flowers of Dendranthema zawadskii ‘Hillside Sheffield Pink’ open over a period of four to six weeks.

The warm, soft tints of Korean chrysanthemum (Dendranthema zawadsii) flowers create a color counterpoint to fall foliage in the October garden. Korean chrysanthemums are later-booming and have a softer form than typical garden mums. The foliage of Korean mums forms an attractive mounding shape all season long, even before the plant covers itself in daisy-like autumn blooms. The plants also tend to be pest and disease resistant and long lived. Such a reliably hardy, late-blooming perennial should be much better known. Its relative obscurity may be due to the fact that it blooms at a time of year when most gardeners are not actively shopping for plants, and so overlook it.

Common Name: Korean chrysanthemum

Botanical Name: Dendranthema zawadskii

Varieties/Cultivars to Look for: ‘Hillside Sheffield Pink’, ‘Clara Curtis’

Color: White, pale yellow, warm and cool pink

Blooming Period: Fall to late fall

Type: Hardy perennial

Size: 24 inches tall by 24 inches wide

Exposure: Full sun

When to Plant: Transplant in spring or plant container-grown plants spring through fall. 

Soil: Rich, well-drained

Hardiness: Zone 5

Watering: Once a week during establishment period, 1/2 to 1 inch per week in summer.

When to Prune: Cut back in early spring

When to Fertilize: Topdress with 1 inch of mature compost in spring.

In Your Landscape: A specimen or rhythmic accent in the mixed border

A close-up view of Dendranthema zawadskii ‘Clara Curtis’

Dendranthema zawadskii ‘Clara Curtis’ (Lower right-hand corner) stands out against a tapestry of apricot and burgundy fall foliage provided.

From Ohio Gardener Volume III Issue V. Photos by Ann McCulloh.


Ann McCulloh is the curator of plant collections at Cleveland Botanical Garden.