Age Cannot Wither Her

Open chrysanthemum flower with bud next to it

Snapping photos with my compact camera as I walked along the street, I came upon this chrysanthemum. It and its neighbour were the only flowers in a scrappy flower bed, hard up against the wall of a building, a little golden beauty.

I saw the raggedy edges of the outer petals with the flower past its prime. And I thought how lovely the flower was, raggedy edges or not.

Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety

Said by Enobarbus about Cleopatra and her infinitely interesting character and moods, in Shakespeare’s Antony And Cleopatra Act 2, scene 2

And here is the neighbouring flower:

chrysanthemum flower

26 comments

  1. With a goodly amount of the centre petals remaining yet to unfold, I’d hazard a guess that she’s suffering more from neglect or abuse, rather than age… With SUCH a fabulous range and depth of brilliant colour she is truly an incredible beauty. Perhaps the damage she’s suffering is a result of the over-hanging rose we can see in the immediate background?

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      1. I hang my head in distress – You are indeed correct, as I read that “A key difference in appearance between the two plants is the leaves. Most chrysanthemums have delicate, lacy looking leaves with many lobes. Most dahlia leaves are ovate, with pointed tips and slightly serrated edges.” I never got my ‘chrysanths’ and dahlias clear in my head – until now. 🙂

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        1. To me, the biggest clue was the lovely shine on the plant’s dark green leaves… Chrysanthemum have an almost dusty-looking, more bluey -green colour and definite texture to their leaves.
          I am very much a plant lover and as they say: “The devil’s in the details” lol
          (Plus, this particular type of Dahlia’s petals are very much part of my growing up; )

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        2. Ohh, now that’s a very good question. I honestly can’t say. I would definitely be able to make a better guess if I were examining them ‘in person’. And lol, it would be even more likely if there were also a stem attached; )

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        3. If I could generalise, I would say that Dahlia are more… (durable?) in their leaf, stem and flower than those of Chrysanthemum… lol (I think; )
          But Chrysanthemum as a whole (plant), usually have a scent, while Dahlia do not (again, I’m generalising)
          And – as so often happens when decor takes over – the original reason for growing plants is lost… : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/gardening/11405748/Edible-dahlias-a-return-to-Aztec-roots.html

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        4. That makes me think of boiled Jerusalem Artichokes, the tubers with their light, nutty taste. And I see that there is a super-tribe that dahlias and all these things are part of and that they are all New World plants.

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        5. Some of them – particularly the ‘spiky’ ones – are what I think of as dahlias, but I am not that sure. As I said, I don’t think I ever got my dahlias and Chrysanthemums clear in my head until now.

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        6. Hmm… Thinking you may right in wondering. Truly hard to say for sure, but I ‘think’ I can see a (hint of) blue-green stem in the background? Is there still more of this photo to examine – or did you crop in tight right off the shot?; )

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      1. As Dahlia come from the previous year’(years’?) Tubers, who knows how long ago and by whom it was actually planted? (Of course, I’m actually assuming that this would be a possibility in your particular climate? To have Dahlia come back without having been brought inside for Winter storage; the situation you may be witnessing could never, ever happen here; )

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        1. So do you lift the tubers and then replant in the Spring? We do get ground frosts, but I don’t think they ‘bite’ very deep. And especially not here in Cambridge on the dry, protected side of the country.

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        2. Yes, they (and Gladioli) were a constant in my Parents’ garden. Sadly, while the distance is not really all that far between us, their soil/ microclimate is not the same as here and all too often, while waiting for a light frost to put them into dormancy, I wound up losing them to the ‘first frost’ being a Hard Freeze:/

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