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Article Title:
American Idol Clay Aiken Born In The Month Of The Chrysanthemum 

Article Description:
American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken, born November 30, 1978, 
may not have taken home the winning title, but his 
popularity has blossomed almost as much as that of his 
birth-month flower, the wildly popular chrysanthemum. 

Additional Article Information:
420 Words; formatted to 60 Characters per Line
Distribution Date and Time: Thu Feb 23 21:19:02 EST 2006

Written By:     Wesley Berry
Copyright:      2006
Contact Email:  mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]

Article URL:

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American Idol Clay Aiken Born In The Month Of The Chrysanthemum 
Copyright © 2006 Wesley Berry
Wesley Berry Flowers

American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken, born November 30, 1978, 
may not have taken home the winning title, but his 
popularity has blossomed almost as much as that of his 
birth-month flower, the wildly popular chrysanthemum.  

The chrysanthemum, also called the mum, is a flower 
frequently seen in fall arrangements and flowerbeds. It is a 
long lasting flower of the daisy family and is available in 
a variety of forms, including daisy-like, decorative, 
pompons, or buttons. Its name is derived from the Greek 
prefix chrys-, which means golden, and the Greek -anthemon, 
which means flower. Although the chrysanthemum originally 
appeared only in a golden or yellow color, today it is 
available in shades of pink, purple, red, yellow, orange, 
and white, as well as yellow. 

It is an ancient flower first cultivated in China during the 
15th century B.C. as evident in ancient Chinese poetry and 
pottery. It was grown not just for its beauty, but also for 
the many uses of the entire plant. Uses included: 

 * As an herb thought to contain the power of life.

 * As a headache remedy, for which its roots were boiled.

 * As an addition to salads (young sprouts and petals).

 * As a tea boiled from its leaves.

It is still used in China today to make chrysanthemum tea, a 
sweet drink that is often used to speed a person's recovery 
from influenza. It is also eaten in a stir-fry of 
chrysanthemum greens, garlic, and chili peppers.  

The chrysanthemum later appeared in Japan during the 8th 
century A.D. where it quickly grew in popularity to the 
point where the emperor adopted it as his official crest and 
seal. Today in Japan, the Order of the Chrysanthemum is the 
highest Order of Chivalry that can be bestowed and the 
chrysanthemum has its own day called the Festival of 

The chrysanthemum was introduced to the United States during 
colonial times. Today it is often used in fall flower 
arrangements and corsages for Homecoming dances and football 
games. Here the chrysanthemum holds the reigning title as 
the top most commercially produced flower and the number one 
most grown potted plant.  

While the U.S. uses the chrysanthemum as a flower for happy 
occasions, in parts of Europe and in Japan, it is a symbol 
of death used almost exclusively for funerals and on 

If he's lucky, Clay Aiken's popularity of one of American 
Idol's best-loved losers will continue to rise through the 
years just as the chrysanthemum has widened its appeal to 
world-wide fame. 

Wesley Berry is the President of Wesley Berry Flowers, 
a successful multi-million dollar business that was 
established in 1946. He is also the Headmaster of the 
Professional Florists' Institute, a floral design school 
located in Michigan. Visit Wesley Berry Flowers on the 
web at:



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