Some spectacular blooms are on display at the 105th annual Chrysanthemum Show at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo.
Pictured at left is lava, a spider mum in fiery tones.
“All of these are indoor mums,” explained Doug O’Reilly, horticulturist at the Botanical Gardens. “They wouldn’t last outside.”
Many of the mums are trained to grow into certain shapes. Some are “cascades,” which, with a little extra help from wire netting, flow over the side of a pot. Others are “bowls” and grow with a domed shape.
Still others are “standard” mums, which means they have been trained to grow tree-like with a single flower atop a very tall stem. They can grow to eight or nine feet. At right, the tall yellow standards are Fort Smith mums.
To create standard mums, O’Reilly starts in April with bush mums, and keeps pruning off the extra buds. A stake gives the stem support, which you can see at left with this Art White spoon mum.
By pruning away all of the competing blossoms, the plant’s energy is directed to the single blossom, and that produces a much larger flower, he said.
While the overall display of the mums is lovely, make sure you take a moment to enjoy the details of the flowers. Shamrock, seen at right, is one of many examples of mums that have petals with spoon tips– they’re shaped like scoops. Examine the flower closely and you’ll see how it gets its name: it is tinged with green.
Most mums start out flat, O’Reilly noted, and some, like the blush pink Zinfandel in the photo below left, get round as they get bigger. The darker flower, called Purple Light, is daisy-like in its shape.
The show continues through Nov. 14. Tickets are $8 for adults; $7 for seniors and students with ID, and $4 for children ages 3 to 12.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday.