Chrysanthemum (kri-sant-thə-məm)

Chrysanthemums were originally yellow so they were named "gold flowers". (Photo credit to Missouri Botanical Garden)

I am sorry that I have kept you waiting for another post. This week we shall continue our theme of flower roots by looking at the word chrysanthemum. Chrysanthemums are fall-blooming flowers and can be multiple colors. Common names for chrysanthemums are chrysanths or mums. Chrysanthemum comes from the Greek roots chrys,meaning gold and anth, meaning flower. Chrysanthemums were originally yellow so they were named “gold flowers”.

hemerocallis (hemər-ō-kalə̇s)

Hemerocallis is a beautiful flower that blooms for just one day.

This week we shall explore the roots of another flower. The hemerocallis, better known as the daylily, is a perennial that comes in many different colors. These flowers are very pretty and some are fragrant. The word hemerocallis contains the Greek roots hemer, meaning day, and calli meaning beautiful. Greek roots are typically linked together by the letter “o”. The hemerocallis is the perfect name for these bright, beautiful flowers because they only bloom for one day.

aquilegia (a-kwə-lē-jē-ə)

Rocky Mountain Columbine, the state flower of Colorado.

Spring is in the air and I decided to get to the roots of different flowers (yes, I know that’s a bad joke).  Let’s explore the word aquilegia, also known as columbine.  These beautiful flowers have delicate petals and have a star shape with yellow centers.  Some have long spurs that fan out behind the blossom.  Aquilegia comes from the Latin root aquil, meaning eagle. It is named this because the flower petals look like an eagle’s claw.  The Rocky Mt. Columbine, shown in the picture, has been Colorado’s state flower since 1899. Can you think of any words with the root aquil in them?